Living away from home for college, I really miss the unique qualities that the mountains and my hometown bring — the music, the people, the mountains, the shopping. Seriously, mountain people are crazy creative and they show that in all the small-town businesses owned in and around Waynesville. Coming from small-town North Carolina, I am most definitely an advocate for shopping local, especially when it comes down to presents. Here are nine of my favorite places in Haywood County to go to for gifts.
Note: Two of these places don’t have actual locations, but are run online by locals!
1. Hazelwood Soap Company
I love Hazelwood Soap Co.’s products, and they beat Bath & Body Works by a landslide. They offer a variety of homemade, all-natural bath and body products that make great, personal gifts for your friends and family. I personally love their Shea butter lotions (which also come in travel size — great for stocking stuffers!) and hand soaps, but they offer a variety of things like Soy candles, lip balm, and face masks. Plus, they sell some of their stuff online, but I’d recommend going to their actual store in Downtown Hazelwood for the full experience. It’s probably the coolest, brightest store in town. Check out their website here.
2. Robin Blu
Also located in Downtown Hazelwood, it’s no surprise Robin Blu made it on my list. They have a preppy boutique style, fit well for any Southern gal. But wait…there’s more: they keep up with the trends and have a variety of accessories, clothes, stationery, home goods, candles, decor, stuff for the baby, and more! It’s all unique and high quality too, so these are gifts you’ll definitely be proud to give. You can visit their Facebook page here.
3. Nettie’s Bakery
If you’re looking to bring something sweet to a Christmas party or you’re looking to take your grandma out for High Tea during the holidays, Nettie’s Bakery is where it’s at. Located right next to Robin Blu, Nettie’s has a variety of sweets and savories (note: is that a word?) that can calm any craving. Personally, I love their High Tea, mainly because I like to be treated like a princess without breaking the bank. All of their food and drinks are fabulous, though, so don’t miss out on Nettie’s! Check out their beautiful (and yummy-looking) website here.
4. A Cat in the Attic Antiques
Recently moved to the back of Main Street in Waynesville, A Cat in the Attic is like Disney World, but for antiques lovers. Many people forget that antiques can make great gifts! Antiques are unique and tell stories and are generally less than what you’d pay for something new that is meant to look antique (*rolls eyes*). A Cat in the Attic is less of an “attic” and more of a playground of items. Need any old mason jars or glass bottles? They literally have shelves of them. Want some old records of books? They got ’em. What about belt buckles for the hubby? They have those too — and so much more. The owners are very friendly and able to help you find anything as well! You can “like” their Facebook page here.
5. M’s Sweet Sugar Scrub
My sweet friend Madison began making her sugar scrub for her grandmother when she began going through chemotherapy and radiation to treat her cancer. After she passed away earlier this year, Madison decided to continue making the scrub in her memory. Madison hopes to make enough profit in the future so she can donate a portion to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Made with all-natural products, Madison currently offers two scents: lavender and coffee. I use this sugar scrub every time I take a bath and have bought it for multiple friends and family for Christmas this year. I suggest giving it a try! If you’re interested in ordering, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. The Strand
Maybe I’m biased because I work here in the summers, but The Strand is the only place to watch a movie in town. Not to mention they have hand-tossed, all-organic popcorn, Waynesville Soda Jerks (see below), Boojum and Frog Level beer on tap, Panacea coffee (also below), something like 40+ local and craft beers, The Hop ice cream (locally made in Asheville), milkshakes, brownie sundaes, lattes, AND live music. The opportunities are pretty much limitless here and, if you know the owners, you’d know that they’ll do anything to make the community and customers happy. Need a good gift? Purchase a gift card to The Strand, which can be used for ANY of the items/services I just listed. Check out their website here.
7. Panacea Coffee Company
I’ve been frequenting Panacea since it first opened, and it still remains my favorite coffee shop of all-time (you just can’t beat those home-town coffee shops, am I right?). Now, I’m not much of a coffee person, but almost everyone I know raves about Panacea’s coffee. The best part? Their beans are roasted and mixed at their coffee house in Frog Level (right by downtown Waynesville). You can buy their beans whole or they can grind them for you. They also have awesome apparel and mugs, sell their popular chocolate-covered espresso beans, and have their Coffee Club subscription program. Basically anything from Panacea will do the trick. Don’t know what to get? Try a gift card — after all, going to the coffee shop is just part of the experience. Visit their website here.
8. My Knitting Shop
Shameless self-promotion here, folks. I knit! And I sell it online! I have hats galore (some with different animal ears), bow headbands, beanies, cowls, mug cozies, and more. I even have a special (off Etsy) offer of a Pony-Tail Hat going on right now, so shoot me a message on Facebook for more information. You can also subscribe to this blog for a free coupon code to my shop! Check out my Etsy here.
9. Waynesville Soda Jerks
In case you were looking to fill a soda craving, Waynesville Soda Jerks has your back. Creating craft sodas with in-season, all-natural ingredients, this husband and wife duo have really recreated the concept and design of the standard soda drink. You can find their drinks individually sold in multiple stores throughout Western North Carolina, but since they’re based in Waynesville, this is the perfect opportunity to buy them in packs for the soda-lover in your life. Flavors include Peach, Blueberry Basil, Strawberry Rhubarb, Lavender Lemon, Concord Grape, and Apple Rosemary — just to name a few. You can buy them online or stop in at their retail room. Find out more on their website, here.
There you have it — my nine favorite stores to buy from in the Waynesville area. All of these places are run by great people that I am more than happy to support. Remember to shop local this holiday season, and give back in more ways than one!
Photo Courtesy of: Unsplash