Dreaming of Summer Time

Summer State of Mind

Does this weather make you want to crawl into a pan of brownies? Us too. And since at one point a large rodent told us there would be six more weeks of winter, we thought we’d help keep your spirits up while the temperatures are low! Snow happens to be falling as I write this so let’s explore ways to bring that beachy, summertime feeling to you till warmer weather arrives!

Keep in mind, folks. We’re living in North Carolina. We probably define “warmer weather” slightly different than most!


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Can’t go to the beach just yet? Bring the spirit of the sea to you with this oh so classy and preppy infinity scarf from Carolina Clover!


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Bring the beach into your home with this coffee table book from Fresh Catch or the lighthouse wall decor from Z-Bakes!


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These coasters from A Welcome Home could be the perfect accent to your beach house or condo this summer! This booth has oodles of home accents for any room!


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There is nothing quite like the smell of ocean air and since we can’t bottle that for you, Fresh Catch has gotten as close as possible with their Ocean Pür Shea Butter Lotion!


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Don’t be shy about statement pieces! We love this anchor necklace from DMC Designs. This booth is dripping with anchor accessories!

*The Cotton Company is a boutique marketplace shopping destination and art gallery in the heart of downtown Wake Forest, North Carolina. With over sixty individual businesses and artists, we strive to support small businesses and drive the entrepreneurial spirit of the vendors who reside inside.


A Sunday through Saturday Kind of Love

I’m sure you all know that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The rolling of eyes or giddy squeals of excitement may now commence. It’s true. Most people love it, or hate it. Don’t get me wrong. My heart nearly exploded when I got that single red rose framed by babies breath on Valentine’s Day my freshmen year of high school (Thanks Mom). But recently, I’ve had a revelation. Why not make everyday Valentine’s Day? Why are there only a few special days a year to show your love for someone…

So, here at The Cotton Company we think everyday is  the right day to show how much you love someone. Romance doesn’t have to be a prerequisite to participate in the outwardly show of affection. We think Moms, Dads, Friends, Kids, Furbabies, Brothers and Sisters can all be your Valentine. If they’re special to you they deserve to know. Every single day.

Here are a few fun items that would be great gifts for the “the one” or any special someone.

DSC_0642We love this simple and delicate multi use container. Use it as a daily jewelry catch-all or even a home for your stray desktop supplies. You can find this and much more in the Pocketful of Posies booth on our Marketplace side. Also look here!


Some people wear their heart on their sleeve, but we wear ours on our wrists. One charm. One word. But we think it says it all! Find this bracelet and much more in the Purple Petunia booth on our Marketplace side or you can check them out here.


This wall decor would be the perfect addition above the bedside table, end table or even be a sweet reminder above the kitchen sink. Anywhere is the right place to remind those you love just how important they are! This and oodles more home decor can be found in The Robin’s Next booth on our Marketplace side. You can find more items from The Robin’s Nest here.


She already has a heart of gold. Why not give her two more? These lovable and fun accessories can be found in the DMC Design Co. booth on our Marketplace side. Check out these earrings and get a peek at a few more items here.


Don’t worry, fellas. We would never forget about you. This wall decor could be the finishing touch to that man cave they boys have been working hard to finish! You can find this and much more decor catered to the guys in the Z-Bake’s booth on our Marketplace side! Check out more here.

DSC_0649Nothing says love like showing appreciation for what someone else cares about. This is the perfect gift for the canine enthusiast in your life! Towels like this one, food dishes, toys and more can be found in the Fashion Hound booth on our Marketplace side! Custom sayings are available. Click here to see what else might be discovered!

*The Cotton Company is a boutique marketplace shopping destination and art gallery in the heart of downtown Wake Forest, North Carolina. With over sixty individual businesses and artists, we strive to support small businesses and drive the entrepreneurial spirit of the vendors who reside inside.

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

We gave our staff an unlimited gift card “wink wink” and these are the items we chose for ourselves or for our friends and family.  These favorite items selections are never bought or solicited by vendors. They are actual favorite things chosen from current vendor stock. Be sure to check back in with us for more installments of Our Favorite Things series later this year!

Although Christmas has come and gone, we just couldn’t help compiling a list of some ( because let’s face it, we love it all) of our favorite items that caught our eye during a bustling Holiday Season.


