Welcome to our 5th Gift Guide, all STUFF or Shops with STUFF to gift yourself or others!

We hope you learn about some businesses and products you weren’t aware of, and can try them out! Some of these are great gifts for others, while some are great gifts for YOURSELF! Each listing should be linked from the title and image OR business name if you want to go to one of the sites.

We are doing 8 days of posts with 8 different categories. Each post/ category will also feature a giveaway from one or more of the highlighted businesses. To enter each one, you can comment on the blog post, or share our linked post on Facebook or Instagram! We will do the drawings for ALL posts on 12/20/22 in the evening.

***There will be one grand prize pack drawing. Those who comment on all 8 posts in the series will be entered for that!


There are sooooo many cute retail stores in Downtown Apex! Take a day to explore and shop small businesses!

These are my favorites in location order from one end of the main part of Salem St to the other and back the other side:

*Adventures in Bloom

For the eclectic person in your life.

*Holland’s Jewelers

For the special lady or daughter in your life.

*Elk Local Foods

For the foodie in your life.

*AABS Inc (upstairs)

For the person who desperately needs tax help.

*Anna’s Pizza

For the Italian food lover.

*La Rancherita

For the Mexican food lover.

*The Rusty Bucket

For the country decor lover.

*Virtuoso Jewels

For the one of a kind jewel of your life.


For the chocolate and fudge lover.

*Sixpence Accents

For your mother in law.

*HighCraft Apex

For the beer lover.

*Antiques on Salem

For the vintage and antique lover.

*Glam Soldier (upstairs)

For the hip and trendy dresser.

*Doodling Bug

For the teen girl or college student in your life.

*621 Productions

For your parents who have all those old home movies in a box somewhere.

*Stylish Living

For the Martha Stewart fan.

*Gail & Grace

For the person who can never have too many clothes.

*Mission Market

For the healthy eater in your life.

*The Peak on Salem

For the person who loves to eat out.

*Apex Visitor’s Center/ Economic Development offices

For the Apex native or proud resident.

*Apex Outfitter

For the outdoors lover.

*Scratch Kitchen

For the cocktail lover.

*Bella & Mauve

For the babysitter who wants to look cool.

*Cocoon Gallery

For the person who has everything.

*Sawdust & Clay

For the wood art lover.

*Common Grounds

For the coffee drinker.

*Apex Gallery

For the person with nothing on their walls.

*The Provincial

For the person who loves really good food.

*Werking Design & Decor

For the person who needs help with decorating.

*Salem St Pub

For the burger lover.

*Southern Home Crafts

For the crafter in your life.

*FRESH Local Ice Cream

For the ice cream lover.

*The Perky Lady

For the lady always tugging at her bra.

*A Taste of Brooklyn

For the person with a sweet tooth.

*Rose & Lee Co (around the corner)

For the conscious shopper who is also a fashionista.

*The Massage Joint (around the corner)

For the person who really needs a break.


For the bourbon lover.


Outside of the Downtown Apex shops, there are of course tons of local shops in neighboring downtowns and beyond in Cary, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, etc! Below are independent shops and small businesses I know personally that I highly recommend as well.



Need a closet refresh? Want to know how to use what you already have in your closet better? Like to get clothes and accessories at consignments shops and great prices? Join my friend Heidi’s group Fashionista on a Dime, where she has live sales and album sales. She will even sell others’ great condition items of all sizes to her group for a split in profit. She specializes in helping people get a good look for them, and she can be hired to do closet consultations and shopping help. You know you’ve made it when she declares you are “Heidi Approved”!


Bekki Bennett is a native Apexian, and she can help small to midsize businesses with promo items. She will do small quantities or large. Many things she makes in her home studio where she houses a lot of engraving and imprinting tools. She makes all of our Positively Apex promo items- from apparel to cups to pens and more. Also consider her for personal needs like weddings and reunions!


Tina Owen, of Apex, NC, wants you to be Prepared, NOT Scared. She is an Independent Damsel Pro for brand Damsel in Defense. They provide all sorts of protection items, from stun guns and pepper spray to conceal carry bags and striking tools to RFID protecting wallets and children’s safety education books to identity protection! Her items are stylish, and great gifts for women and teens.


Apex, NC resident Sheena Scruggs, PhD is the founder of Solid Roots. Her background as a scientist at the National Institute of Health inspired her to help reduce the use of toxins and more sustainable. Enter Solid Roots, a line of solid shampoo and conditioner bars that is all natural and uses minimal ecofriendly packaging. The bars last a long time if you take care of them properly. Order direct on the website, or find them in certain retail shops and markets in the NC area. A great gift for those trying to be more environmentally friendly!


The LuLaRoe brand has gotten a bad rap in the last couple of years. Well, it’s still around and better than ever! Many people still think of it as the 2016 version- as ostentatious leggings, maxis, and tunics. It is so much more now, and there is something for everyone design-wise. I am still an avid follower and shopper with my friend Sara Johnson, of Willow Spring, NC. She still thrives as an independent retailer for the LuLaRoe brand in her home boutique. No matter what my opinion is about the company leaders, I am supporting my local friend Sara, as this business supports her family which she runs with integrity and authenticity. She has a thriving business through her website and Facebook group. I highly suggest you check out what all she can offer for clothing! A great gift will surely be found for someone in your life.



