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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Feel-Good Shopping

Dec 01, 2016 11:24AM

A Charlotte Gift Guide for the Green

by Kimberly Lawson


As the gift giving season descends upon us, now’s as good a time as any to support a local business.

According to the American Independent Business Alliance, shopping locally is not only good for the community, but it can also prove to be a healthier option for the environment than shopping at big-box stores. Independently owned businesses are more efficient when it comes to land use, and oftentimes they’re located closer to people in areas with walkability, which ultimately leads to less noise and air pollution.

Besides the green impact, shopping locally is simply good for the soul. By choosing to spend your money in an independently owned business, you are choosing to support friends and neighbors. As Rae Perry, self-proclaimed “cashier goddess” at Charlotte retail shop Gumbo, says, “We have to invest in our communities if we want them to thrive.”

As the holiday gift-giving season approaches, here are a few recommendations for local shops to check out.


The Greener Apple

Located inside the used bookstore Book Buyers in Plaza Midwood, The Greener Apple is a must visit for shopping for the green goddess in your life. According to its website, The Greener Apple strives to “be a source for the eco-minded and vegetarian/vegan community of quality eco-friendly goods,” which includes everything from foodstuff to cleaning supplies to soy candles. Some notable keywords in this shop are vegan, natural, organic and plant-powered, among many other uplifting descriptors.

For the person who’s often picking up trash off the side of the road, get a glass straw from Glass Dharma as a stocking stuffer.

The Greener Apple, 1306 The Plaza, 704-344-8611.



Gumbo is the sister business and neighbor of Okra Yoga in Plaza Midwood. According to its website, the shop’s selection of goods are carefully selected to “help to support the healthy living and vibrant creation of all people.” In addition to yoga gear, Gumbo also sells handmade jewelry, organic clothing, the skin and hair product line Acure and more.

For the kitschy candle lover, Gumbo has a glass bottle candle made from a recycled wine bottle. Verve candle maker Pam Mahaffey crafts these exquisite pieces with the help of senior citizens who may not otherwise be able to get a job.

For the karma-conscious, we recommend a crystal Mala necklace by Yoga on Tap (a jewelry line that grew out of a weekly community yoga class at Olde Mecklenburg Brewer). A portion of proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Gumbo, 1916 Commonwealth Ave. 704-999-6630.


Moxie Mercantile Located inside an old cottage on Commonwealth Avenue, Moxie Mercantile is a lifestyle boutique that, according to its website, offers items “based in elements of nature with a focus on touch of hand.” The shop has a great selection of vintage barware, planters, accessories and more.

Fmoxie2or the couple expecting a baby, consider a couple of handmade wooden alphabet prints, courtesy of Mowgli and Baloo, or some Swedish washcloths to use in place of a sponge. When dry, the texture hardens for easy storage; plus, they’re biodegradable.

Moxie Mercantile, 2008 Commonwealth Ave. 704-877-7870.


Pura Vida Worldly Art

This multicultural shop is a Charlotte small business staple. Located on North Davidson Street, Pura Vida Worldly Art offers a vast array of fair trade and handmade items, including local paintings, plus a selection of merchandise to aid you in your spiritual and mediation practices.

For the person who has everything and cares about the circle of life, consider picking up an eyeglass holder made from a dead tree. “Artisans procure wood from dead trees or planned deforestation,” reads a description on Pura Vida’s Facebook page. “Wood is dried in steam for weeks to remove moisture, cut into blocks and carved using hand tools.”

Pura Vida Worldly Art, 3202 N. Davidson St. 704-335-8587.




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