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Our Gallery Manager, April just can’t get enough of these adorable canine accessories from our Lady Maggie vendor! The Cotton Company welcomes all well behaved dogs so come on in & add a little pizzaz to your poodle with this adorable bow-tie. You can find these items and more here.


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Cameo, Cameo…where for art thou, Cameo? At the Cotton Company. That’s where. Our newest Sales Associate, Marjorie has been smitten with these little Cameo rings since day one.  These beauties can be found on the Gallery side in Gavy’s Jewelry Case. Be sure to check out even more of her inventory here.


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Our Sales Associate, Emily, is a self-proclaimed coffee gal and knows her stuff when it comes to being The Queen of Caffeine (& decaf), so take her at her word and try any Bean Therapy coffee and you will not be disappointed. Bean Therapy has a variety of coffee and tea and can be found on the Marketplace side! Don’t forget to check out more of their delicious options here.


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Calling all North Carolina Natives–and anyone who loves this beautiful state as much as we do. Our Senior Sales Associate, Elizabeth can’t get enough of these shirts from the State Legacy Revival booth on our Marketplace side! And let’s be honest, even if you weren’t born here, North Carolina has a way of making you want to stay. Be sure to check out more of their stock here.


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We may not all go riding, but we all love riding boots! Senior Sales Associate, Sammy received a pair of these grey, monogrammed boots for Christmas and we’ve all been green with envy ever since! You can find these and much more in the Carolina Clover booth on the Marketplace side. What Southern gal doesn’t love a custom monogrammed….well, anything!? Want to see more? Visit here.

*The Cotton Company is a boutique marketplace shopping destination and art gallery in the heart of downtown Wake Forest, North Carolina. With over sixty individual businesses and artists, we strive to support small businesses and drive the entrepreneurial spirit of the vendors who reside inside.

Top Honors for The Cotton Company from The Best of The Best

Top Honors for

The Cotton Company


The Best of the Best was another successful year. A big Thank You to The Wake Weekly for having The Best of The Best contest for local businesses. The Cotton Company would also like say a big Thank You to all those who voted for us. We placed as a top three finalist in four different categories; Best Art Studio, Best Gift Shop, Best Banquet facility, and Favorite Overall Store.

We look forward to continue serving all of our customers, and we again thank you for your votes and for shopping local with us here in Downtown Wake Forest. If you have never visited us, please come join us the next time you are in the area. We have at least 60 different local businesses and artist in our store. We would love to meet you.

The Cotton Company can be located at

306 S. White Street

Wake Forest, NC 27587



Art After Hours with Jane Steelman

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Enjoy an Artist Reception in The Gallery from 6-9pm on Friday May 10th. Meet Featured Artist Jane Steelman and admire her Alcohol Ink on Tile Exhibit.
We will also host Live Music from 6-8:30 provided by The Music Academy South inside The Marketplace. And enjoy an extended art show from 6-9 upstairs in The Event Gallery. Additional works provided for exhibit by The Heritage High School AP Art Class upstairs in The Event Gallery.

Art After Hours is the Wake Forest Monthly Art Walk in the Historic Downtown Area.  Enjoy mingling up and down South White Street with the local artist community and lovers of art community.  Refreshments will be served inside our Art Gallery from 5:30-9pm.


Don’t pass up Beach Week at The Cotton Company!

Between 10am-12pm on July 9th-14th enjoy mimosas, mint water, and little treats! Enjoy our beach atmosphere that will make you feel like you are on vacation.

Special Sale Report!

This is a Special Sale Report!

Our Loyal Customers and Newsletter Readers often ask if we send coupons or sales in these weekly newsletters. That is a great question and here is our first sale notification list.

This week we have some new items up for sale:

Cornercopia our beloved Chamilia Bead provider is holding a 
Leap Year Sales Event February 29th – March 4th
Get 25% Off ALL Chamilia Jewelry when you spend $100 or more.
(this offer cannot be combined with other offers)

You can also find up to 50% off of red dot items at Toads and Tulips.
Find Style Savvy baby gear and toys for toddlers and infants.

New sale lasting through March at Snapping Beauty.
Find 25% off the entire booth through March 30th.

Find other sale items through out the store in booths such as:
And, don’t miss our Clearance Booth, up to 50% off some items.

