Stretch your creativity – and show you care – this Valentine’s Day by thinking outside of the box. A gift chosen with the individual in mind means much more than candy, flowers or jewelry grabbed at the last minute. Here are a few suggestions to jump-start your Valentine shopping at places where you’ll find unique, locally made items to please any taste.
The Boulevard At South End
1440 S Tryon St. #100
Charlotte, NC 28203
Existing at the intersection of art, décor, fashion and ecology, the Boulevard stocks locally-sourced objects created by community artisans. Many of the offerings, which range from clothing, jewelry and accessories to furniture and home décor, are created from repurposed materials. The four owners select their stock with a discerning eye while encouraging local talent. There are gifts here for everyone, including man cave décor like candles in repurposed beer bottles and lights made from liquor bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Related: Best Giftshops In Charlotte
Harper’s Restaurant Group
1228 E Morehead St. #100
Charlotte, NC 28204
Why take your honey out to one dinner when you could ensure a full year of culinary togetherness? With a Get Cookin’ gift card from the Harpers Group, you and your partner can sign up for a wide variety of cooking classes. Taught by the chefs at Mimosa Grill, Upstream and Zink, three of the city’s top eateries, the classes each include tastings of the evening’s menu, beer, wine or other beverages and recipes to take home. You can mix and match your classes at any of the three restaurants, where monthly offerings range through a variety of cuisines from sushi to barbecue.
The Old Mecklenburg Brewery
215 Southside Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217
Upgrade your sweetheart’s beer appreciation with a gift basket from Charlotte’s own Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Its hand-crafted German-style microbrews are gaining fans, even scoring an appearance on Showtime’s “Homeland” series. Baskets include your choice of OMB logo hats, tee-shirts and other apparel, branded OMB glassware and beer accessories, plus a bottle or two of the good stuff. For avid brewdogs, schedule a private tour of the city’s oldest and largest brewery.
1820 South Blvd., Suite 200
If steampunk is your favorite dress-up fantasy, shop at this second story boutique, next to the Pewter Rose, for accessories sure to bring out the Sherlock in you and your loved one. Vintage keys, watches and charms given fresh life by local artisans make unique fashion statements. The array of gifts spins through bouquets of antique buttons, doorknob bottle stoppers, luxury candles and much more. Mojo guitar picks, crafted from silver quarters and other coins, make perfect gifts for that special Mr. Somebody.
Wooden Stone Gallery
445 S Main St., Suite 200
Davidson, NC 28036
Choose from a wide selection of hand-crafted art that is both beautiful and functional at this shop on Davidson’s Main Street. Clean lines and classic materials are the appeal of the unique pottery, wood, glass and other items stocked here. Men and women at home in the kitchen will appreciate the wooden utensils, bowls and crocks crafted from West Virginia hardwoods by Allegheny Treenware, operated by a couple who began their romance in the coal mines. Other gifts include ingenious jewelry, wall hangings, and home décor, many created by local artists.
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 Examiner.com.