In case you missed it, we are huge fans of our hometown, as is most of the country, apparently, with the number of tourists we see in our downtown area on any given day. Part of Asheville’s charm is the small businesses that make up our community. So, we are here to help you out for Small Business Saturday by highlighting some of the outstanding small businesses in the Asheville area where you can buy unique holiday gifts or shop all year long.
Hummingbird Candle Co – It was a crisp fall day, and the afternoon sun’s rays warmed the brick sidewalks of Lexington Ave. Senior Account Executive, Katie Richter, had walked this stretch of shops too many times to count—the familiar record store, vintage clothing shop, and pottery outpost were all like old friends. That’s when she saw it—Hummingbird Candle Co, a new shop on the block!
Katie was lucky enough to chat briefly with Tianna, the owner of this eco-friendly, luxury candle business. She learned that Hummingbird Candle Co. is a Black woman-owned company that offers the highest quality candles, made from paraben and phthalate-free sustainable coconut wax. What else sets these candles apart? The melted wax can also be used as a massage oil! So, if you’re looking for a perfect gift for the self-care guru, hardworking parent, or even teacher—Hummingbird Candle Co. is an excellent addition to your holiday shopping list. For those looking to give more experiential gifts, you can also book a candle-making workshop! Located at 82 N. Lexington Avenue, #100.
L.O.F.T. (Lost Objects Found Treasures) is one of our Media Relation Director, Suzanne Hermann’s favorite local shops in downtown Asheville. It can be a little overwhelming when you first walk in, but you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone, and it will be something you probably can’t find anywhere else.
And seriously, can you beat this origin story from their site: One Friday evening while Vann’s wife, Caroline was out of town, Katie and Vann were having some drinks on the porch, Katie says it was margaritas while Vann insists it was wine, and discussing business ideas. Whatever the libations, they were buzzed, and the always energetic Vann got Katie all fired up, as he is known to do. He said, “We each have a little money saved up, let’s get a building and open a store!” or something like that…By Monday morning they met with a real estate agent and purchased 53 Broadway. The next day, Caroline returned home to find that her husband had bought a building with a woman she barely knew. Luckily, she knew this to be his nature and jumped on board with a here-we-go-again sentiment. Caroline even came up with the name: Lost Objects, Found Treasures – L.O.F.T.
Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn Pop! Up Shop – If you know the Darby Crew, then you know that we can’t get enough of our client, Poppy’s hand-crafted popcorn. Asheville locals are also big fans and have lamented the loss of the Poppy retail storefront since it closed in late 2019. This local (and national) favorite, decided to treat the locals for the holidays and open up a Pop! Up Shop through late December where you can stop by for a bag of your favorite popcorn and fill up on holiday cheer! Visit them at 4 S Tunnel Road in Asheville, NC (Next to Whole Foods).
Blue Ridge Hiking Company – Okay, so we may be a little biased since the owner of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, Jenn Pharr Davis, is an AT Thru-Hiker, uses a few of our clients’ products, and is a friend of the Darby team. But if you are a backpacker or someone you love is, then this is the perfect shop to stop in when you’re in downtown Asheville. They have everything you need for a weekend in the woods and they happen to carry products from two of our outstanding NC-based clients, Appalachian Gear Company and Astral Footwear.
Malaprops – What holiday or visit to Asheville is complete without a good book to gift or get from Malaprops! A 36-year old independent book store in the heart of downtown Asheville, Malaprops has seen a lot of change during its time on Haywood St. This iconic store has a coffee shop, great card selection, wise staff, and the best book aisles in for quietly perusing. Check out their About Us section to learn all about their fascinating history.
Supporting small businesses during the holidays is one of the best ways you can support your community and boost the local economy! We’d love to learn where the best small businesses are for holiday shopping in your community – feel free to share in the comments below! If you’re interested in learning more about the Darby team and how we support brands and businesses, check out our Services page.