Local Spotlight: Charlotte Collective

Local Spotlight: Charlotte Collective

Collective- col·lec·tive

When used as an adjective, it means “done by people acting as a group”. As a noun it’s defined as “a cooperative enterprise”.

Charlotte Collective fulfills that textbook definition and more. This shop is a retail experience showcasing so many of Charlotte’s small businesses that we often see online, at pop-ups, or within other stores around the city. They have created a beautiful retail space, an anchor for the community, and a supportive space for each other as well.

With the work of local makers, creatives, and passionate entrepreneurs splayed across this prime location in Plaza Midwood; 1222 Central Ave, you automatically feel that you’re walking into something so much bigger than yourself. You’re supporting someone’s dream as you’re shopping through the items for your closet, home, technology, and more!

I got to take a look into the Plaza Midwood location before the grand opening. As I walked into the space, the sun was flooding in through the large garage doors putting an instant smile on my face. I was ready to learn more about where this concept came from and get a behind the scenes look at all the work that’s been put in to get here.

When I reached out to my friend, Amy from Worthy Figures, I couldn’t help but jump right in. She explained that this concept all started out of chance. Although Area 15 in NODA is a close comparison, she has always identified a need for an incubator spot for small businesses to test out having a small shop of their own. When the opportunity came in South End, she jumped at it quickly and started building her list of businesses to bring with her. This list being made up of entrepreneurs and creatives met on the pop up market scene for almost two years.

When looking at the line up, I couldn’t help but then ask a few of the business owners why they took the leap with Charlotte Collective. Lauren, the owner, creative and maker behind Feminist Goods Co., said “At the core of everything I do is the drive to create a community and safe space for womxn to be exactly who they are. For me, Charlotte Collective makes sense because it provides the opportunity to pull together and collaborate with other CLT businesses I love and founders that I admire to create a space where we can build closer relationships with our customers and community! Also, as a plaza Midwood area resident I LOVE that I get to be part of our neighborhood culture.

Talk about a mission. It seems that the biggest overall goal for this space is to give small business owners the opportunity to have a store front without all the risk or expense. To connect with their customers in person and to grow a community not just with their customers, but with each other. It’s a task they all commit to. Amy noting that the biggest obstacle being the time commitment. Some of these businesses have full-time jobs- talk about hustle! If their mission didn’t sell you on taking a visit, I truly hope their hard-work, hustle, and passion do. The collaboration that goes on to run a store with 16 different small business is no small feat.

Alley, the powerhouse behind The Alley Way Market, confirmed how comforting the concept of the Charlotte Collective is. She said, “I joined Charlotte Collective because my dream has always been to have a brick and mortar shop! At this point in my business I wouldn’t be able to afford a solo stand alone shop.  So when this opportunity came around I knew it would be perfect for my business.  What I didn’t realize is how much I would learn from all the other business owners! It has been a great experience being around like minded people..

I shopped my way through the store grabbing more than I’d like to admit. More than anything though, I left inspired. It takes a lot for a small business to take a leap on physical retail space. For all of them to come together to make each other’s dreams come just a bit more true can’t leave you anything but inspired.

Here are the brands at the Charlotte Collective along with their Instagram!

Feminist Goods Co.| Glory Days Apparel| Golden Reeds| LA Suds| Pretty Honest Candles| Rachel Tenny| Shani Amara| TayFlower| The Alley Way Market| Winnie’s Boutique| Worthy + Badass| Worthy Figures| The Cactus Club| Cosmic Creativ| Elise Design Company

Their official grand opening is tomorrow, July 13th from 10am to 8pm! You can RSVP here. I’ll also link all of their social media stuff below as usual so you can follow their journey. Their normal hours of operation will be Tuesday- Friday 11am to 7pm, Saturday 11am to 8pm, and Sunday 11am to 6pm.

Do not sleep on this CLT shop- keep an eye out for what’s to come for Charlotte Collective. They may be small businesses, but there’s nothing small about their passion, business savvy, hustle and impact within the Charlotte community.

You can follow their journey here: Website | Instagram | Facebook

As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time.

xx Alicia

Local Spotlight: Worthy + Badass

Local Spotlight: Worthy + Badass

Worthy + Badass, what a name right? Well it’s not just a name it’s a movement, it’s a passion, and it’s Justine. Justine is the Boss Babe behind this killer business and brand! Worthy + Badass is a local small business that creates a collection of minimalistic jewelry and stationery. She also partners with other creatives on her site, teaches classes, and tries to expand her offerings constantly; like to “badass” t-shirts and NC state Christmas ornaments. I actually found Justine through Instagram with her necklaces and then was able to connect at a Girl Tribe pop-up before attending her event.

More about her later, but let me tell you why I chose this business to feature! I was lucky enough to attend an event and photoshoot held by Justine on the 4th of January. I walked into the building and instantly heard music and laughter. I entered the room and saw a DJ, Photographers, and Hair and Makeup artists- all volunteering. Volunteering their time for a day to make women feel powerful, beautiful, and well, worthy. Balloons on the floor, jewelry displayed, and women everywhere. Women of all ages, races, and from different paths of life. It was the most beautiful and overwhelming first take I have had at an event in a long time. An event that completely embodied the message it pitched.

Justine, picture by LunahZon

Before I got my chance in front of the camera…which was hysterical and fun, I pulled Justine aside. If you ever get the chance to meet her, you’ll know who she is as her warmth radiates through the room and makes you instantly comfortable. So why did she build w + b? Two years ago after she came back from Basic, she wanted to rebrand the company she had into something that defined her more now than it did before. She opened up about her struggles and how building her business from a passion project helped her cope and grow. This rebrand whole heartedly represented how she now felt in the world and how she wanted to make more women feel.

