Shopping on The Southside
by Luke Osteen
Everyone, even first-time visitors, recognizes the importance of the Crossroads in Cashiers. Distances and directions are predicated upon this centerpiece of the Cashiers Valley.
So it makes sense that a cluster of exclusive shops would spring up here, since “everyone comes to the Crossroads.”
If you’re heading South on Highway 107, you can’t miss Highland Hiker – which means both that it pops out of the landscape like a bold declaration, and you really can’t miss the place if you want to completely understand this little corner of Western North Carolina.
With its vast collection of merchandise housed in a surprisingly expansive building, Highland Hiker is like a mini department store for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will discover outfitting apparel, accessories and fly shop goods, as well as clothing for those seeking a mountain chic vibe. That’s in addition to apparel and outerwear for those active in the outdoors, yoga studios and gyms, as well as a large selection of luggage and packs, gear, tee shirts, and youth apparel. And Hiker’s commitment to outfitting extends to its footwear collection – ranging from modern, casual styles to the best in outdoor boots and running shoes.
Keep heading south, and you come to Narcissus, owner Giuliana Kaufman’s carefully curated selection of women’s apparel and accessories from some of today’s most talented American and European designers. Her aesthetic of casual elegance is a wonderful reflection of sophisticated chic, expressed by Giuliana herself as, “Modern. Classical. Elegant. Exceptional.”
William Shakespeare wrote in “Hamlet” that, “The dog will have its day.” Well, Will, it turns out that the dog will have its store, too – in Cashiers, that’d be Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming. This emporium is stocked with raw, kibble, canned, and dehydrated dog food and fresh-baked treats and chew toys, all formulated to nourish your pet with nutrient-rich foods that promote lifelong health. (By way of personalized testimonial, my poor rescue dog Olive, who’d had the natural doggy sense of playfulness beaten out of her, only really came alive when she’d be presented with Woof Gang’s Baked Bacon Biscuits). In addition, Woof Gang offers gentle pet grooming for both active outdoor canines and pampered pups.
Brookings is a fly-fishing outfitter that has become a destination for anglers to experience what Western North Carolina fly fishing is all about. This fly shop and cabin rental is located in a perfect spot to fish many different watersheds and offer a variety of trout fishing as well as smallmouth bass fishing. Staffed by some of the most experienced (and friendliest) fly-fishing guides in North Carolina, you’ll always leave with more knowledge than you came with.
The Mountain Mist Gallery opened its doors in 2011. After falling in love with the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, David Berger and his wife Julie decided to call Cashiers home and opened the gallery to showcase the work of regional artists. Berger is an award-winning oil painter whose work has been exhibited internationally for over 20 years. As curator, he chooses and represents painters, sculptors, potters, woodturners, jewelers, photographers, glass artists and handcrafted fine furniture makers. The gallery is open year-round, and offers classes and workshops.
Interior Enhancements Inc., located at its original location for 29 years, offers designer brands of furniture, decorative accessories, lamps, custom area rugs, and wallpaper, as well as wall decor and more. Interior design services are available as well.
If these offerings at the Crossroads pique your interest, remember to allow yourself plenty of time to visit. Each offers deeply personalized service and each demands a careful browse.