Any of my friends will tell you that I’m not a shopper…AT ALL. I think it’s because I don’t easily spend money. I look at every single price tag. Obsess over whether it’s too expensive or not. Wonder if I can find it cheaper somewhere else. Maybe there’s a coupon that I’m missing?! And so on and so forth. It really is not very enjoyable for me to shop IF I’m spending my own money, OR if I’m having to buy clothes (because my fluctuating weight is the bane of my existence). BUT, I love to browse, and look, and pick things up and put them together, especially if it’s decor-based! Here are some of my favorite places to shop in the Queen City, for a myriad of reasons.
- Julies Boutique…this is my favorite clothing store. The pieces are affordable, the staff is helpful (they tell me how thin I look no matter what), and there is always SOMETHING I end up loving when I go there (jewelry always fits, #amiright)! My favorite location is at Park Road Shopping Center, even though we have a few in our area.
- Target…I know everyone knows what Target is, but it deserves a mention in this space because I’m always there! And also because I don’t know why everyone doesn’t have a RED CARD. You’re probably asked each time if you want to sign up for one, and you decline because you think it’s a credit card with a bill you have to pay monthly. It’s not. It’s a debit card, and takes straight from your bank account, but gets you 5% off of everything! No bill. No fees. Nothing. When you combine that with the cartwheel app, good deals, and any other coupons you may have, you can rack up the savings! So please take a moment to listen to the cashier, and get yourself a red card STAT.
- At Home…This place is the former Garden Ridge! I am obsessed with At Home because they have so much random stuff! You can get furniture, organizational tools, cookbooks, Christmas ornaments, mattresses, candles, and even luggage! And that’s just in the first 10 minutes of being there 🙂 I also like that their shopping carts have places for TWO kids to sit up front, so there’s that #protip.
- IKEA…I realize everyone has heard of IKEA, BUT often times people don’t know about the kid zone or awesome lunch deals they offer! If your kid is between 37″ and 54″ tall and potty trained, they can stay in Smaland (Small-land I believe) for up to 45 minutes. It’s obviously not a TON of time, but it allows you to shop without distractions if you know exactly what you need to pickup. And they also have an awesome Swedish restaurant, where the kids meals are $2.49, and on TUESDAYS, two kids eat free with the purchase of one adult entree!!! Oh, and make sure you sign up for the the IKEA Family card (it’s free), as you’ll get even better deals on lots of things you buy!
- Bonita Pina…This one is super close to my heart because the company was started by one of my best friends, Kristin Timmerman (and her hubby Matt), after a trip to Guatemala changed their lives! Bonita Pina focuses on selling hand-made, fair-trade goods, from female artisans around the world! They have Bonita Pina which showcases their jewelry and accessories, and Kalibri, which is their bag line (coming to the online store soon). Go to the website and check all of the gorgeous goodies out, and buy me something nice 😉
- Blis…This is an awesome gift boutique uptown, located in Founders Hall in the Bank of America building. Every time I go in there, I find ten things I want, and even a few I need 😉 If you’re looking for a gift, no matter the age, Blis has it, from kids toys and books, to aprons and candles. But the best part?! They gift wrap for you on the spot, and THAT is fabulous customer service in my opinion!
- Charlotte Premium Outlets…This one is obvious, one would think, but I still find that people don’t know that we have outlets now?!!! You used to have to go to Gaffney or Blowing Rock to get your outlet fix, but now it’s just off exit 4 on 485! The outlet stores themselves have great deals, there’s a marketplace with four food offerings, AND a starbucks kiosk in the middle! And if you’re a breastfeeding mom looking for a comfortable place to feed, there’s a nice nursing room located in the marketplace’s bathrooms! Hours are Mon-Sat 10am-9pm and Sun 10am-7pm.
- KiKi’s Cottage…Located in downtown Pineville, near my old cakery, and right next to Anders Ruff Workshop, this furniture shop is one of my faves to look at when needing “that one special piece,” without breaking the bank! And walk around the quaint little downtown area of Pineville while you’re there! There are a few antique shops, Flipside Cafe, Pintville, Global Restaurant, Flower Diva, Cupcake Delirium, and much more!!!
- Nadeau…Another one of my favorite places for furniture and accessories! They specialize in affordable wood pieces that have been painted (I especially love their use of bold colors), and have something for everyone! They are packed to the gills with pieces, so it’s tight to walk around, but you can see everything because it’s well-organized. The staff is incredibly helpful, whether it’s loading a piece in your car, helping you measure an item, or giving an opinion on which piece to go with when you struggle to decide.