I asked her to describe w + b in three words. Simple. Quality. Powerful. I attest to those words. I love my state necklace I have because it is simple and beautiful, I wear it often. It’s made of quality materials and if you haven’t gotten the feels already, this business has a powerful message.

Now the hard question, I asked her to describe herself in three words and I loved it. Badass. Innovative. Determined, although she more eloquently said “Bulldozer” first! My favorite answer from Justine though was when I asked her about her inspiration. All of her stamps for her collection come from a personal place. Each symbolizes something so personal, especially the butterfly and bee necklaces. The minute she started to answer the question, she lit up even more and you could tell that she puts so much of herself into her craft. She’s a hustler and she’s a fighter.

Picture by LunahZon

I was inspired and empowered by this event. I connected with women and listened to their stories. There was a flood of joy that washed over you at that event! It was a no brainer that I would feature Worthy + Badass. Justine has a stamping event coming up for Valentine’s Day as well as a few events TBD that she hinted at. She also does custom work if you’re looking for a gift for someone special or to treat yourself! Make sure you follow her and support her journey. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

I wanted to share something with you guys that Justine asked each woman to share which evoked a lot of thought for me. “What makes you worthy + badass?” In short, my spirit and story makes me worthy + badass. In my life I have been tested often and failed some, but with each challenge I learned more about myself. I gained confidence and I learned my value. I found my worth sometimes in the darkest of struggles I faced. My story is still a work in progress, but you can bet that with each struggle I’ll have a story for it. A story that will be full of my accomplishments, failures, and most importantly, my lessons. A story that will embody my resilience and toughness- dare I say badass-ness . I could be more specific, but this isn’t the post for it. So I hope this small piece of myself is enough of a window into my soul.

Ask yourself the same question and own whatever comes to mind. You are worthy and you’re a badass, in case you needed someone to remind you!

So will you guys be checking out Worthy + Badass? Let me know if you do! Have a local place or business you want me to check out? Make sure you reach out to let me know and you might just see it as a local spotlight! As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you next time.

xx Alicia

Christmas For The Small Business Supporter

Another gift guide and this time with a giveaway! For this third Christmas guide I wanted to share some of my favorite small businesses with you. I have had questions on why I love small business so much and my short answer is because I was fully engulfed in that community in college. I helped start a small business and worked with local small businesses in Potsdam, NY everyday! Small business truly means a lot to me and I want to share that with you guys! 

So here are some of my gift suggestions from small businesses that I have purchased from, experienced, and love. These are the small businesses that you can choose from for a chance at a $50 gift card. Check out my Instagram post to know how to enter: here!

VeztonGirl Tribe/ Simple & Sentimental/ Charlotte Candle Company/ Daniel’s Custom Gifts/ Teals Prairie & Co./ MikayLove/ Cotton & Clay Co./ 704/ Worthy Figures/ Crowned Sparrow Craft Co. / Skillpop/ Hadley Designs

These are just a handful of small businesses I love and I’m always trying to feature new ones I find. Remember to check out the giveaway on my Instagram page, it’ll be open until the 12th of December!

My next Christmas shopping guide will be on Monday so look out for that as well. Good luck for those of you that enter and I’ll see you next time! 

xx Alicia

Local Spotlight: Brows by Hilary

Today I am sharing my experience with Hilary at Brows by Hilary! Hilary is the boss babe behind this small business that she started in 2017 after taking a leap of faith. Hilary is based in Charlotte and has a large list of services that she provides. I’m already eyeing a few for the upcoming holidays! I found her through Google and Charlotte Agenda and her reviews speak for themselves. I needed a serious self care day, so I booked an appointment for a facial and to have my eyebrows waxed and she definitely delivered! 

Walking into her space I immediately felt relaxed. We went over past experiences and what I wanted out of the appointment. I should tell you that the last time I got a facial, it was so painful and not enjoyable at all! That was in 2016 and I haven’t wanted to get one until now. I wanted to treat myself and refresh my skin now that I follow a skincare routine. I told her my worries and she was quick to address them and put me at ease. We also talked about my skincare routine and how skin only gets better through diet, water intake, and more. 

When I got time to just look around the space, you feel like you’re in your own spa. It is decorated so minimally, but in the most beautiful way with golds and whites. You walk into the room and the smell warms you. 

When the appointment began, she would explain the type of wax she was using and why while also asking what I liked and disliked about my brows so she knew what to do with them. I felt like I was in good hands right away. When it came time for the facial, I was already so relaxed that I was excited. Every step taken during my facial was so enjoyable and refreshing. From the oils to the hot towels, I was in heaven. Hilary has an air about her that was so relatable, but professional. We talked about our personal lives as well as business and each time she spoke, you could tell the pure love she has for this business. 

If I had to pick the one thing I loved most about this experience, it was Hilary herself. She takes pride in her work and making you feel good by the end of the appointment. She answers all your questions, ensures you’re comfortable, will provide suggestions, and is extremely personable. I would say my self care day was a success. I had great service and even better conversation! I couldn’t stop thanking her by the end of the appointment. 

All in all, I highly suggest you check out this small business. With the holidays coming up, this is a great place for a pick me up for yourself or even a gift for someone you love. I know I’m personally thinking about going back to prep for holiday pictures! This post only shares a small sneak peek into the services she provides, but you can bet that you’ll be happy with anything she offers. 

Have a business you want me to check out in Charlotte for my “Supporting Local” posts? Send me a message or leave me a comment. I have been loving this series and this Supporting Local post was a big win in my books and I can’t wait to continue finding businesses I fall in love with. The Facebook page for Brows by Hilary is linked to the picture above as well. As always, I appreciate you stopping by and I’ll see you next time! 

xx Alicia