WILMINGTON — With Christmas two weeks away, Port City Daily published a list of six local places to get unique gifts last week. This week, in response to requests from readers, Port City Daily visited six more local places offering eccentric, interesting and one-of-a-kind last-minute gifts. (Photos by Benjamin Schachtman with permission of the respective establishments.)
Coastal Paws – Kathleen White and Ruthie Halko took over this local pet store – formerly Doggie by Nature – in the Cotton Exchange (343 N. Front St.) just recently, holding their grand opening on Nov. 17. Coastal Paws is, as White said, “a local business that sells local business.”
Almost everything in the store is sourced from North Carolina artists and artisans. They also host adoption events for local animal support groups – including Adopt-an-Angel. Check out their Facebook page (@coastalpaws) for updates.
The store can be reached at (910) 612-9895. For information on the store, as well as a photo-gallery of the owners and investors’ dogs, visit coastalpawsnc.com. The store is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
T.S. Brown – For 33 years Tim and Sandy Brown’s jewelry has been designed and handmade at their location (also in the Cotton Exchange). In addition to the Brown’s jewelry line, the store also sells a variety of local jewelry and other interesting items, including a gentleman’s folding knife – the handle made from fossilized dinosaur bone – and designer watches – the wristbands and casing of which are made entirely from wood.
T.S. Brown can reached at (910) 762-3467, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tsbrown.com. The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Planet – In terms of pure eclecticism, it is difficult to top the randomness of Planet. Located at 108 N. Front St. – after moving from its old location on S. Front in early 2008 – the store offers a wide selection, from new and used clothing, vinyls and CDs and a wide variety of weird and interesting accessories.
Best to go with an open mind, and let the right gift find you. Planet can be reached at (910) 762-3467 and found on Facebook @planetnc. They are open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Wonder Shop – Owner Kelsey Gibbs is passionate about fashion, but not what she calls the “fast fashion disaster of the current textile industry.” Gibbs’ shop offers unique vintage clothes – and help with personal styling.
Gibbs says her store is dedicated to “clothing bravery and environmentally friendly fashion.” The wonder shop is located at 22 N. Front St., and can be contacted at (910) 763-1982 and by email at email@example.com. Visit their website for products and specials, and check them out on facebook at @thewondershop. The Wonder Shop is open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Whatever Wilmington – If the pop culture of the last half-century exploded violently and then contracted to the size of a small store, it would look like Whatever Wilmington, located at 609 Castle St.
The range is broad: Planet of the Apes mask made from the original 1967 mold? Check. French theatrical release poster for the original 1974 “Chainsaw Massacre” (Massacre à la Tronçonneuse)? Check. Action figure for Ridley Scott’s 1979 “Alien,” recalled after it was deemed too scary for children? Check. Local artist Rich Anderson’s Iron Man painting, commissioned by Robert Downey Jr. but never collected or paid for? Check.
First edition “Hulk” comic, alligator feet, and half a cow from the series premier of Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” television series? Check, check and check. Whatever Wilmington can be reached at 614-886-1496 or by email at WhateverWilm@gmail.com. The store updates its new acquisitions at their website. They are open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Alayna’s Boutique – Rajul Moose, who opened the boutique alongside Kendall’s Hallmark (the two stores are named for Moose’s now-teenage daughters), in the location her parents had owned since 1988.
Moose decided to get into the boutique garment business because, as she said, “if you go to Belk or J.C. Penny, it’s so hard to find someone to help you, or even a place to check out. I’m not trying to compete with them, I’m not trying to be Belk. But I want to have a place where women can come and get help putting together an outfit. We can be honest with them, and tell them if an outfit is not going to work for them, and also help them find something they can’t find anywhere else.” Moose says the boutique gets new items daily, and also receives limited quantities.
Moose takes several trips a year to Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York to source “great clothes and good deals.” Alayna’s Boutique is located near Bed Bad & Beyond at 352 S. College Rd. and can be reached at (910) 392-3991 or through Facebook @alanyasboutique. They are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Editor’s note: This story has been changed to correct the phone number for Whatever Wilmington.