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10 ways to brighten your desk with local products, from a mood flip book to trendy personal planners

I’m one of the few individuals who can truly say I love my job. However, until recently, I didn’t always love my undecorated cubicle.

So, I decided to channel HGTV’s Chip & Joanna to redefine my workspace. The result? A succulent, a terrarium, a tear-off desk calendar and a little beach-inspired sand garden. The personalized space now emanates an energy that makes even Monday mornings bearable.

While I will not deny that Target sells an irresistible collection of desk décor, I’d highly recommend visiting local boutiques to find unique goods to spruce up your workspace. Desk plants, vibrant mugs and eclectic art will inspire a cheerful and (hopefully) productive work day.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Easy-to-Care-for Desk Plants

via Malone’s Nursery’s Instagram

Aside from the idea that your desk will mimic an aesthetically-pleasing minimalist Instagram theme, desk plants actually offer health benefits, including the reduction of air toxins and stress relief. They also improve concentration and productivity, which may just come in handy at work.

Spider plants, snake plants and cacti often make the list of low-maintenance indoor plants. My personal favorite? Succulents. They require infrequent watering and instantly add a pop of color to an otherwise dull desk.

The succulents come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, so pick the ideal one to fit your personality at any local greenhouses, including Roundtree Plantation, Oakdale Greenhouses and Malone’s Greenhouse ($2-$10 for small succulents).

Of course, you’ll need decorative vessels to display your new plants, and Moxie Mercantile in Plaza Midwood stocks the perfect spring-themed planters ($15). Or, give your succulent an alternative home in a terrarium. Hive ($25) and Skillpop ($32) both host workshops to design your own – supplies included!

The Daily Mood Flip Book

Blis The Daily Mood

How do you feel today? Let The Daily Mood ($10) from Blis Uptown, located in Founders Hall, guide you. Choose from 47 moods, complete with definitions, facts and sample sentences to let your coworkers know whether to chat about the weekend or steer clear. I’d personally start my day with “inspired.” After coffee, of course.

Thoughtful Pop-Open Cards

Blis Pop-Open Cards

Blis Uptown also carries Pop-Open cards ($7.50), putting thoughtful sayings at your fingertips. Think fortune cookies for the workplace. Start your morning with an uplifting quote (“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden) or fill a decorative desk jar to share inspiring quips with a coworker who could use a pick-me-up.

Charlotte-Themed Mugs

via Paper Skyscraper’s Instagram

Even if you don’t inhabit an Uptown office, you can still enjoy the city’s silhouette from your desk. Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth stocks vibrant skyline mugs to add color to your morning ($11.95). Theory Design Studio on East Boulevard also carries unique mugs with witty quips like “Coffee: Because Mondays Happen Every Week” ($21.50).

Evelyn Henson, a local designer, offers another must-have mug through her Etsy shop, featuring iconic city maps. We’d recommend Charlotte ($22), but each design showcases its own unique character.

[Related: How a Charlottean’s Etsy shop turned into her full-time job]

Trendy Personal Planners

via Paper Twist’s Instagram

If you scrolled through Instagram the first week of January, you likely experienced a feed inundated with celebratory New Year’s photos and artistically-staged planners. Because New Year, new me (I can say this because I, too, purchased a planner). Instead of selecting a planner from photos online, venture to Paper Twist in Myers Park to find the one whose pages resonate with you ($12-$35 + sale discount).

Innovative Desk Signs

Beehive Desk Sign

Ditch the name tag and style your desk with a pop of personality. The Beehive Gifts, located in the Overstreet Mall, shelves assorted desk signs for the working professional, whether you’re the “#BossLady” or successfully “close deals in heels” ($9.98-$15.98).

Metal Business Card Holders

Beehive Business Card

The arrival of personalized business cards at a new job proves one of the most exciting moments during the first week of work (we know you sent one home to the parents). However, after a few months, they become the norm and lose their luster. Breathe new life into your professional branding with eclectic business card holders from The Beehive Gifts. Small metal cases add color to your desk and easily slide into your purse on-the-go, sporting phrases including “Girl Boss” and “She works hard for the money” ($15.98).

Local Lunchtime Reads

via Park Road Books’ Instagram

Fellow bookworms, this one’s all about you. Park Road Books carries local, regional and national novels, so you can decorate your desk with vibrant titles or bury your nose in a lunchtime read. Fair warning: you may spend hours inside.

Tip: Select a title penned by a local author, like The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin ($26) or The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway ($15.99).

Inspired Mousepads

If you needed a reason to browse CLT Find in the 7th Street Public Market after lunch, here’s the perfect excuse: whimsical mousepads. They’ll make you click with purpose … or will at the very least add some color to your workspace ($10).

CLT Find Mousepads

While there, explore their selection of Charlotte-inspired goods, like insulated bottles ($22-$28) and tumblers ($18) sporting the city’s name and crest. The imaginative Kristen Feighery artwork makes for a vibrant addition to a desk as well ($20).

CLT Find Art

Putty for Thinking

via Green with Envy’s Instagram

Green with Envy brands its store with the tagline “necessary luxuries,” and we can’t help but agree. When’s the last time you remembered (15 minutes before the meeting) that you vowed to bring ideas to solve a team issue? The shop’s Thinking Putty may just offer that last-minute assistance or quick stress relief before the gathering ($3.95 – $15).

Green with Envy also carries 5×5 wood prints with fun sayings including “creative weirdos unite” and “I don’t know where I’m going, but I promise it won’t be boring” ($14.99).

Whether you’re looking to add a small pop of color or a whole slew of personality to your workspace, the curated collections at these boutiques offer more than you can imagine. Support the #ShopLocal movement, and see whether your Monday mornings improve.

What unique desk accessories did you purchase at local shops?

Photos: Skillpop, Blis Uptown, The Beehive Gifts, CLT Find

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