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.
On the second Sunday of each month, March through November, craft vendors, performers and area residents gather in historic downtown Sanford, around Depot Park, to mingle and get in a little shopping. It’s a community event and a great excuse to travel to a nearby town and explore.
The downtown block bounded Carthage, South Steele, Wicker and South Moore Streets is the block to shop in Sanford. The Garden of Eden on Carthage is a specialty shop featuring store made goat’s milk soap and body care products, along with jewelry and other gift items. Around the corner along South Moore you’ll find the Sanford Antique Mall, filled with unique furnishings. Further down South Moore Street is their sister shop Carolina Artists Colony, a unique store with ten rooms filled with pottery, jewelry, art, and crafts made in North Carolina. Around the corner one will find another fun (and budget-friendly) place to shop in Karma Boutique. Plan to spend a while sniffing your way through their selection of scented candles.
Steele Street is home to a couple of “malls”, large spaces with several mini-shops and boutiques in a single stop. The first is the Shops of Steele Street co-op that features handmade clothing and accessories, jewelry, all sorts of housewares, as well as Melissa and Doug children toys. Recently a second such establishment opened, Steele Street Mall, a collection of small, locally owned shops. Between those two store fronts one finds Books at a Steal, a used book store featuring a lot of children’s titles, and Added Accents, the home and gift store with the enticing window displays. There’s enough shopping to keep you occupied for an afternoon at least.
If you’re looking, you can find independent shops scattered around most any town. I’ve created a Google Map that includes some of my favorite independent retailers in the Sanford 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.