By Ramona Holloway | Photography by John W. Adkisson
Posted: Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2012
About a month ago, I checked in on Facebook from Roosters restaurant announcing that I was doing some bargain hunting in SouthPark. The first comment came from a friend who offered, Good luck with that. Another Facebook friend called my quest an oxymoron. Lets face it: most entrepreneurs dont pick a SouthPark location because they want to open a bargain hut selling six-packs of irregular tube socks for a dollar. Its no secret that the area is known for its upscale salons, restaurants and stores, but that doesnt mean you cant find value and some downright good deals.
Anybody can comb through the clearance racks at the mall. But frankly, this isnt the ideal season for finding a multitude of goodies on the clearance rack. Ive talked to a few SouthPark store owners who say that beyond 50 percent off, they prefer to pull merchandise from the sales floor to try to get a better price from customers on eBay. So, if you arent hitting the stores during January or August when the first round of seasonal price slashing begins, youll need to dig a bit deeper to get the biggest bang for your buck.
In terms of health and beauty, here are a few tips. Before you drag your kid to your salon for a haircut, give Doolittles a try. The stylists actually like having children in their chairs and itll cost less than taking little Madison to an adult salon. The SouthPark salon for grown-ups that always runs great monthly specials is Euphoria Salon and Spa. The specials are always posted on the website and save the average customer anywhere from $20 to $60. But for the lowest price on a quality mani-pedi, look high in the Sharon Corners shopping center. The $19 pedicure at Nails 2 on the second floor is a great deal. The times Ive visited the nail salon its been pretty packed, so Id suggest an appointment even though walk-ins are welcome, too.
When its time to bring life to the walls of your home, there are two twisted places you shouldnt overlook. The first stop is Painting with a Twist. Youll leave with hand-painted art that you can brag about. For just $35, you get an art lesson and all the supplies youll need to create your very own masterpiece. You can customize your painting with colors to suit your décor. If you really want to have a good time, invite a few friends and take along a bottle or two of your favorite wine. No corkage fee when you B.Y.O.B. to Painting with a Twist, and the folks there have bottle openers and cups on hand. Kids are welcome too, just not during the evenings when the wine is flowing. The second stop is Paper Twist, located in the Specialty Shops on the Park. The store has wrapping paper that is so stunning, savvy decorators pick up the 27 1/2-inch by 20-inch sheets and frame them. Check out the designs by Cavallini Papers and Company and youll see what I mean. You can pick up a single sheet of the wrapping paper for anywhere from $2.75 to $5.50. I spotted several designs that would look perfect in a nursery or den.
If nursery furniture is what you need, the best place to purchase a Young America crib is Shower Me with Love. Stanleys Young America line is known for high quality and safety. The products are made here in North Carolina, and best of all, you can buy your babys first bed cheaper in the store than online. The stationary sleigh crib that sells for $850 online is priced at just $640 in the store. Shower Me with Love isnt the only Charlotte store that sells Young America, but thanks to a low price guarantee, the SouthPark sticker will always be lower. In addition, you get the added value of free interior design assistance from Kelsy Downen and Brittany Pillion, who work at the store. You can find them in the Shops at Morrison.
For the fashionista on a budget, Ivy & Leo is an absolute must. Signing up to receive emails from the trendy boutique can earn some extra discounts, but the everyday prices are outstanding. I picked out two dresses, four tops, earrings and a necklace and paid less than $240. Both dresses were less than $50 each. Thanks to the affordability of the clothing and accessories, merchandise moves quickly, but never fear shopaholics Ivy & Leo gets new shipments almost daily. Meanwhile, over at chezElle, there is always a well-stocked clearance rack located in the back of store. But my favorite spot in this modern womens clothing boutique is right at the counter. While I like friends to believe I spend a fortune on their gifts, I have to admit to picking up quite a few presents from the tower of clearance costume jewelry that always sits near the cash register at chezElle. Youll find timeless but on-trend necklaces, earrings and bracelets priced to thrill a bargain shopper at just $10 each.
If real diamonds are what you prefer, SouthPark is home to the store that sells independently certified stones for less all the time! I wont tell you where Tonda Rifkin previously sold diamond jewelry for 16 years, but I can inform you that shes currently employed by Diamonds Direct SouthPark. She says she followed her customers there because they were going to get more for their money at Diamonds Direct. Its common to save 50-70 percent because the company owns its own diamond mines. A three-carat fancy yellow diamond that probably runs upward of $58,000 in other stores sells at Diamonds Direct for under $22,500. On top of that, when you purchase any diamond solitaire youll get free mounting, free appraisal, free sizing and free cleaning and polishing. You just cant beat free!
Sometimes all it takes to find the SouthPark bargains is to ask, Whats the best value in your store? You might be surprised by the budget-friendly answers you get. It's no oxymoron.To read more from Ramona Holloway, visit www.thesatisfiedlifenetwork.com. Want to go?
Diamonds Direct SouthPark
Euphoria Salon and Spa
Ivy & Leo
704-553-0282, Sharon Corners
Painting with a Twist
Shower Me With Love
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less