Born and raised Charleston local Tia Clark, of Casual Crabbing with Tia, shared with us her take on her love for the world of crabbing down here in the S.C. Lowcountry.
Tia Clark has taken her fondness for crabbing and the lifestyle that comes with it to the next level. Tia has created an unforgettable experience for those interested in discovering the draw to crabbing through her AirBnB Experience "Let's Go Crabbing," recognized as one of Airbnb’s best in the world. We had some questions for Tia regarding her unique interest that turned into a passionate career, and her responses make us want to get out on the water right about now.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
"I am a Charleston native who was new to crabbing in 2017. I spent a great deal of time working in the food and bev. world before making the change into crabbing full time."
How did you get into crabbing?
"Crabbing began as a positive habit and way to spend my time. I needed to make a change in my life and I was taken crabbing by my cousin and immediately loved it."
How did you turn your love of crabbing into an amazing business?
"I would say that others’ love of crabbing turned it into a business. Initially, I would go alone until there was interest for others to come out with me and then eventually the demand was so high that turning it into a business just made sense."
You’ve been ranked as one of the top four experiences in the world by AirBnB—what is it about your experience that makes it so memorable?
"I may be biased but I think everything about my experience is memorable. I try to take folks out of their comfort zones and that’s a hard time to forget for anyone. Honestly, I try to recreate the first time I ever experienced crabbing with every single one of my guests. Look at me, I quit my 20 year career to hopefully crab for the rest of my life. That is the biggest compliment that I could give to crabbing."
What’s your favorite part of your work?
"Definitely meeting people from all over and watching them fall in love with crabbing"
Have there been any obstacles that you’ve had to overcome as a female entrepreneur?
"There have always been obstacles no matter what. The biggest obstacle for me is believing in myself and just trusting the process. I may be the boss but I don’t have complete control over what happens. I feel like I just show up and the rest just happens. I can’t control the catch, the weather or if the folks will like it and somehow we haven’t had a bad time yet."
What’s the most rewarding part of sharing this experience with other people?
"It’s watching their reactions to the thing that turned my life upside down. I know how powerful crabbing is and I get to watch folks realize that every day. It’s priceless. Also, watching folks make the connection of where their food comes from."
Favorite way to enjoy crabs?
"Traditional crab boil or crack. Standing around the table cutting up with folks. It’s the best and it reminds me of good times with my family."
You’re a Charleston native — how would you spend a perfect day in the Lowcountry?
"I would either spend it on the water catching em up with my tribe or hitting a public access spot from land and seeing what I could find. Taking whatever I catch and driving around feeding my family. One of my favorite things is to catch some fish and go surprise an aunt or my momma with dinner."
Favorite Red Clay Product?
"Do I have to pick just one of the hot sauces? Haha."
Your favorite dish/recipe that you can share with us?
Steamed blue crabs- 12 crabs
1 steamer pot
1 can of beer
1 can of water
Apple cider vinegar (2 count)
Add ingredients to the steamer pot and turn on high heat.
Season crabs before adding to the pot.
Once hot and steaming, add crabs.
Steam for 12-15minutes. Stirring or mixing crabs around half way.
After 15 minutes, dump crabs and add more seasoning.
While the crabs are cooking prepare some butter. I can’t share that one but add all the same seasonings to the butter. Get to pickin and enjoy.
Where can the Red Clay community find/follow you?