Michele Webb always wanted to open her own business. A trip to California, and a push from a longtime friend, inspired her to finally do so in her hometown of Harrisburg.
She had traveled to Folsom, California, this spring to help Jody Shepard celebrate the one-year anniversary of her shop, Naturiffic, which sells an assortment of teas, spices, sea salts, and wellness products. In an interesting twist, she also set aside space in her shop for local artists and craftspeople, allowing them to showcase and sell their wares.
Ms. Shepard’s only rule is that the contributors must live within 100 miles of her California store.
“I visited her store back in April … and the vibe coming from it was just incredible,” Ms. Webb recalls. “I came home from that trip, texted my husband, and said, ‘I’m opening a gift shop.’”
In addition to stocking an assortment of gourmet seasoning salts, bath scrubs, jewelry, essential oils, loose leaf teas, and other specialty products, Gift Innovations – which officially opened on July 25 – will soon feature a variety of handmade creations, from pottery and paintings to blankets and carvings, all made by local artists and craftspeople.
The only rule, as per Ms. Webb, is that those looking to sell their handmade items in her store must live within 200 miles of Harrisburg.
“We’re going to have a gentleman from southern Virginia selling wooden signs,” she says. “I have talented friends, who can paint and sew, and friends who are authors.”
A self-taught painter, Ms. Webb is reserving space in her 1,000-square-foot shop, which sits in the Robinson Corner shopping plaza off Route 49 – or the “Pub 49 Plaza,” as she calls it – for instructional classes. She envisions visitors, including children and adults, signing up to take classes on painting, cooking, and even how to use essential oils.
Those interested in displaying their wares, or instructing classes in Ms. Webb’s shop are encouraged to contact her at the business.
She eventually plans to one day sell an assortment of high-quality CBD-oil infused products, pointing to their therapeutic qualities, along with other personal wellness items.
Ms. Webb also stresses that her shop’s theme is “empowering creativity and building community.”
“I think it’s a neat little concept,” she said about her business. “There are no gift shops in Harrisburg, and it makes me crazy when I try to go find something special or unique.”
The public is invited to a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, at the shop at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 1. A wine-and-cheese reception will follow.
Oh, Ms. Webb also has one other rule that visitors would be well-advised to follow: Please check all drama at the door.
“You can stop by to shop, chat, or enjoy a cup of tea,” Ms. Webb says. “But there will be no drama in my store.”
- Address: 4555 Highway 49
- Phone: 704-904-6843
- Facebook: Gift Innovations
Hours of Operation
- Tuesday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Closed Sunday & Monday