Hot Spots

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Falling in love at Slate Interiors

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Last week, I stopped by Slate Interiors to chat with Debbie, one of the owners. While I walked around the Plaza Midwood store, I fell in love with this:


Now, if only I could get my boyfriend to agree to splashing some pink on our walls or buying those throw pillows. (He's an ex-Marine and gamer who rarely leaves the living room. Somehow, I don't think he'll agree. Sigh.)

Slate Interiors is like one very cool flea market, targeting the fashionable, creative, and weak-willed like me who are looking for pieces of art and other home furnishings. More than 50 artists, merchants, and designers offer a wide and ever-changing variety of quality merchandise. If you're looking to spruce up your living space — or just like looking at pretty things — head here.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Versona Accessories opens in Charlotte

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Thursday was the grand opening of the first Versona Accessories store, a division of Cato, and it opened in Charlotte. Versona is located in the Arboretum on Providence (near Micheal's). The new store is absolutely beautiful and exceptionally laid out; I love that each section is broken into trends and colors.


The affordable prices at Versona will surprise you because the jewelry and accessory pieces are not only fashionable but great quality pieces (some of these pieces you will find at Anthropologie for three times the price) as well.


You will find every accessories you will need for your wardrobe from handbags, footwear, jewelry (including amazing large cocktail rings and lots of pieces for the feather trend), a few clothing pieces, and you will also find some miscellaneous gift items that every girl needs ... like candles, pretty soaps, and decorative tumblers.

I really recommend heading to Versona this weekend — there were so many beautiful items to choose from that is almost hard to pick just one. And with prices like this, you won’t have to!

Ladies of Charlotte, this can easily become a new favorite spot to spruce up your wardrobe without making your bank account angry. Also, you may want to start dropping hints for all the little stocking stuffers you want for Christmas because it is only 85 days away. If you want, take a look at what I took home, because I am in love and cannot wait to go back. Welcome to Charlotte, Versona!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eco-licious is fabulicious

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

As the wave of vegan lovers starts to spread throughout the city, it only makes since to have a bigger selection of vegan-welcoming locations. Places like the Common Market, Luna’s Living Kitchen, The Diamond and ZiZi’s Vegetarian Restaurant offer vegetarian and vegan options that people are going bananas for, but what about a store with other things besides food?

Just recently a vegan one-stop-shop opened in the neighborhood of Plaza Midwood called Eco-licious. “We are an environmentally friendly, cruelty-free store with all locally made products,” says storeowner Marley Claridge.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's in your Dressing Room?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Charlotte has so many hidden little gems and boutiques that I love to frequent, and The Dressing Room just happens to be one of the them. Owners Angella and Natalie opened their boutique a little less than six months ago and have been going strong ever since. Located near the heart of uptown Charlotte, this boutique carries designs by Better B, Alice + Olivia, Black and many more. I really think rompers and jumpers is one of their specialties because I've seen some of the hottest, styles and color patterns hanging there.  They also have an assortment of party dresses, tops, skirts and fashion shorts to choose from.


Oh and don't forget the jewelry.  This boutique always has the perfect accessories to match your look.


Want to get a peek at what I've already seen? The Dressing Room is having a fashion show on Sunday, July 24 at 5 p.m. The show will take place inside the store located at 820 E. 7th St. For more details or to RSVP for the show, call 704-817-9035.

T. Strong is a TV personality, personal stylist and fashion journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing’s Klepto blog in addition to writing for several other national media organizations. To learn more visit or follow “therealtstrong” on Twitter.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Discovering more fashion in NoDa: Runway Style Studio

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 1:24 PM

I regularly frequent Amelie's French Bakery in NoDa to hang out, meet with friends, use the free WiFi (of course) but most importantly I enjoy pigging out on all the french pastries. That may cause me to gain a few pounds but what the heck — you only live once.  Not to mention, I can always pick up a few new clothing items to disguise it.

Just the other day, I ran across a new boutique in the same building called Runway Style Studio. They had quite a few items I could see myself in, and as a matter of fact, I fell deeply in love with a Anama' Maxi dress. This dress style was very popular last year and will continue to be right on trend this summer. If you need another style to camouflage the mid-section, try the tiered ruffle tank also by Anama'. Some of the other brands this store carries is Laila Jayde, Fluxus, and HAPI by Hapiru.


With everything from Jumpers, tops, dresses and various bottoms, all moderately priced, there's so much to see at Runway Style Studio. There's also a great selection of jewelry and sunglasses that any stylish woman would love, and I agree that this, as the owners boast, is a "studio that has a very relaxed Soho feel with a Carolina twist." Oh and men, please don't feel left out.  There are stylish button down shirts, comfortable tees and trendy Jeans just for you. Seduka Jeans is one of the major collections available here for men.  And if anyone out there is just the slightest bit fashion-challenged, there's always a personal fashion consultant on hand to assist you.  Stop by and have a glass of wine ... on me.

Runway Style Studio is located at 2424 N. Davidson St., Suite 112B in NoDa. 704-910-3057

T. Strong is a TV personality, personal stylist and fashion journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing’s Klepto blog in addition to writing for several other national media organizations. To learn more visit or follow “therealtstrong” on Twitter.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sneaker store keeps it 'Fresh' in Plaza Midwood

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM

As I walked into Fresh Exclusive Sneaker Boutique, located at 2001 Commonwealth Ave. Suite C, my eyes went directly to the crystal-inspired chandelier that hung from the middle of the ceiling and thought, "That’s something you don’t see in a sneaker store every day."