Thanks for shopping with us.  Let us know how we can improve.
The Cotton Company
306 S. White Street, Wake Forest, NC
 As always, we are open 362 days a year, 7 days a week! 
Monday – Thursday 10 AM – 6 PM | Friday & Saturday 10 AM – 8 PM Sunday 1 – 6 PM

Puppy Love Sale in February!

This month, for 29 full days, Resident Artist Dick Larsen is offering a Special “Puppy Love”
Sale on his one of a kind artwork.  Custom Pet Portraits are his specialty and right now you can order a 1212 Hand Painted creation for only $125.00!  This size painted canvas normally runs $225.00 – that is a $100.00 discount!

Now is the time to take your favorite pet images and have them transformed into a timeless work of art.  Deals like this don’t happen every day!  Come into The Cotton Company to meet Dick in person and to see some of his recent work.

Visit us in person at 306 South White St. Wake Forest NC.  We are open 7 days a week, 10-6 M-Th and 10-8 Fr-Sat.  1-6 on Sundays.  See you soon!

The Newspapers Love Us!

We recently have seen some happy press in our local news paper.  We have always known that The Cotton Company is a host for lots of interesting people to bring their business to life in Wake Forest – and now the big city decided to take notice.  The following is an article about long term Resident Artist Dick Larsen and his journey in this life as an artist.

Thank you for reading…

Saturday, Jan. 07, 2012

From ads to pets: a painter’s journey by Alex Granados

You know Wake Forest painter Dick Larsen. You don’t realize it, but you do. Remember that 1970s Tootsie Pop ad that asks how many licks it takes to get to the center? That’s Dick Larsen’s work. Larsen, 68, spent years in advertising, but if you met him today, you wouldn’t know it. In fact, you’d probably be coming to him with a photo of a pet, maybe a dog, and requesting a portrait. That’s his specialty these days: painting pets. Have a special dog? Maybe a cat? Heck, even a gerbil or rattlesnake? You can bring it down to Dick Larsen’s studio at The Cotton Company in Wake Forest and get him to duplicate its likeness in paint.

What started off with one random request has become a full-time business. Larsen spent years creating ads before ending up in North Carolina in the early 1990s. He’d always wanted to be a painter, but the realities of life led him to advertising. “I had to go make some real money and support my family,” he said. But in Raleigh, his wife had a job with an ad firm, and Larsen, fresh off a five-year stint at a Florida ad company, decided to devote himself to painting. His work used to be more eclectic, but a few years back, someone asked him to paint a pet and everything changed. “People really are hung up on their pets and they really enjoy having them around,” he said. “It’s a market all by itself.” Soon other people were requesting pet portraits, and six years ago, Larsen decided to dedicate himself to reproducing their favorite furry friends. The ratio of dog to cat requests is about 10 to 1. And when I mentioned a gerbil and rattlesnake before, I wasn’t just making that up. He’s done both at one time or another.

Go to his studio and you’ll see for yourself that his business is doing well. He sits at the easel studiously brushing away, surrounded all the while by an audience of painted dogs captive on canvas. Larsen’s successful new life almost came to an end four months ago. He woke up one morning and realized he couldn’t see out of his right eye. After a visit to a few medical professionals, Larsen discovered that he’d had a stroke in one eye. It blinded it permanently, but left his other eye basically unharmed. Still, Larsen wasn’t sure he could continue painting. He was determined to try. “It took a while to just get used to the fact that I’m not going to see anymore out of this eye,” he said. “Then I said, ‘Somehow, I have to figure out how to paint.’ ” He started back slowly, changing up his method and using tools, such as a magnifying glass, to help. Aware that his handicap might change the quality of the finished work, Larsen offered customers a money-back guarantee. If they weren’t satisfied, no charges applied. But Larsen’s talent is undiminished. His paintings still enthrall customers, and business is still coming through the door. Though Larsen realized the business potential in painting pets, he said he gets creative fulfillment from his work as well. “You get these animals with their feelings and sentiment and all this kind of stuff – it’s just entertaining to bring them out and make them smile,” he said. I’ve got an adopted 11-year-old Golden Retriever that talks to me when nobody’s looking. Maybe it’s time to take her to see Larsen.

Alex Granados writes about people, places and traditions in North Raleigh and beyond. Contact him at agranadoster@gmail.com.