Discover Asheville, NC's Shopping Scene
In Asheville, you'll find all the tried and true retailers like Dillard's, Old Navy, JCPenney and Gymboree. But also nestled in this western North Carolina community is a plethora of eclectic shops selling unique gifts, artwork, toys and furniture.
Asheville Supports and Values Small Businesses
Tops for Shoes has been a downtown staple since 1960. Owner Bob Carr says his staff – many of whom have been at the store for 15 to 30 years – can find a shoe for anyone.
“Selection,” says Carr of how the store meets customers' needs, “but also good service. We still believe in sitting down with the customer and fitting shoes. We can accommodate almost anybody.”
Another Asheville original is Dancing Bear Toys. Co-owner Sarah Evers, who bought the store with her sister, Erika, and was then joined by her parents, Mary and Dave, says the store is an interactive place, including a demo toy bar.
“We invite families,” Evers says. “We want parents to try before they buy.”
Evers believes Asheville is committed to supporting businesses like hers. “I think Asheville really means it when they want to support local business. They really do support small businesses.”
Large-scale Antiques Bring Shoppers to Asheville
Several destinations offer miles of shopping with home décor, jewelry, galleries and specialty shops. Historic Biltmore Village draws many visitors and newcomers with retailers and restaurants in a unique shopping environment.
Antique Tobacco Barn has more than 75 dealers offering furniture, stemware, clocks and all manner of distinctive antiques.
ScreenDoor includes home and garden accessories and a bookstore with various home, garden, cooking and children’s titles.
One-of-a-kind Shops Feature Handmade Crafts, Arts and Clothes
Foundry boasts “urban, upcycled and unusual” wares. Opened three years ago by partners Shelly Piper and Natalie Hood, Foundry is the result of the pair’s creative approach to crafting something new out of something used and discarded.
“People don’t really need more stuff in their lives,” Piper says. “What if the stuff was made out of other stuff?”
Her take on the Asheville shopping scene reflects the city’s reputation for distinctive findings.
“It’s sort of like you’ll never see the same thing twice. A lot of what people buy is one of a kind.”
Garage 34 highlights numerous handcrafted art pieces, including the just-launched Hitched Handmade collection featuring vintage-modern, stylish wedding accessories of all kinds. Items from the store were included in a recent photo shoot that appeared on the website for Poptastic Bride.
Inside Garage 34 are at least seven nonprofit businesses associated with Elevate Life and Art. The collective of people passionate about their skills and professions offers classes in everything from art to dance in the space of the store. The nonprofit/for-profit merger assists Elevate Life and Art with rent costs while featuring handmade goods.
Explore more great shopping spots in Asheville, NC.