If you had the opportunity to experience Brandshop last year, then you will share in my excitement in welcoming them back to Charlotte this holiday season. Brandshop, a traveling retail event that introduces emerging brands and designers to savvy shoppers across the country, returns to Charlotte, NC, December 9-15 for a weeklong engagement at 340 East 16th Street in Optimist Park.

Brandshop’s 2016 Charlotte event will feature shop-in-shops with more than 30 emerging brands in fashion, art and design, as well as a daylong speaker series presented by online home furnishings company ATGStores.com. Speakers will include MDS Stripes founder Mark D. Sikes, ATGStores.com president Michelle Newbery, consulting style director, author and designer Eddie Ross, Mark Hampton design firm president Alexa Hampton, and Leontine Linens Founder Jane Scott Hodges, among others.

“Brandshop is focused on introducing women to the country’s most innovative, buzzworthy brands to create an experience that is as much about making connections as it is about shopping,” said co-founder Hillary Crittendon. “This is our second time holding a large-scale event in Charlotte, and we couldn’t be more excited to get back to our roots.”

Brandshop was founded in 2015 by childhood friends, Crittendon and Laura Martin Mills, to connect the best emerging designers and entrepreneurs with a passionate, savvy audience eager to discover new brands and engage with like-minded women. Over the past year, Brandshop has traveled everywhere from Atlanta and New Orleans to Nantucket and Nashville, and has formed partnerships with more than 60 young brands to help them grow.

“This year, you can expect to discover exciting brands like Sugarfina, which has a 14,000-person waiting list for its Whispering Angel Rosé Gummy Bears that have garnered national headlines, and Rothy’s, a San Francisco-based company that uses a 3D knitting process to turn recycled water bottles into stylish, washable ballet flats,” Mills said. “And, of course we’re also thrilled to partner with ATGStores.com to bring an exciting Speaker Series to our audience.”

Additional programming includes a kid-focused day on Saturday, December 10, that features a visit from Santa, a jewelry workshop by “Kidpreneur” Riley Kinnane-Petersen of LITTLE LUX to benefit the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Charlotte, and shopping with top kids’ brands.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit thebrandshop.co. As a Noteworthy reader, receive 20% your ticket purchase for the Brandshop Speaker Series with code "noteworthy" at checkout.



We started Brandshop in the fall of 2015 because, as busy women ourselves, we didn’t have time to discover the emerging companies and unique individuals in the art, fashion, and design worlds whose products and expertise we wanted to bring into our own home. Like many of you, shopping for us is a conscious decision and an exercise in self-expression. When we connect with a brand’s story, our enjoyment of our purchase — whether it’s a dress, a painting, or an heirloom-quality handbag — increases ten-fold. Unfortunately, we found that many of the products and companies that we were interested in did not have the distribution power or marketing reach to get our attention. (This is in part because the companies are young with limited marketing budgets, and in part, because our hometowns were outside of major fashion and design hubs like NYC, LA, etc. where young brands often focus their efforts.)

Brandshop is a way to introduce — in person — sophisticated shoppers to a curated collection of emerging brands we think they’ll enjoy. It’s also a venue for those brands to reach an audience of women who will carry their brand’s message forward. In addition to a highly edited shopping experience at each Brandshop event, we are also proud to host a full-day of panels led by female entrepreneurs and leaders in the art, design, and fashion space.

Featured image by Joshua Galloway.