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Seeking unique Charlotte shopping? A few key streets? Try these

Caroline Cook, owner of the Frock Shop on Central Avenue.
Caroline Cook, owner of the Frock Shop on Central Avenue. Observer file photo

You know you’ve hit the gifting jackpot when your loved one unwraps an item and shrieks in delight: “Where did you ever FIND this?” or is wowed by the story behind a gift. These five shops will do just that:

Ruby’s Gift: This shop in NoDa is packed with local and regional arts and crafts, including jewelry and leather goods, wall art and children’s gifts. 3204 N. Davidson St.

32 Flavors: Handmade, unique gifts with lots of color is the theme in this Dilworth shop, and many of the offerings are crafted by local artists. You’ll find gorgeous glass home decorations, jewelry, ceramics and more. 224 East Blvd.

Fashion & Compassion: Philanthropy is the name of the game in this Dilworth boutique, which is a nonprofit jewelry and accessories store selling goods made by women overcoming poverty and injustice, in Charlotte and around the world. 1717 Cleveland Ave.

Gratefully, Danielle: This Ballantyne boutique embraces the “local, global” trend by offering fair-trade goods made by both local artistans and makers from around the world. You’ll find unique furniture pieces, scarves, jewelry and home decor and easy hostess gifts like candles and decorative napkins. 6414 Rea Road.

Pura Vida Worldly Art: No, these gifts aren’t from the area – but a visit here is like a trip around the world, with fair-trade clothing, jewelry, home goods, textiles, musical instruments, food and more from countries across the globe. The vibe is calming and you’ll find things that will make your loved ones think you must have brought home in a suitcase. 3202 N. Davidson St.

3 great shopping streets

If your idea of great holiday giving starts with a leisurely stroll through shops, Charlotte’s got several walkable streets dotted with locally owned places. Here a glimpse at three, with a few examples of the tried-and-true stores along them, offering a range of clothing, accessories, jewelry and home goods.

▪ CENTRAL AVENUE

Frock Shop (901 Central Ave.) isn’t just a new-and-vintage clothing, jewelry and house goods store in a gorgeous old house, it’s also a gathering place where artists and community members mix and mingle at special events.

Green with ENVY (1111 Central Ave. #200) has an ever-changing mix of locally made gifts for men and women; here you’ll find everything from pottery to baby gifts, jewelry, candles and clothing.

CLTCH (1512 Central Ave.) offers a feast of one-of-a-kind, eclectic gifts for men and women, from jewelry and handbags to art and home decor. Co-owners Lesa Kastanas, Linda Martinez and Scott Weaver are veterans in Charlotte’s style scene and their eye for the fabulous and funky shines here, as well as a seriously fun vibe.

Lunchbox Records (825 Central Ave.), for the loved one who’s into vinyl, boasts a wide range of musical genres and knowledgeable staff who will help a novice gifter navigate the territory.

Boris & Natasha (1214 Thomas Ave.), a block off Central, is a staple in Charlotte’s fashion scene. Owner Hope Nichols curates a mix of both nationally known clothing and shoe brands as well as ones you won’t see elsewhere, and the eclectic jewelry selection will leave you drooling.

Stash Pad (1216 Thomas Ave.), next door to Boris & Natasha, is the “it” place for vintage rock ‘n’ roll T-shirts, seriously throwback fashion, wigs (they even have a chair where you can have your wig fitted) and funky vintage jewelry.

▪ SELWYN AVENUE

KK Bloom (2823 Selwyn Ave.), for the woman who loves trends, has everything from dressy looks to denim, while Monkees of Charlotte (2839 Selwyn Ave.) sports lots of major name fashion brands.

The Sporting Gent (2848 Selwyn Ave.) aims to outfit men “from the field to the dinner table” with outdoor gear and weekend wear. You’ll find everything from barn jackets to fly fishing gear.

Woo’s Skincare and Cosmetics (2900 Selwyn Ave.) offers perfume, cosmetics, skincare and a staff who will walk you through it all. Or, pick up a gift card for a service (provided in-house) like facials, waxing, brow styling or makeup application.

Traveling Chic Boutique (2906 Selwyn Ave.) offers trendy fashion with a youthful vibe at affordable prices. At least half the boutique is new every week, owners say, so if you see something you love, chances are it won’t be there next week.

Bruce Julian Clothier (2913 Selwyn Ave.), owned by one of the deans of Charlotte’s men’s clothing scene, is a full-service clothing store for men seeking a professional, tailored look. Plus, there’s a small bar in the shop and Bruce’s signature Bloody Mary mix is for sale.

▪ EAST BOULEVARD

At Revolution (227 East Blvd.), just the window displays are worth the drive, but inside you’ll find fashion by big and small brands.

Paper Skyscraper (330 East Blvd.) is packed with gifts that fit the bill whether you’re shopping for your friend, your mom or your cat. Home goods, accessories, books, cards and plenty of items that will make you laugh.

Revolve (1222 East Blvd.) offers upscale designer consignment for men.

Vestique (1532 East Blvd.; part of a Southeast chain now based in Charlotte) has a youthful vibe and affordable clothing that hits trends.

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