There are so many great artists here in the Triangle of NC. Two that stand out to me are my friend, Heather Eck, of Holly Springs, NC; and Lew Wilson Art of Apex, NC. Heather specializes in abstract art and focusing on color to portray feeling. We all have an aura of color that defines us, and Heather can even do commissioned paintings based on yours. Lew Wilson Art is known for the stylized paintings and prints of local landmarks and towns. Every year, they offer a special limited ornament. Art from either artist would make an amazing gift.


When I met artist Sheri Moe online through her Facebook page, I knew “she is my people”. She actually lives in Minnesota, so we have never met in person, but I know if we lived closer we would hang out! I choose to support her small unique handcrafted beaded jewelry and art business because it is funky and cool, and everything is one of a kind. A lot of it is made of vintage pieces that have been deconstructed and reimagined. Her prices are always affordable, and she ships for FREE! She mainly sells through a live broadcast on Facebook on Wednesday nights and Sunday late-mornings. She will also take custom orders, so reach out and see what she can create for you!



Books are a great gift, depending on what someone is interested in. I have three local authors to recommend. First up is Kathy Simmers, who has created a wonderful children’s book, Jump the Moon, that can even be bought with a plush pony. A must buy for kids or moms. Next up is speaker and coach, and my personal networking guru, Joe Novara of Growth Academy. He currently has three books available about networking and mindset. A must have for business owners and networkers. Finally, my friend Amie Knight leads a double life. Locally, she is an awesome mom, friend, and supporter. Globally, she is amazing romance novelist! She has almost a dozen novels in print so far, and the latest is called The Fake Holidate! Perfect for anyone who loves romance novels.


The Creager family has a wonderful small farm at the corner of Davis and Old Jenks in Apex, NC, as well as a country store filled with locally made goodies of all kinds. They have Christmas trees in December, and blueberry picking in the Summer. Plus a little of everything else whenever in season for produce! Go by and pick up a local gift for someone and you will surely want a lot more.


Though it is too late to make Christmas 2022 orders, Katie Paxton of New Hill, NC is a teacher who runs a small custom apparel business from her home. She is my go to for any specific shirt I want to get made for a gift or myself. Even though she can’t do more custom orders this December, she may just have some extras of certain items available. Check out her Facebook page!


Scentsy is a direct sales brand, but they have wonderful quality products and you still shop from a specific person to order. My go to Scentsy gal is Jen Bruns of Apex, NC. She actually calls herself the Go To Gal, because in addition to Scentsy, she represents 7 other companies with products she loves. Due to medical reasons, a couple of years ago she had to close her housecleaning business and pivot to something more flexible and less physically demanding. In her catalog of brands, she has Scentsy, Pampered Chef, 31 Gifts, Color Street, Melaleuca, Bemer, Young Living, and Juice Plus . Need a gift? Just contact Jen!


A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually sell PartyLite. I have been a consultant since 2009! I don’t focus on it as a business really anymore, but I still have a site for shopping! PartyLite candles and products are very high quality. The candles burn clean and long. Grab a gift for the candle lover in your life! There are always some good sales.


Are you concerned about all the toxins we use in our homes and lives every day? You should be! Norwex is a wonderful brand that provides mostly cleaning products that mostly just need WATER to clean and sanitize surfaces in your home. Contact my friend Dawn to get some basics to get started on switching from chemical cleaners, and paper products!


There are so many makeup options out there, it’s overwhelming. Go to Ulta and it is a sea of indecision. Just stop and call my girl Amber with Limelife by Alcone. She is a trained makeup artist as well, so I trust her recommendations. Go to her website and you can even request a sample. Put her in touch with the girl who can never have enough makeup.


I am a low maintenance person, and as I grow older it is becoming more and more important to take care of my skin as well as to use less toxic skin products. Your skin is your largest organ, and anything applied to it is immediately soaked into your bloodstream! Think about that the next time you touch a chemical. Anyway, through my friend Melinda of Apex, NC, I discovered brand Herbal Alchemy (formerly MIG Living). The products are all natural made from farm fresh beeswax, and other wonderful ingredients and NO added water which dries out skin. They have wonderful soap, lotions in bar form, serums, color, and even some supplements. Contact Melinda to put together a gift pack for someone.


Whether you have awesome long nails that are fun to paint, or you bite your nails and can’t seem to stop, you should know about two nail products out there. The first is Color Street, which is real nail polish in a sticky strip. They are easy to apply, and come in all colors, glitters, and patterns for super fun nails that will last 2-3 weeks for most. You can use them on your toes as well. Shop with my friend Shonda, or with the previously mentioned Jen, and have a nail party with friends. If you want to go a different route, try new Hello Love press on nails from local rep, Michelle Gladstone. I’ve heard people having success with both products to stop biting their nails!





There you have it- my top picks with local businesses for all the STUUUUUUFFFF. 

This GIVEAWAY includes: handmade jewelry from Hunkabunk, candles from PartyLite, and a set of Color Street nail strips!

Comment on this post or share our linked post on the Positively Apex Facebook or Instagram pages to be entered!


Tomorrow’s list will be the PRACTICAL category!