Hilton Head isn’t just fun for humans. Loggerhead turtles find this homey little island quite comfortable as well. So comfortable, in fact, that they’ve been coming around these parts for years and years to lay their eggs and start new generations. And one resident enthusiast, Nan Stafford, grew up loving these sea creatures so much that she wanted to ensure they stuck around for years to come.
“I named my store Loggerheads for two reasons. One of them is that I love loggerheads and I think it’s really cool that they come back to where they nested from in about twenty to twenty-five years. Another thing that is kind of cool about them is that they go hang out in West Africa for about that long, and then they come back to the island where they were hatched and lay their own eggs.”
This Hickory, N.C. native does quite a bit of traveling herself.
“I live half the time in Virginia, and half the time here. My husband and I own a company that provides in-home services for people with mental disabilities throughout the whole state of Virginia.” Taking care of people comes naturally to Stafford. Having spent her life in healthcare, Stafford uses her retail chops to care for another group of people
“Half of the items that we sell in the store are fair traded from third-world countries,” she said.
She carries a variety of products, ranging from jewelry to kitchenware, most of which are hand-crafted by artists in third-world countries. She sells them in an effort to raise awareness and help their local communities. But it isn’t the housewares and décor that make Loggerheads sensational. It’s the turtles themselves.
“We try to get folks to adopt nests from the store (in relationship with the Coastal Discovery Museum). They tell you where the nest is, what mile marker it is at on the beach, they tell you when it was laid, and then they send you an email telling you how many turtles came out of it and hatched. It’s cool to do with your kids,” she said.