From rosé gummy bears to Lamborghini test drives -- Brandshop launches Friday

Shopping for gifts during the holidays is the worst. Or at least I think so. Trying to figure out what people want, fighting through crowds, waiting in lines, yelling at kids running through the mall — OK, maybe that last one’s just me.

But there’s an alternative to battling the mall crowds this month. Brandshop, a traveling pop-up whose goal is to bring emerging brands to style-savvy women, comes to Charlotte Dec. 9-15. We talked to the co-founders, Hillary Crittendon and Laura Mills, on this week’s episode of the CharlotteFive Podcast.

Crittendon and Mills shared a little bit about the history of Brandshop and told us what to expect at this month’s event, such as:

– A chance to see the future Tompkins Hall development, the historic mill in Optimist Park that’s being transformed into restaurants, a food hall and office space.

– A chance to shop more than 40 brands and buy everything from super-rare rosé gummies to one-of-a-kind candles made in the shape of Napoleon’s head. And other more normal fashions and accessories.

– A speaker series, featuring talks on business, marketing, entrepreneurship and more.

– Something for the guys, too: A “guys’ night” Tuesday, Dec. 13, featuring whiskey tastings, men’s collections, the chance to test drive Lamborghinis and more, all benefitting Greg Olsen’s HEARTest Yard Initiative.

Shopping at the market is free, though some events (like the speaker series and the guys’ night) require a ticket. Learn more about Brandshop and the event at

After the podcast, we had a fun little session of “Would you rather … ?” with Crittendon and Mills.

Other things we talked about on this week’s podcast:

– We finally know who the next governor of N.C. will be.

– Cam Newton and TieGate.

– Sarah’s list of the 10 things you MUST do in December.

– And, of course, what you should be doing this weekend.

The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to

Photo: Courtesy of Brandshop