Unexpected Gifts of Shopping Local

I recently purchased a coffee table from Charlotte-based artisan Janine Bithell of Rosewood Co and two original paintings by Leslie Poteet Busker, a Charlotte-based artist.  

I initiated both of these transactions on Instagram separately, but I wound up picking up the two purchases on the same rainy Thursday morning.

There was something so refreshing about seeing these ladies in their workspaces.  Leslie’s studio is a room in her home with beautiful light. When I arrived, I was greeted by Leslie in her signature poppy-colored lipstick.  She had a fire lit and offered me coffee. While I wasn’t able to sit and visit (and boy did I want to), the experience warmed my heart.

To purchase artwork for my interior design projects, I’m usually running in and out of stores and boutiques in a way that is so much less personable. This ability to interact with the artist directly and support someone in my community, felt just like that - a warm cup of coffee on a cold rainy day.

Meeting Janine was equally as sweet. She told me her studio was her parents’ garage and welcomed me with a sincere smile and a warm hug.  We chatted for a moment and she helped me load my beautiful new herringbone table into the back of my LandRover. Our interaction was brief, but I love the story that now goes along with my table.  Meeting the woman behind the beautiful Instagram photos was an unexpected gift. Also, I learned, with every purchase made, the first 11 percent goes straight to a local charity to help those in need - another unexpected gift.

Meeting both of these sweet ladies affirmed my commitment to supporting local small business whenever I can.  And so I encourage you to consider: “Who are the local artisans in my neighborhood?” Perhaps a warm cup of coffee and an  unexpected gift lie in wait just around the corner.

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Deena Knight is an Interior Designer based in Charlotte, NC who loves sharing design, style, and life on her Instagram. To view her portfolio, you can visit her website here.