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Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Copy of Holiday Gift Guide-2Still searching for that perfect gift? Have no fear, AOC is here with a few holiday gift recommendations.

    1. Edith Grey Designs: Got an art lover on your list? Look no further than local artist Edith Grey to find some great art for them to wear, frame, or hang on their wall. Graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Apparel Design, Edith Grey (Natasha Powell Walker) uses her art as a platform to blend her two passions, “Fashion is my art, and art is my fashion. To choose between the two is not an option.” EG works in a range of mediums; acrylic, oils, inks, markers and colored pencil. In addition to her artwork, she also offers a host of creative services including calligraphy, stationery design, and monograms. The name Edith Grey? Her grandmother’s maiden name. “Strong willed, intelligent, and always poised,” Walker states, “My grandmother encompassed the qualities I strive to maintain. By keeping my heritage in the forefront I can never forget where I come from.”
    2. Candace Carver Art: Candace “Candy” Carver is a North Carolina Native that spent her formative years in Elkhart, IN, where she developed her abstract creativity. Working primarily with acrylic and various surfaces from canvas to vinyl, she creates vibrant, textured pieces that touch the soul and excite viewers. Carver contributes much of her inspiration to her own love for excitement, color and beauty found in the human form. Some of her artwork, such as “Foxxy” “Judy” and Ebony”, celebrates the beauty found in the curves of women. Artwork from Candy Carver will surely find a beautiful place on the walls of the recipient’s home for years to come.
    3. Bart Cusick: Taking pop culture to a more colorful level, artist Bart Cusick integrates the familiarity of pop subculture with urban flair. With his works scattered across Raleigh and Durham, you just may have walked by an original piece already. If you are looking for a gift this season that your grandmother wouldn’t bat an eye towards, but carries the addicting qualities of nostalgia pieces, BC and his pop illustrations are the way to go. Cusick is a contributor to the downtown Raleigh art scene, with works in urban murals and freelancing. More than a local creative, he has also been noted in having created an eLearning course in order to help technologically illiterate adults; with hopes of helping those behind the times, these students are taught to handle simple everyday processes such as online applications.
    4. Exotique Boutique: When you walk past Exotique, it is guaranteed that you will catch a glimpse into a unique world, one that you cannot quite find in downtown Durham. Full of original artwork, fabrics, and décor, the array of items at this shop are an echo of the travels of owners Dr. Yemi Olufolabi and wife, Lola. Opened in April of 2006, the couple aimed their sights on sharing their distinctive experiences in the culture and diversity they have come across in their time. Dr. Olufolabi M.D., F.R.C.A., is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Women’s Anesthesia at Duke University; born in Nigeria, and raised in England, he is an active board member with Kybele, Inc.: an NPO seeking to provide appropriate medical training and improve childbirth procedures internationally. Not only is Exotique a shop of many pickings, but as it turns out, was also a storage facility in the past for a great number of donated medical equipment. This shop is a great find for those who are looking to invest purposefully for the holidays, as well as for those seeking a culturally unique gift.
    5. Franco: Franco describes himself as much more than a visual artist, he’s a visual activist. His various galleries, including “erase racism”, “shero”, “the revolution will be heard” and “warriors” provide a visual aspect to many activist causes across the states. His bright, vibrant art is sure to find a perfect place on a wall!
    6. Letters Book Shop: Got a bookworm to buy for? Forget the crowds at Barnes and Noble and support the local business that is Letters Book Shop. Books are added to this spot daily, so you’ll never run into the same old selection. If you’re a K-12 teacher, you’ll enjoy a discount at their store every day. From their wide selection of new, used and children’s book, you’ll be sure to find a great gift for everyone on your list. Not sure what they like to read? Letters Book Shop also sells gift cards.
    7. Dolly’s Vintage: While traditional gifts are grand, quirky thingamabobs never hurt. Down the block from Beyù Caffè, you can take a tour of this colorful shop while (again) sipping on some coffee from our favorite cafe. Inspired by the owner’s childhood doll, as well as her own grandmother (a nod to Grandma Thelma), this vintage store boasts everything from vintage clothing, costume jewelry, wigs, and other knick knacks. If you’re looking for a fun and easy gift for the holiday season, take a quick look at Dolly’s and come see what you can discover amongst the plastic and tulle.
    8. Fifi’s Consignment: Got a fashionista on your list? Make Fifi’s your first stop. The consignment store has labels like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and others, all gently loved and deeply discounted. Grab your friend a gift card or a sweet pick from their downtown Durham store.
    9. Ninth Street Bakery: A Durham staple, if you don’t know where to go after a night of heavy dining and drinking, Ninth Street Bakery is where you take your out-of-town relatives for a quick brunch after downing your cuppa from Beyu. Perched on a corner, à la warehouse style, you can take a quick glance over the shops across the street while eating on the deck. Originally founded in 1981 by the Ferrell brothers (George and Frank), the original location has shifted but continues to serve from Ninth Street; its menu has also transformed from simple baked goods to a full scale restaurant, and back to a smaller take-out cafe as ownership and demands changed hands. Today, the Ferrells have retired, but the name and business lives on to continue serving the community.
    10. Cave Taureau Wines: If your friends are anything like our leadership team, they like wine in copious amounts. This downtown Durham spot sports wine from Austria, Germany, France, Greece and other countries. Chat with the owners and discover the perfect wine for holiday ham, stuffing, or just about anything. Make sure to grab a bottle for yourself, because ‘tis the season.
    11. Beyù Caffè: It’s Christmas Eve and you need caffeine to power through the final countdown of gift wrapping, holiday soirees, and leaving cookies out for Santa. Stop by this Durham staple to grab a cup of java and a pastry. The upbeat, boho coffeeshop is different than your run of the mill coffee shops,and corporate chains. Light jazz plays, and you can mosey up to the bar for a whiskey neat to go along with your cappuccino (which is always a bonus for us) Take your out of town relatives here for a night of great music and food leading up the holidays, and make sure to bring them some great coffee on Christmas morning.

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