From beach rentals to Christmas trees, it’s all business for Pawleys family
Providing locals and visitors on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® with beach chairs and umbrellas in the spring and summer, pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees during the holidays may sound like an odd combination, but it works perfectly for Tammy Sehorn.
It all began in 2011 when Sehorn was searching for a job that would allow her to spend more time with her children. She had worked as a partner in an insurance agency and in a tax office, but a friend suggested she work in the travel industry because she could work at home and have more free time. It was then that she had an epiphany.
Searching for options on her computer, Sehorn only typed two letters, “Tr,” before she suddenly thought about trees — Christmas trees, that is.
“I was thinking, ‘Trees … sell Christmas trees,’” Sehorn said. “Then I thought, ‘Oh my god, I love Christmas trees.’ And that’s how it all started.”
Most visitors to the Hammock Coast probably know Sehorn from her beach rental company, Seaside Chairs and Umbrellas. Her signature red-and-white umbrellas dot the beaches of the Hammock Coast® throughout the year but they’re especially prevalent in the summer months. The company rents umbrellas, cabanas and chairs and, just as importantly, sets them up on the beach for guests in Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach.
But it’s when summer moves into late autumn that Sehorn’s other businesses — selling pumpkins and Christmas trees – kick in.
Sehorn, who moved to Georgetown County, South Carolina, from Maryland in 2005, owns Cabana for All Seasons LLC, which includes Cabana Christmas Trees, Seaside Chairs and Umbrellas, and Cabana Pumpkin Patch. All three businesses are located at 27 Coachman Drive, just off U.S. Highway 17 in Pawleys Island. To provide these services, Sehorn has help from her two sons, Robert-Paul, known as “R.P.”, and Nick, as well as other part-time workers.
“It is definitely a family business, and I could not do it all without them,” Sehorn said. “To me, the most important thing is the interaction with people and knowing you’re helping someone have a great vacation or helping them put a Christmas tree in their home during the holidays.”
Now in its 10th season, Cabana Christmas Trees has grown each year. This past Thanksgiving week, Sehorn sold 600 trees in five days, from Nov. 24-29. She said that’s a personal record for the most trees she has sold in a season and the amount of time selling out.
In addition to selling Fraser fir trees, from table-top size to 12-feet tall, Cabana Christmas Trees provides a winter wonderland for families, including a snow machine, a sleigh with reindeer, and a table for creating letters to Santa and decorating Christmas ornaments. It also offers hand-made wreaths, garland, decorations and ornaments for sale.
“We were amazed at the turnout this year,” Sehorn said. “We try to celebrate the magic of Christmas and invite families and children to have fun.”
She also said that Seaside Chairs and Umbrellas, which she has operated for five seasons and now serves more than 1,000 families during a season, had a record year. The season for that company is usually from May-September, but this year it extended into early November and overlapped with the first season of Cabana Pumpkin Patch in October.
“When we were getting ready for the pumpkin patch, we were still doing chairs and umbrellas in the morning before we came here,” Sehorn said. “We didn’t do as many, but we were still doing them.”
In addition to pumpkins, Cabana Pumpkin Patch offers hayrides, pumpkin painting, and a hay maze, she said. Sehorn said the pumpkin patch’s first season went very well.
“That ended up being a great time,” she said. “The weather was terrific, and we have a lot of space here for the kids to play.”
Seaside Chairs and Umbrellas offers several packages to choose from with setup and take-down services for six consecutive days. In addition to chairs and umbrellas, some packages include cabanas, which cover sunbathers and provide a relaxing home base for beach activities.
“It is a great thing for tourists, to treat themselves and relax,” Sehorn said. “It feels nice to be able to walk on the beach and just go down there and have everything set up for you.”
Sehorn said she thinks of it as a “little bed-and-breakfast on the beach.”
“That’s just the kind of feeling we like to give people,” she said. “We do a lot of little things, like providing books, to make it cozy and nice. It’s those details that make it special.”
Sehorn said she looks forward to many more years of providing community services through Cabana for All Seasons.
“We never take any of our businesses for granted,” she said. “I just feel really grateful to be able to help people enjoy themselves.”
Sehorn is a member of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and often assists the Chamber’s tourism staff with beach promotions and even provides chairs and umbrellas for photo and video shoots used in marketing the Hammock Coast®.
For more information about Cabana Christmas Trees and Cabana Pumpkin Patch, visit cabanachristmastrees.com. For more information about Seaside Chairs and Umbrellas, visit seasidechairsandumbrellas.com. For updates, visit their Facebook pages, or call (843) 237-8733.
By Clayton Stairs / tourism manager for Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®
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