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"Shop Small Saturday" Charlotte, NC Edition

Looking for small, locally owned businesses to shop at and support in the city of Charlotte? You're in the right place. In this post I'm sharing how I spent my Saturday shopping with small businesses throughout the city. Join me as I visit new and established local spots that you'll definitely want to try in the near future.

Spring is slowly starting to break and the sun is shining brighter and longer which gives us the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the beautiful city of Charlotte.

This past Saturday that's exactly what I did (on a whim) and surprisingly, this adventure was not inspired by a glass of wine.


After my morning stretching session at Kika Stretch Studios I wasn’t quite ready to go home so I thought, to myself, "Self, why not turn this day into “Small Business Saturday?” (Random thought, I'm aware, but hey, I just went with it.)


So, I decided to drive around the city and “shop small” with local businesses and see what kind of epic-ness I could get into.


 

KIKA Stretch Studios


I started my day with a customized stretching session at KIKA Stretch Studios, Charlotte.


The Kika Stretch experience was extraordinary!

Kika Stretch Studios offers assisted stretching sessions with a certified instructor.


Yep, you read that right, a dedicated specialist who helps you get that full, deep stretch with their super gentle technique. (Wooo-saaah)


They use the KIKA Method® at the studio and some of the benefits of these sessions include the relief of stress and tension in the muscles and throughout the entire body.


Absolutely divine! (*eyes roll to back of head.)

Saturday was my first experience and it helped to relieve a lot of lower back pain that I have been experiencing due to excessive sitting while working from home.


I left feeling a remarkable amount of relief and even felt a few years younger 😊 (a total win considering I just celebrated a birthday!) LOL


After feeling these incredible results with just a 25-min session, I can only imagine the impact a full 45 mins session will have on my wellbeing.


KIKA Stretch Studio is new to Charlotte and located in the South End area. It’s a black-owned business owned by the lovely husband and wife duo, Larry and Sheris Rice.

My certified stretch instructor, Tammy, is nothing short of a miracle worker! I can’t wait to see her again in a few weeks.


Oh yes, trust and believe I purchased a 10 – session stretch package. My health and wellness goals are a top priority and this place is a part of that plan!

And that, my dear friends, is what inspired my “Shop Small Saturday” adventure that ended up lasting until Sunday evening. A little dose of self-care/muscle and tension relieving stretch session was all I needed.

 

Mac Tabby Cat Café


My next stop was Mac Tabby Cat Café for a nice cup of “bean” (most of you call it coffee, I call it bean).


Mac Tabby is not just your average coffee shop, it’s actually Charlotte’s first cat café.


Yep, it's true. This coffee shop has a “cat lounge” where you can actually pay to spend time with adoptable cats.


And get this, in addition to coffee, the shop serves a variety of craft beers and wine.


Cats + beer & wine = GENIUS!

The owner of the place, Lori, has loved cats all her life. A few years ago she was looking to do something to help cats on a larger scale so she and her family set a goal and opened this café that has been helping homeless cats ever since! Awesome concept, right?


Mac Tabby Cat Café can be found in the heart of NoDa. While there you can vibe to the smooth, rhythmic music playing in the background.


You can check their site for the hows, whys, and other details about the place. I absolutely love their story... and their coffee.

 

Curio, Craft & Conjure


Directly across from Mac Tabby’s is one of my favorite shops in Charlotte. Curio, Craft and Conjure is a shop owned by two amazing women who I absolutely adore!

Gina and Gianna Spriggs are a mother daughter duo who opened this shop a few years ago and it has been my happy place ever since!


I get all my crystals, sage, incense and palo santo from here.


"One of the things I love most is that they hand-make some of the items they offer there which, in my opinion, makes them extra special." - Rue

The energy, the vibe, the music... everything is on point in this shop.


Be sure to drop by this black-owned business right in the heart of NoDa for all your energy-work tools and check their website to find out more about the different services they offer.

 

Makeba Loving Hands


A trip to NoDa would not be a trip to NoDa without stopping to buy candles from Makeba at Loving Hands.


Makeba is a street vendor you can find near the corner of North Davidson and 36th street.

Makeba has been there every weekend for as long as I can remember her candles are everything.


They are hand-poured, 100% soy and gives you the cleanest burn you could ever desire from a candle.


I learned this weekend that Makeba will soon be moving her business to Asheville, NC, but she will be in NoDa for the rest of the month so be sure to stop by and stock up!

 

Popcorn Heaven


Around 1PM I got a bit hungry and being on day 19 of my “No restaurant/eat from home Challenge” I wanted to head home to grab some food.


So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a cute little place called Popcorn Heaven in Steele Creek. Trust me the name says it all.

This shop just opened on February 13, 2021 and sells assorted flavors of gourmet popcorn.


They have a huge variety of flavors, both sweet and savory, and for the adventurous type… combinations of both.


The flavors I chose for my first rodeo were :Dill," (which was so yummy it didn’t even make it out of the parking lot), "Ranch," because, let's be honest ranch makes everything better, and "Fruity," because it was too pretty to leave behind.

You can order this gourmet popcorn in store and online and in both small and large quantities.


As the self-proclaimed queen of parties and gatherings, I personally think its a great idea for parties, weddings, graduations and other events. Such a creative, and delicious, way to entertain guests!

 

Mountain Brook Vineyards


Last, but definitely not least, There's Mountain Brook Vineyards.


Although this place isn’t in Charlotte, and I didn’t visit it on Saturday, it is definitely worth writing about. After all, what would thevinochronicles.com be without talking about a little vino!

I finished my “shop small” weekend at the beautiful Mountain Brook Vineyards! Located less than 1.5 hours from Charlotte, this is one of the most beautiful and accommodating vineyards that I have visited in North Carolina.


My favorite part about Mountain Brook, besides the wine of course, were the firepits!


They have individual fire pits that seat up to 4 guests for their private, self-led wine tastings. Out of this world!

They offer 2 different tastings:


One flight of wines is made from North Carolina grown grapes while the other flight was made from California grown grapes. They are all on the dry side so be prepared to challenge you palate if you're not into that kind of thing.


I know what you want to know... which was my favorite? Drum roll please…


I actually liked the Cabernet Sauvignon that was made with the North Carolina grapes. Who knew!?

Wine tasting tip: "It doesn't matter how much it costs or what someone else's favorite is, the most important thing about enjoying a bottle of wine is that the taste suits your palate!" - Rue Hite

Everyone who worked at Mountain Brook was so incredibly nice knowledgeable and welcoming, especially Benjamin, who was our wine expert for the day.


With this place being so close to Charlotte, I plan on going back very soon.


There are other vineyards in the area so I’ll try those on the next visit as well. And you now I will bring back all the deets. (*snaps fingers)


So there you have it. What started off as a 25-min morning stretching session turned into a full day of shopping small and exploring Charlotte’s local business scene. A typical day in the life of yours truly.


So tell me, what’s your favorite local business in Charlotte? Share them with me in the comments so I can try some new places!



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