Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about shopping at independent retailers, art galleries, craft fairs, coop and specialty markets, wine and bottle shops all around the Triangle.
When I’m in the mood to shop for nothing in particular, I enjoy browsing eclectic shops that offer unique items, hand-crafted arts, cook books (always cook books), gourmet food and wine, cute clothes, shoes and home decor. You know, a little bit of everything. That’s exactly what you’ll find shopping in Pittsboro.
If you visit downtown Pittsboro around the circle, you’ll find the best vintage shop around (and loads of inspiration for Halloween costumes), Beggars and Choosers. Hours can be invested browsing the shop and their basement collection of mid century furnishings in the annex dubbed the “Pittsboro Underground”. If you can tear yourself away from all that kitsch, your next visit should be to New Horizons Trading Company. The store is a long time resident of Hillsboro Street and continues to draw customers seeking fun gift items, cards and jewelry, as well as apparel and perhaps a pair of Dansko shoes.
If you venture a little further along Hillsboro Street you’ll find some exotic items at French Connections. Easily identifiable by the metal animal sculptures that dot the lawn in front of the historic house turned import shop, the porch and interior rooms at French Connections contain furnishings, linens, baskets, art, sculpture, lovely toile fabric (and so much more), imported from France and Africa (reflecting the owners’ backgrounds).
Even further along Hillsboro Street one finds a little something to eat and drink at Chatham Marketplace, a grocery co-op opened in May 2006, Starrlight Mead, and at the Cackalacky® Where House, the newest resident at Chatham Mills. The fine people of Cackalacky are holding a “food-raiser” drive with Chatham Outreach Alliance Food Pantry right now too. So you can stop by Chatham Marketplace, pick up a shelf-stable, child-friendly item, then walk on over to the Where House to donate before enjoying a tasting/beverage/getting a growler filled.
By the way, this weekend or next might be the perfect time to visit Pittsboro for a bit of shopping. Today and tomorrow you’ll find the Pittsboro Antiques Fair at the Alpha Install property on 15-501 (just across from Chatham Mills, a half mile north of the courthouse circle). Then next Saturday (Oct. 25th) is the Pittsboro Street Fair on Hanks Street, with entertainment, food and craft vendors for even more shopping fun.
If you’re looking, you can find independent shops scattered around most any town and there are many, many more great shops in Pittsboro. I’ve created a Google Map that includes some of my favorite independent retailers in the Pittsboro area and you can find it here. Did I miss one of your favorites? If so, let me know in the comments. In the meantime, make sure you save the map link to your mobile device of choice for quick reference when you’re out shopping in the area.