Charlotte’s gift shop ‘takes a break’, leaves a hole in the local art scene

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After more than a decade at NoDa, Ruby’s Gift store will close towards the end of the month, leaving local artists one less space in Charlotte to showcase their work.

The 1,800-square-foot store at 3204 N. Davidson St. will close Jan. 24, owner Patricia Snow announced Tuesday. Ruby’s Gift offers handcrafted items by artisans in the Charlotte area, from art and pottery to glass and jewelry, as well as household items and accessories.

However, Snow said, although the NoDa site in Charlotte’s Arts District is shutting down, Ruby’s is only “stopping.” Snow said she had hope and plans to reopen at another location.

“I hope it’s not a long break,” Snow said.

But Snow said with the lease expiring at the end of the month, it was a good time to take a break and reset his life. “I’m really sad about it. I need more time, ”Snow said.

Since Ruby’s opening, Snow’s family has grown from one child to three, including twins. She also has a full time job in the tech industry. Plus, she weathered the COVID-19 pandemic by juggling her demanding job, safety protocols at Ruby’s and the remote school.

“My stress level is at the top. It was just a lot; it was overwhelming, ”Snow said.

Snow said she thought about closing during the pandemic but stayed open because “it was like we were helping people.”

The store now features more than 100 local artists, Snow said, and up to 1,000 artists over the years, many new to selling their work.

“Artists could always have a place to sell their items,” she said.

‘MORE THAN EVER’

Charlotte artist David French said Ruby’s closure means he will be looking for a new place to showcase his work and reach more people. Visibility and location will be hard to beat at NoDa, said French, who has sold numerous prints there and mounted prints every year.

“Ruby’s has been busier than ever over the past year,” French said.

The store’s neighbors are Mac Tabby Cat Cafe, Curio Craft and Conjure, and Bar à Vins, a wine store that plans to open this year, in a two-store brick building.

Losing Ruby’s follows the closure last year of the Green with Envy gift shop in Plaza Midwood after more than 20 years. This leaves cafes and restaurants for French artists and others to display their work, and places like Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth where French has exhibited his work for a dozen years.

“It’s nice to have a store to potentially make money for you every month,” French said. Ruby’s was convenient too, a few blocks from his home.

French said he would likely do more pop-up markets and plan to open more of his private studio NoDa. But Snow insists that Ruby’s isn’t saying goodbye, but see you later.

“This store and this place has been magical to me,” said Snow. “I have to find a way to be in the store more often … and have fun.”

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