After more than a decade in NoDa, Ruby’s Gift store will close near the end of the month, leaving local artists with one less spot in Charlotte to showcase their work.
The 1,800-square-foot shop at 3204 N. Davidson St. will close Jan. 24, owner Patricia Snow said Tuesday. Ruby’s Gift features handmade items by Charlotte-area artisans from art and pottery to glass and jewelry, plus home goods and accessories.
However, Snow said, although the NoDa location in Charlotte’s Arts District is closing, Ruby’s is only “pausing.” Snow said she has the hope and intent of reopening at another location.
“I hope it’s not a long pause,” Snow said.
But Snow said with the lease coming due at the end of the month, it was the right time to take a break and reset her life. “I’m really sad about it. I need more time,” Snow said.
Since Ruby’s opened, 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’s navigated the COVID-19 pandemic juggling her demanding job, safety protocols at Ruby’s and remote school.
“My stress level has been through the roof. It was just a lot; it was overwhelming,” Snow said.
Snow said she thought about closing during the pandemic but stayed open because “it felt like we were helping people.” The store features over 100 local artists now, Snow said, and as many as 1,000 artists through the years, including many new to selling their work.
“The artists were still able to have a place to sell their items,” she said.
‘Busier than ever’
Charlotte artist David French said Ruby’s closing means he’ll be looking for a new place to showcase his artwork and reach more people. It will be hard to beat the visibility and location in NoDa, said French, who has sold many prints and mounted prints there each year.
“Ruby’s has been busier than ever in the last year,” French said.
The shop’s neighbors are Mac Tabby Cat Cafe, Curio Craft and Conjure and Bar à Vins, a wine shop planning to open this year, in a two-store brick building.
Losing Ruby’s follows last year’s closing of the gift shop Green with Envy in Plaza Midwood after more than 20 years. That leaves coffee shops and restaurants for French and other artists to display their work, and places like Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth where French has had his work displayed for a dozen years.
“It’s nice having a store to potentially make money for you every month,” French said. Ruby’s was convenient, too, just a few blocks from his house.
French said he’ll likely do more popup markets and plans to hold open up his private NoDa studio more.
But Snow insists Ruby’s isn’t saying goodbye, but see you later.
“That store and that location have been magical for me,” Snow said. “I have to work out a way for me to be in the store more often … and having fun.”
This story was originally published January 5, 2022 1:04 PM.