About Kiawah Island Getaways

Our Story

Kiawah Island Getaways is a family-run business run by Shawn and Jeanette Lawson since 2001.

Chapter 1: Our Discovery of Kiawah Island

1978: Shawn's Parents Discover Kiawah

Shawn's mother discovered Kiawah from a Travel and Leisure article. When they stumbled upon Kiawah they enjoyed it so much they kept returning for annual vacations. They would rent a 2-bedroom Greenslake villa $500/week.

Kayakers glide through the tranquil marshes of Kiawah Island, enjoying the serene natural landscape.
1985: Our First Vacation on Kiawah

Shawn & I were living in Jefferson City, Missouri as recent graduates from the University of Missouri. We had just gotten married and decided to vacation to Kiawah in our VW Bug convertible.

Kiawah took our breath away. The beach was so brilliant it practically danced before my eyes. It was on this vacation that we decided to set our sights on moving to this fascinating place permanently.

A brown pelican perches on a wooden railing at Kiawah Island, close enough for a detailed observation.

Chapter 2: We Decided to Move to Kiawah Island

1988: We Officially Moved to Kiawah

It was not until 1988 that our dreams came true and our U-Haul rattled across the Kiawah Island bridge (at that time it was nothing more than a wood-planked bridge).

We rented a 1-bedroom villa. Shawn was so thrilled to be living on the island that he purchased the personalized license plate “KIAWAH”. We still have it today.

Twilight hues cast a glow on the beachfront properties of Kiawah Island, beckoning a relaxing escape.
1992: Built our Home and Started a Family

We began building our home on the island at 134 Conifer Lane. During the design phase, I gave birth to our first son Benjamin. He arrived 2 months early in an ambulance outside of the Kiawah Island Fire Station.

In 1994, Theodore, our 2nd son was born. Theodore had a more traditional birth on the 9th floor of the St. Francis Xavier Hospital, overlooking the Charleston rooftops on Calhoun Street.

Shawn and Jeanette, the friendly faces behind Kiawah Island Rentals, welcoming guests.
1999: We Moved to Charleston

Shawn and I discovered that raising kids on Kiawah was not so easy so, in 1999, we sold our home on Kiawah and moved to James Island (Charleston).

Historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, bathed in the warm glow of sunrise with palm trees lining the streets.

Chapter 3: The Birth of Kiawah Island Getaways

2001: We Purchased Our First Rental

After two years of seriously missing Kiawah, we purchased our first villa, a 1-bedroom, beachside Seascape (3563) and Kiawah Island Getaways was born.

Luxurious one-bedroom villa with oceanfront views through large windows, offering a cozy beachside retreat
2002 - 2006: KIG Expands

Once we got our feet wet with the villa rental business, it was a like a fever for us, and every year for six years straight, we purchased a villa.

We personally renovated each villa that we bought. We really enjoyed furnishing, decorating and maintaining the villas – not to mention the newfound fun of meeting and talking to all sorts of people about Kiawah.

Jeanette stands proudly in the midst of renovating their Shade villa, surrounded by exposed beams and wiring.
Jeanette during our Shade villa renovation.
2006: We Start Managing Other Properties

Because we really enjoyed what we did, other Kiawah Property Owners asked us to manage their properties, so in 2006, we expanded our business to include Kiawah properties owned by others.

Shawn, actively involved in the renovation process, removes old furniture from the penthouse to make way for the new.
Removing Old Furniture from Penthouse.
2007 - Present: The Rest Was History!

Our whole family loves Kiawah and running Kiawah Island Getaways is a true family-run business. We personally prepare each villa prior to your arrival – because we want your stay to be perfect. We want you to fall in love with Kiawah too…and we know you will!!

Dedicated cleaning crew ensuring pristine conditions at Kiawah Island Rentals.
Our Cleaning Crew After Cleaning for a Guest's Arrival.