Part I: Cool gift-giving ideas from some of Charlotte’s hippest stores
It’s that time of year again. Doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating Christmas, Chanukah or Winter Solstice, most Americans like to join in for the merriment of the holiday season by exchanging gifts with family members, good friends and their spouse or significant other.
We took a look around town, and after careful consideration picked six stores from among our favorites in the heart of Charlotte that have some of the best and most interesting gifts to offer.
Check them out…and don’t forget to tell them qnotes sent you! Best of all, stay tuned for our Nov. 24 and Dec. 8 print editions for more holiday gift-giving, shopping and decorating ideas.
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Boris and Natasha
1214 Thomas Ave.
Look for Boris & Natasha
A long-time Plaza-Midwood staple for funky clothing and accessories, Boris and Natasha boasts a bevy of just about everything a fashionista could desire and is clearly a definite must see if you’re shopping for a hard-to-buy-for closet hoarder. Look for high-end alternative clothing from such celebrated labels as Double Zero and French Connection. For affordable style with a funky flair, be sure to check out the store’s collection of inspired scarves and other accessories. When it comes to high style foot wear for both men and women, Boris and Natasha is the place to go for Jeffrey Campbell shoes. Don’t miss out on the Dec. 8 trunk showing of leather goods and knitted and crocheted items (by local artists) to pick up a gift like no other.
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City Supply Company
1219 Thomas Ave.
City Supply Company is a long-time Plaza-Midwood business specializing in unusual items, ranging from original retro furniture, to new retro-inspired and minimalist home furnishings and accessories. In addition to a large assortment of unusual and comedic seasonal cards, you’ll find much more that’s suitable for anyone on your holiday shopping list: Voluspa candles, a vast assortment of unique Christmas ornaments, stunning jewelry for both men and women and a selection of prints by local artist David French.
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Green With Envy
1111 Central Ave.
Formerly known as D.I. Central, the company’s owners and address are the same, but now they’ve got a new name, as well as a collection of new goods, including clothing and jewelry for both men and women, bath supplies, garden supplies, stationary and original works by local artists.
Among the many good gift ideas available for the person-that-has-everything are candles, clear stained glass picture frames, a tasty selection of standard and exotic chocolates, gourmet popcorn, Moravian cookies and (get this) microwaveable pork rinds (available in cinnamon and barbecue flavors)!
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330 East Blvd.
Paper Skyscraper has been a favorite holiday shopping destination in the LGBT community for many years. Home furnishing accessories, kitschy parlor games and quirky novelty toys for adult kids, fun gift cards and a huge library of stylish coffee table books and tomes on unusual, hard-to-find topics are just a portion of what Paper Skyscraper has to offer.
Check out this selection of store favorites: a shoe wine caddy, designed to hold one bottle of wine and shaped like a full-sized lady’s high heel pump; handmade soy candles made by the Charlotte-based Ella B. Pure Soy Candles with scents and names inspired by Charlotte’s favorite ‘hoods and Charlotte skyline marble coasters and ornaments made exclusively for Paper Skyscraper, which feature a color rendering of the skyline screen-printed onto marble.
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The Rat’s Nest
442 East 36th St.
See The Rat’s Nest on Facebook
The Rat’s Nest is a relative newcomer to the line-up of unique and unusual retail stores in Charlotte. Located in NoDa, the store carries a collection of all things funky and vintage: furniture, clothing and accessories, household items ranging from kitchen appliances to electronics such as working antique televisions, radios and even record and eight-track tape players. And, if you’re looking for vintage kicks, The Rat’s Nest’s collection of men’s and women’s cowboy boots will give your spurs a nice complement. If you want to take a loved one back in time for the holidays, The Rat’s Nest is the place to go.
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920 Central Ave.
For nearly three decades, White Rabbit has proudly served North Carolina’s LGBT community as the premier shopping destination for those seeking LGBT-themed books, clothing, Pridewear and more. With its new and brightly-painted building on Central Ave., you can’t miss this store. Stop in to peruse through its massive selection of stylish underwear from brands Andrew Christian, Cell Block 13, Timoteo, Private Structure, Greg Homme, Pistol Pete, Nasty Pig, Junk Jeans and more. If you have a movie lover on your list, check out the store’s selection of unique LGBT-themed DVDs. Rainbow-inspired gifts and other odds and ends round out the store’s products, along with their selection of movies, toys and magazines of a more adult-like flair.
Store and product photos: Matt Comer
Illustration: vectorcard.com, licensed under Creative Commons.