As the holiday season quickly approaches, for many it’s time to start thinking about gathering gifts and presents for friends and loved ones.
As a little background, I grew up in Cary, NC and my parents have been living in Cary since the early nineties.
The Triangle Area has gone through a ton of changes in the last few decades. This includes an increased population, more housing developments, tech industries entering the area and more stores.
The rise of online shopping has also severely increased.
These developments have in many ways overshadowed and threatened the existence of locally owned small businesses throughout the area.
If you are looking for some great locally owned stores, I have highlighted some of my favorites in the Raliegh and Cary area. Hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Location: 212 E Franklin St, Raleigh, NC 27604
If you are looking for gifts that are unique, modern and well made– this duo is perfect when shopping for that person you are unsure what they would like. These stores truly have something for everyone.
This family-owned business has a wide collection of clothing, jewelry, beauty products and oddities. In Unlikely Professionals they also make a collection of handmade leather goods.
They are located right across the street from one another, and their collections complement each other beautifully.
Not to mention, the stores are absolutely stunning. Great decor and friendly staff make the shopping experience that much more enjoyable.
They also have a great online store where you can look at their products in the comfort of your own home.
Location: 719 N Person St, Raleigh, NC 27604
Located right next to the Unlikely Professionals, this lovely little bookstore is a great place for some peaceful reading and shopping.
Airy and open, this store is a breath of fresh air in the shopping experience.
Although it has a relatively small collection of books in-store it has a great range of genres including fantasy, cookbooks, children’s books and poetry.
Location: 117 W Chatham St, Cary, NC 27511
Nestled in the heart of downtown Cary this plant shop has a great assortment of greenery, pots and accessories for indoor house plants.
I have yet to find a plant shop that is as beautiful and diverse as this one. They have a great selection of plants, from airplants to succulents to large leafy plants.
The other element I love about this shop is that all the plants are very healthy.
A brief disclaimer, I do not have the biggest green thumb. However, I have brought many different types of plants from this shop and all of them have been healthy, happy and have survived for years.
Sometimes you can buy plants that are unknowing already dying and have been mistreated, but that is not the case at this shop.
The shop is run by a mother and son duo– the son has a degree in Horitculture from the University of Georgia. It is clear upon entering this store that the owners deeply care about growing great plants and sharing their passion.
Location: 200 S Academy St, Cary, NC 27511
Also located in downtown Cary, this gallery space is a great opportunity to admire and purchase locally made art and crafts.
Every time I go here, I have been greeted by the sweetest staff. It is a pleasant experience to look at the galleries even if you are not looking to purchase.
They support and showcase dozens of local artists; this shop is yet another unique experience.
Location: 1255 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC 27511
Last but certainly not least, has been one of my favorite shops as a kid. This toy story and science education center has been in Cary for decades.
Defined by their friendly staff, science classes and unique toys, this shop is great for finding gifts for the younger relatives and siblings.
They also have live animals in store, including an iguana, chinchilla, turtles, frogs and fish. This shop is extremely unique.
They also offer free giftwrapping and offer personalized shopping closer to the holiday season.