Shopping & Style

Best Places For Handmade Gifts In Charlotte

December 3, 2013 7:00 AM

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Handmade gifts (Credit: Catherine Lash)
Charlotte abounds in creative talent, and in recent years, increasing numbers of artists and artisans put their works out there for others to enjoy – and buy. These unique items make the perfect gifts, in addition to supporting the local economy and, in many cases, charities doing good works. In addition, many artisans now follow an eco-friendly ethic, using repurposed and recycled materials in their crafts. This list includes spots where you’ll find a wide variety of unique, handmade gift items for every name on your list. For additional suggestions, see the related article: “Best Places To Buy Homemade Gifts In Charlotte.”
Atherton Mill And Market
2104 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(800) 662-7212

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, the Atherton Market in South End is chock full of handmade items. In addition to fresh produce and locally produced breads, honey, candies, pastries, pastas and pickles, vendors here offer some great gift options including roasted nuts, homesteading items such as bread cloches and apple bakers, hand-crafted cast iron cookware, all-natural soaps and skin care products and terrariums. The Market hosts many events in the weeks leading up to the holidays, including special sales, visits from Santa and wine tastings. You can buy your holiday wreaths and other décor here as well.Related: Best Gift Shops In Charlotte

The Boulevard At South End
1440 S. Tryon St., Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 219-7526
www.blvdatsouthend.comNamed Charlotte’s best place to find locally made gifts by local pundits, the Boulevard is a fun spot to shop with many one-of-a-kind gifts for the whole family. Some 40 different vendors display their products in this store on South Tryon at Clement, including CBS-affiliate WBTV anchorwoman Molly Grantham who sells items made from recycled wine corks. Jennifer Branham, one of the owners of Boulevard, operates her own “eco chic” boutique, Natural Luxe, offering repurposed and Fair Trade-sourced clothing, jewelry and other gifts. Items, artistically grouped by Branham and her partners, change regularly, but look for cards, baby items, hand-painted furniture, kitchen accessories, hand-knitted sweaters and Charlotte-specific gifts among the eclectic mix. Many vendors here donate a portion of their profits to charity.

Lark And Key Gallery And Boutique
128 E. Park Ave., Suite B
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 334-4616

This lovely gallery in Charlotte’s South End features handmade arts and crafts from local, regional and national artists, displayed in a museum-like setting. Owners Sandy Snead and Duy Huynh, a married couple who are both artists themselves, carefully select the items their gallery offers, including contemporary paintings, pottery and jewelry. Huynh is himself a studio artist, and his contemplative, dreamlike paintings are on display here. Snead oversees the shop and displays some of her own handcrafted jewelry. Exhibitions change monthly. Lark and Key participates in the First Friday South End Art Crawls.
Ruby’s Gift
3204 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 900-2389
www.rubysgift.comLocated in the former Center of the Earth Gallery spot in the heart of NoDa, Ruby’s Gift features the work of over 100 local artists and artisans in a warm and welcoming setting. Jewelry, a particular passion for owner Patricia, forms the core of the collection, but there is much more here, with a special section devoted to children. Local artworks line the walls, while those looking for unique gifts will find everything from hand-crafted leather items to stuffed animals made from recycled sweaters. Each item and artist has a story, often devoted to a charitable cause. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by next door at Pura Vida Worldly Art, featuring handmade Fair Trade arts and crafts from traditional cultures around the globe.

Rusty Rabbit Design
2902 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 706-9503
www.rustyrabbitdesign.comThis fun shop across from Heist Brewery in NoDa displays the creative imagination of owner Shameem Dockins, Charlotte’s muse of reuse. Fanciful furniture, jewelry, chandeliers, wine racks and other home décor are all made from salvaged items Dockins and her fiancé find in junkyards, scrap heaps and along the side of the road. Given the Dockins treatment, each piece is repurposed into a unique work of art, perfect for gift giving. A special collection of gifts for pets includes one-of-a-kind dog bowls, collars made of salvaged leather and “Brew Bonz” dog treats baked on-site from grains left over from beer-making at NoDa breweries.

Related: Best Places To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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