2013 Maggy Awards: Shopping

By Nancy Pardue

BEST PLACE TO SHOP FOR ART:
Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival

Painted, sculpted, metal or fiber-made: No matter the medium, or your personal definition of “art,” you’ll find it at Cary’s Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival.

A perennial favorite among Maggy Award voters, the family-friendly fest draws hundreds of artists from across the U.S. each August, and more than 50,000 visitors, with proceeds supporting arts activities and Cary initiatives.

But Lazy Daze, and its art offerings, have come a long way, baby. Take a look:

1977 – First Lazy Daze Festival held on Chatham Street. A 10-foot artist space costs $10, and a fl atbed truck serves as stage.
1982 – The festival grows to more than 300 artists and craftsmen.
1986 – The 10th annual Lazy Daze Festival is N.C.’s fourth largest craft show, boasting six blocks of works by artists from seven states.
1989 – Lazy Daze is, for the fi rst time, a juried festival.
1991 – The 15th annual festival shows off the works of some 500 artists.
2004 – Lazy Daze named the Regional Event of the Year for North and South Carolina, by the N.C. Association of Festivals and Events.
2005 – Featuring artists from 20 states including California, the festival awards $25K grants to 21 groups and holds the fi rst Grants Reception.
2012 – Lazy Daze is the top-rated one-day festival in the nation by Sunshine Artist magazine, and one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events. Information

 

BEST PLACE TO SHOP FOR BOOKS:
Quail Ridge Books & Music

Once upon a time, Nancy Olson opened a bookstore … the rest, as they say, is history.
Founded in 1984, Quail Ridge Books & Music is the recipient of multiple prestigious bookseller awards, thanks to its carefully selected inventories, knowledgeable staff and author-celebrating events. Olson recently surprised us by announcing that Quail Ridge is for sale, and she’s ready to retire. Before she hits the road, we asked for her thoughts on reading and retail.

Best thing about being an attorney:
Olson: Everything! The opportunity to travel without leaving my seat, to understand how others live and love, to learn about so many different things, to appreciate beautiful writing.

What books are your personal favorites?
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

What books are you eagerly awaiting in 2013?
There are two at the top of my list: Benediction by Kent Haruf, and Life After Life by Jill McCorkle, whom I have loved since we had her for our very  rst author event back in 1984.

How many people take part in the shop’s book clubs and events?
Our event attendance ranges from one to 2,000, depending on how well-known the author is. Our book clubs have from five to 40 regular members attending.

Photo by Dave Severance

 

BEST SPECIALTY FOODS STORE:
The Meat House

Not a foodie? No worries. The Meat House can help you finesse for guests, says Cary store owner Derek Wilkins.

“Marinating, seasoning, cutting — we’ve done a lot of the food preparations for you, and made it easy,” he said. “We’ll tell you how to prepare it, guests will love it and be impressed, and it’s up to you whether or not to tell.”

MEAT OFFERINGS: Prime all-natural beef of a grade met by only 2 percent of U.S. produced beef; local, small-farm, all-natural chicken and pork; exotics like venison, elk, alligator and rattlesnake.

MORE: Gourmet pastas, sauces and oils; rubs and marinades; fresh-baked breads; local desserts; the shop’s own line of spices for the kitchen and grill.

 

BEST GARDEN CENTER:
Fairview Garden Center

It’s wintertime in the Triangle — got pansies?

No matter the season, just-right plants and localized gardening advice make Fairview Garden Center a happy place for our readers.

“We do a lot of research, and we don’t grow it unless we know it works here in this region,” said Susan Rollins, among the three generation-strong family of owners that’s built the business over 30-plus years. That includes her mom, JoAnn DeWar, who at age 81 still works daily.

Staff here can solve lighting, soil and pest problems, and the center’s website offers hundreds of free gardening tips. They’ll help you create a container garden for color, and offer statuary, home decor, silk and dried florals, and a gift boutique.

“We’re a big family here, and our customers are family too. We like to keep them informed, and be a lifelong resource for them,” Rollins said. “Gardening makes you feel good; you can see your accomplishments grow.”

 

BEST SHOPPING MALL:
The Streets at Southpoint

From Ann Taylor to Zumiez, Streets at Southpoint is a literal A to Z place for shopping.

It’s also a magnet for unique-to-market retailers, as home to North Carolina’s only West Elm, Athleta and Papyrus locations. And it’s one of just two state sites each for brands like Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie.

“It’s how it’s built, the outdoor lifestyle design,” said senior general manager Patrick Anderson. “The strategy of the center performs well for market growth. Companies see us as the retail destination of choice.”

With anchors including Belk, Macy’s and the state’s first Nordstrom store, an IMAX theater, outdoor concerts and six sit-down eateries including The Cheesecake Factory, Firebirds and Rockfish Seafood Grill, it’s a spend-the-day, shop-tillyou-drop kind of place.

At least five newcomers are expected so far for 2013, Anderson says, but he’s professionally mum on their names.

No problem. You’ll find them while you’re browsing the full A to Z.

 

Photography By Jonathan Fredin

 

Tags: Features
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