Saturday, March 5, 2011

.she sells seashells.

scottish bonnet seashell

I can still hear it.  The faint clinking sound of a soft breeze flowing through strands of capiz shells dangling from a chandelier.  Suddenly I am pulled back to my early childhood, back when my father used to work for Vagabond Traders, a Hawaii based wholesale company that imported a lot of seashells and monkeypod products from southeast Asia.  I can still recall shelf after shelf of seashell covered creations and wooden carvings.  It also brings me back to homes of Filipino relatives who had at least 2 or three of these chandeliers hanging out on their porch.  Needless to say, walking into the gift shop Almost Everything Ten Mile Post was like walking back in time, for me.  Every space, from ceiling to floor, is lined with shells of every kind along with sea fan corals, puka shell necklaces, starfishes, sea cookies and biscuits, sharks teeth and even recovered whale bone.  For a moment, I think I'm back in Hawaii.

The sweet lady running this shop is owner, Sudaphon Thompson or "Hon", a native of Thailand who purchased this unique seashell galleria 11 years ago.  "This place is almost 45 years old.  People come from all over to buy their seashells."  When asked what her best selling item is, she is quick to answer.  "Anything from North Carolina.  Especially this one," and she walks over to a container filled with these small white shells with orange-brown colored "patches" on them.  I look at the description written on a piece of paper taped to the front of the container.  Scotch Bonnet.  Hon also fills me in on some local history about Robert E. Harrill, a man otherwise known as the Fort Fisher Hermit.  More and more, I'm loving this place!

So, if you happen to be this way, head down Hwy 421 towards Carolina Beach and look for the Almost Everything sign located at 6315 Carolina Beach Road, just south of Wilmington.  Don't blink 'cause you might miss it!  And if you're in need of some Oriental groceries, you're in luck!  Hon has also set up a little Asian market in the section beside the gift shop.  So stock up on some rice noodles and curry spices before you go!


  1. We love and collect shells - beautiful photos!

  2. great portrait of her and her shop. i love doing stuff like this.

  3. What a beautiful portrait Kat! My hubby and I used to head down to Carolina Beach and Surfside when we were first married. I miss that! I don't know that I'll ever make it back but if so I'll be sure to stop in her little shop! Have a beautiful day!


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