After further admiration of the design, my mouth dropped as I looked to the left side of the store and noticed nestled nicely on top of its stand the Jordan 7 Bordeauxs. One would think it’s typical to see a pair of Jordan Bordeauxs in a sneaker store. Well, not necessarily ...  it was two days before the sneaker was slated for release.

With an avant-garde ambience and a shoe for sale before its release date, it hit me immediately that this is not one of your average sneaker stores. But I think that’s the idea Kelvin Wright, Lamont Reid and Brandon Roberts had in mind when opening their first storefront.

Creative Loafing: What was your design scheme or concept when you went into creating the look of your store? How did you want to differentiate from other shoe stores in Charlotte?

Kelvin Wright: To be honest, I had no say in the design of the store. I hired my friend Will Smith of Interior Motives and he came in and transformed the place. I believed in his vision and seen enough of his work to know he could give the store a wow factor. The store is really clean and fresh, which was a look we wanted to portray so customers will understand the price of our product. I’ve had people stop in the store because they see the look from the window and wonder what it is we are selling.


Back when Creative Loafing profiled you and your business Fresh Exclusive, there was quite a few naysayers proclaiming your product to be fake, how did you combat that type of negativity?

It was crazy. I’ve done nothing and my product continued to sell. My celebrity friends and customers have verified my product and that’s all that mattered to me. But with anything positive you try to do, people will attempt to bring it down somehow.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coral is more than just a color in Charlotte

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Coral is a hot must-have color for your spring collection, but in Charlotte, Coral is more than a trendy color. Located in the heart of Dilworth, Coral is a new boutique with pieces as beautiful as the color coral. With some new pieces in this week, it is the perfect time to take a drive down to East Boulevard. You are sure to find something that will be a must-have for your spring collection — a girl can never have too many clothes, right? Let's take a look at some of the incredible pieces that are carried at Coral.

Coral Boutique - Animal Print Blazer Jeans

Leopard print. White blazer. Perfect fitting jeans. This outfit screams chic.

Coral Boutique - Red Dress

Need a bold party dress? Look no further than this sassy red hot number.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Jewel Box offers accessories that make you go 'wow'

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 9:43 AM

With all the amazing spring looks, there is a need to top it off with some really fab accessories. No matter how put together your outfit is, it is always in need of the cake topper (that little piece that takes this outfit from being wow to wowzier). Where is the best place to get amazing accessory pieces? One of my favorite places, The Jewel Box (which has three locations in the area)!

Let's start with the ears! Every girl needs a pair of over-sized chandelier earrings — it is a must.

Dangle Filagree Earrings - $8

Dangle Filagree Earrings - The Jewel Box

Chandelier Earrings - $18

Chandelier Earrings - The Jewel Box

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bang & Olufsen opens in SouthEnd

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Are you into technology? I mean REALLY into technology? Well, the new Bang & Olufsen Showroom is where you need to be.

I went down to take a look at all of the exciting new items they have on display, and I'm normally not a techie but these guys really know how to show off their product. One of my favorites was an amazingly stylish TV hanging on the wall like a piece of artwork. It had what I'm sure was the clearest picture I've ever seen, worth $10K, retailing at $7K. What made it so stylish, you ask? It has interchanging, colored speaker covers just in case my TV has a "fashion mood" that needs to be changed on any given day. Even the remote control was cutting edge ... now do you see why I fell in love?


Located in the Historic South End retail district of Charlotte, the 2,056 square foot building was the perfect place to showcase the New iPad docking station - BeoSound 8 and unveil, for the first time to the Charlotte media, the NEW Audi A8 with Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. I was blown away by the precision in sound of each of the products shown, but I guess for a company who's been in business since 1925, that's to be expected.


I'm sure there are a number of DJs who still have classic Bang & Olufsen turntables, which sadly, they don't make anymore, but the company has definitely made its mark in history. Bang & Olufsen is one of the few tech companies who have a permanent exhibit in The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York — and now we have our very own B&F showroom here in the Queen City. That's what I call quality to last a lifetime.

Check out Bang & Olufsen at 1700 Camden Road. 704-372-7375.

T. Strong is a TV personality, personal stylist and fashion journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing’s Klepto blog in addition to writing for several other national media organizations. To learn more visit or follow “therealtstrong” on Twitter.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Race to the rack ... Nordstrom Rack, that is

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 2:57 PM

The official opening for the Q.C.'s newest guilty pleasure, Nordstrom Rack will be happening bright and early tomorrow morning.


The line usually begins to form at around 6 a.m. or 7 a.m., so get your rain gear ready for your chance to win a $2,000 shopping spree. The "Race Through The Rack" sweepstakes winner will be announced at 8:45 a.m. and no pre-purchase is necessary to enter. Luckily, I had the exclusive opportunity to go in today and scope out some of the fabulously fashionable, yet affordable merchandise they have to offer. (I love my job!)

If you like shopping the Nordstrom retailers in the mall, you will absolutely adore the Nordstrom Rack. It's the same great designer merchandise from the top names like Vivienne Tam, Michael Kors and Dolce & Gabbana but at outlet prices. Starting at 50 percent to 60 percent off and constantly changing to give customers the "rack" up on tons of coveted designer pieces. With over 25,000 pairs of shoes on a regular basis (swoon), I simply fell in love with the entire far left wall of the store. It is covered with shoes, shoes and more shoes ranging in sizes 4-13 for women and 7-16 for men. There are collections for men, women and children and ladies, they even have Spanx ... on SALE.


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