For the holidays, I love purchasing as much as I can from local small businesses & artisans. Even if you're not from my area (Raleigh, NC), many of these stores have online shops, or you can look around your area for some great local options! When you shop local, you help someone's real dreams come true, you help someone's real bills get paid, and you foster richer economic growth in your community!
Nestled in the side streets of Gleenwood South, The Flourish Market is providing sustainable, on-trend clothing and accessories with a purpose. They "partner with 40 brands that work all over the world, providing dignified jobs and fair wages to inspiring artisans and makers in vulnerable communities." Em, the owner, is one of the most passionate and kind people I've had the privilege of meeting, and I try to send people her way as much as I can.
Cageless Birds is the creative family/community surrounding worship leaders/songwriters Jonathan David & Melissa Helser, based in the Triad of NC. They create beautiful handmade goods, have discipleship schools, and curate the Cultivate interactive magazines. I ask for one of their handmade leather journals every year twice a year, for my birthday and Christmas. I imagine my kids and grandkids finding & flipping through the sturdy, timeless pages bound in natural leather, and also love that all the pages are unlined. I also highly recommend Maker Coffee which they roast/package on their land, as well as the Cultivate magazine! Shop via their online store.
Sola is a coffee, cafe, and shoplet in North Raleigh with a strong love for community and their neighborhood. Not only do they have delicious high-quality coffee and yummy food, but they often have live music and pop-up markets, which so many people love! They usually try to keep their markets close to major gift-giving holidays, so keep your eyes peeled for a Holiday market. But if you miss that, peruse some of the goods they keep on-hand in the store all the time.
4. Edge of Urge / Lumina / Yellow Dog
So, these are three different shops, but I like to think of them as a trifecta for those visiting in person. You need to go to all 3, as they are all right beside each other! Edge of Urge is a store mostly for ladies, carrying all sorts of lovely & quirky giftables including local jewelry, accessories, clothing, paper goods, & trinkets. Next door is Lumina, the mostly-for-men store perfectly curated for the style-and-utility conscious man. Think oodles of leather goods, all-natural beard oils, weather-proof pocket notebooks, artisan pocket knives, wood-smelling candles, and general adventuring & outdoorsy spirit. Then you'll want to go grab a coffee, pastry, & loaf of fresh bread at Yellow Dog Bread Co. Their sweet bread loafs & gift cards make great hostess gifts!
Another situation where if you go to one, you need to go to both! They're right beside each other and bring strong retail presence to the Boylan area of downtown. Bryan, manager at Holder, has curated a beautiful, fascinating, and warm collection of vintage, antique, modern, and handmade items perfect for gifting to those with a keen eye for design. John loves the pocket knives with handles made of antlers, and I have found a few great books including a vintage Trees of NC booklet, as well as some turkish towels. And please, please, PLEASE go do yourself the biggest favor and pop into Boulted next door. They were voted one of the best croissants in America by Food & Wine (and having traveled all through Europe, I can say they rival anything I had from their bakeries!), they grind their flour on site, and I haven't tried one pastry that I don't love! Try the chocolate croissant or morning bun if it's your first time!
Are you located in Raleigh? What do you think of these picks? Have any more to add?
If you're not local, where are you from? What are some of your favorite local shops in your area?