December 2014

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    Ramona Holloway tries on clothes while shopping at Ivy & Leo.
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    Ramona Holloway shops at Paper Twist.
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    Ramona Holloway gets ready to paint at Painting with a Twist.
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    Ramona Holloway gets ready to paint at Painting with a Twist.
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    Paper sits on display at Paper Twist.
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    Ramona Holloway shops at Paper Twist.
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    Ramona Holloway checks out some tops while shopping at Ivy & Leo.
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    Ramona Holloway checks out some tops while shopping at Ivy & Leo.
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    Shoes sit on display at Ivy & Leo
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    Ramona Holloway checks out some tops while shopping at Ivy & Leo.
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    Accessories sit on display at Ivy & Leo.

SouthPark steals!

By Ramona Holloway | Photography by John W. Adkisson

Posted: Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2012

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About a month ago, I checked in on Facebook from Rooster’s 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.” Let’s face it: most entrepreneurs don’t pick a SouthPark location because they want to open a bargain hut selling six-packs of irregular tube socks for a dollar. It’s no secret that the area is known for its upscale salons, restaurants and stores, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find value and some downright good deals. 


Anybody can comb through the clearance racks at the mall. But frankly, this isn’t the ideal season for finding a multitude of goodies on the clearance rack. I’ve 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 aren’t hitting the stores during January or August when the first round of seasonal price slashing begins, you’ll 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 Doolittle’s a try. The stylists actually like having children in their chairs and it’ll 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 I’ve visited the nail salon its been pretty packed, so I’d suggest an appointment even though walk-ins are welcome, too. 



When it’s time to bring life to the walls of your home, there are two ‘twisted’ places you shouldn’t overlook. The first stop is Painting with a Twist. You’ll leave with hand-painted art that you can brag about. For just $35, you get an art lesson and all the supplies you’ll 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 you’ll 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. Stanley’s 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 baby’s 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 isn’t 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 women’s 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. You’ll 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 won’t tell you where Tonda Rifkin previously sold diamond jewelry for 16 years, but I can inform you that she’s 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. It’s 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 you’ll get free mounting, free appraisal, free sizing and free cleaning and polishing. You just can’t beat free!



Sometimes all it takes to find the SouthPark bargains is to ask, “What’s 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?
chezElle
704-365-4680,www.shopchezelle.com
Diamonds Direct SouthPark
704-532-9041,www.diamonds-direct.com
Doolittle’s
704-341-3884. www.dolittlecharlotte.com
Euphoria Salon and Spa
704-367-9112,www.euphoriasalon.com
Ivy & Leo
704-365-3222,www.ivyandleo.com
Nails 2
704-553-0282, Sharon Corners
Painting with a Twist
980-224-7760,www.paintingwithatwist.com/charlotte
Paper Twist
704-366-3100, shoppapertwist.com
Shower Me With Love
704-302-1555, www.showermewithlove.com

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