Small Business Spotlight: Stylish Living

Owner Linda Land in front of a selection of snow globes and other unique gifts.

Linda Land, owner of Stylish Living in downtown Apex, wants you to feel like family when you walk into her store. That’s because family is how her business got started. Along with her daughter, Ariana, Land opened a decade ago along North Salem Street. When Ariana stepped back after having her third child, Land and her husband, Tom, made sure family remained a touchpoint for their gift boutique. We caught up with Land as she was gearing up for the holidays to learn more about a spot you’ll want to put on your shopping list.

A piece of stylish jewelry may make for the perfect present this holiday season.

When did your business open and how did it all get started?

Our business opened in 2011 in a little booth in The Shops of Baileywick, a multivendor store in North Raleigh. We wanted to start in a low-risk situation to see if we wanted to proceed with a larger location. We had our eyes on downtown Apex, but didn’t want a lot of square footage to start out.

Why did you choose downtown Apex as the location for your shop?

We liked the quaint feel of the historic downtown, the older architecture, storefront parking, and the variety of businesses and places to eat. Apex was beginning to grow, and we felt that foot traffic would be good for business.

How would you describe your own style?

This is a hard one, because I have an appreciation for many different styles. For the most part, I like classic items that will stand the test of time.

What kind of items do you sell?

Our categories are home accents and candles, stationery, jewelry, bath and body, women’s clothing, and baby and child.

How do you curate your inventory?

We select well-made items that we love and would be happy to give to someone as a gift. We ask our customers, friends, and family what products they love. We go to markets twice a year to see, touch, feel, and smell new products. While we might keep the best sellers in our shop for years, we also rotate other products in and out to give customers a fresh look no matter how frequently they visit us.

A cozy spot, Stylish Living invites you to browse and stay a while. The store offers home accents, candles, stationery, jewelry, bath and body, women’s clothing, and baby and child.

Do you sell pieces from any local artisans?

Yes, we have some selections with local connections, and although there are so many talented people in our area, that isn’t our primary focus. There are some great downtown shops whose business model is to support local artisans, and we respect their niche. One of the nice things about downtown Apex is that there is something appealing for everyone!

What are some items that would be good for holiday gift-giving?

We have some beautiful holiday-themed snow globes in different shapes and styles, with battery-operated fans to keep the “snow” moving. These are loved by all ages, from babies who find them mesmerizing, to adults who are not decking the halls, but want a touch of the season in their home. We also have a collection of trees that are a beautiful addition to the seasonal decor. For gifts that don’t have a seasonal theme, we have many choices for most age groups.

Holiday snow globes in different shapes and styles use a battery-operated fan to keep the “snow” moving.

Do you have any items that are particularly popular?

Seasonally, the items mentioned above are so popular that people asked to be notified when we would be putting them on the sales floor so they can add to their collection. For year-round items, our biggest seller is the London-based Jellycat line.

What is an example of a one-of-a-kind gift or special discovery?

One of my favorite discoveries is Apex artist Caitlin Baumberger and her business, Happy Tines. Her illustrations are so beautiful, colorful, and whimsical. She granted us exclusive rights to sell mugs with her downtown Apex design. We also carry her cards and prints of local towns and cities.

What are the challenges and opportunities that come from owning a small business?

The best advantage of owning a small business is having the opportunity to get to know a lot of our customers. They have really enriched my life. The biggest challenge is probably not having enough space to offer more lovely products.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

The holidays bring out different memories and emotions for people, whether they be religious in nature or about family traditions. The holidays can also be stressful, so have a kind and helping spirit when interacting with people. Lastly, if you can’t afford that gift, don’t do anything to put yourself in a bad situation. Your kindness is the best gift of all.

Stylish Living
120 N. Salem St., Apex
(919) 629-7458

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