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306 S. White Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587 Map it!


Open: Mon-Thur 10-6 pm,  Fri-Sat 10-8 pm,  Sun 1-5 pm

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Jackets or Sweaters Decided on Feb. 2, - Groundhog Day Print E-mail
Groundhog Comes Above Ground To Check Out The Future


Ground Hog Day Is February 2 

  Punxsutawney Phil is waking up and venturing out to check out whether to extend a long nap or time to start waking up.   Ground hogs, actually woodchucks, have Feb. 2 as a special day many look forward to.  For more information on the festivities and history go here to find more about Punxsutawney Phil's history.

   Good luck on your wishes. 


After Christmas Sale At The Cotton Company Print E-mail
The Cotton Company After Christmas Sale  

 50% Savings on Christmas Items and some Cotton Company Vendors Have 25% off entire booth .

   Drop in first shopping day after Christmas through the end of the month for special savings.  Our vendors have limited space so the Christmas items need to go.  Also our vendors are headed to buy for Spring and are discounting to make room for the new items to arrive first of the year.  A deal for you and help to all of us. 

   Happy New Year to you and savings too. 

Public Article On History & Philosophy Of The Cotton Company Print E-mail
   Reprint of article by the N.C. News & Observer by Alex Granados about how the Cotton Company came into existence. 

   Historic article shows how The Cotton Company itself was an attempt to preserve and inform the community of the history of downtown Wake Forest.  The Cotton Company management philosophy is to encourage economic risk taking, and serve as a starting point for active entrepreneurship. 

The Cotton Company: revitalizing Wake Forest from a historic site


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I’ve probably driven by The Cotton Co. in downtown Wake Forest more than a dozen times. I never once thought to stop and see what it was all about. I figured the name said it all – it’s got something to do with cotton.

But I was wrong.

So wrong.

The Cotton Co. was the colloquial name given by town residents to The W.W. Holding Cotton Exchange Warehouse. Back about100 years or more, the place was a delivery point for the precious puffy substance. Wagons would pull up to the back – now the front of the store – and load their cotton into the warehouse. The cotton would be processed through the building and deposited out front onto waiting trains.

The only reminders of that history are the train tracks behind the store, its name and the owners’ desire to keep the store’s origins alive. Bob Johnson and his wife, Elizabeth, bought the building in 2000 on a whim.

“We saw the building, it appeared to be undervalued and we said, ‘Time to buy it,’ ” Bob Johnson said. “And then we said, ‘Uh oh, now what.’ ”

Before they came along, part of the store was a vacant printing business, and another section was occupied by a guy who sold cell phones for use by the hour.

The upstairs stored sports equipment.

The Johnsons weren’t sure what they wanted to transform the space into, but they had a total of 10,000 square feet to work with.

At first, they tried to turn it into an artists’ gallery, and they rented studios upstairs. But Johnson was interested in making The Cotton Co. accessible to the public, and it turned out that the public didn’t much want to walk upstairs.

So by 2003, Johnson moved the artists to the first floor. One side of the first floor is now reserved for artists, and the other side is the marketplace where North Carolina-centered businesses can sell their wares.

The upstairs is a vacant space used for events, such as weddings.

It’s all part of The Cotton Co.’s plans to revitalize downtown Wake Forest. The Johnsons and their employees want something more than a quaint little town.

They want a destination city for Triangle residents.

“We’re trying to turn Wake Forest into a place where people can come and there’s something to do,” said Beth Jarvah, director of marketing and events for The Cotton Co. “It’s not just a small town where people have to go into Raleigh to find something interesting.”

Johnson calls The Cotton Company an incubator for entrepreneurs, and it’s not hard to see why. In addition to the artists who create, display and sell at The Cotton Company, a variety of stores have set up shop inside the building.

I’ll give you just a smattering of what I saw when I visited on Monday.

A store called “From GMA 2U” features children’s clothing made by a real grandma. A Catholic supply company sells most of the religious supplies you’d need. There’s a business that makes a collection of manly leatherwear and belt buckles. The Cotton Co. even houses an optical company so you can get your prescription lenses when you come downtown.

I found a little of everything on the first floor. Johnson’s goal is to give business owners a small space to start up with the hope that one day they can move out on their own.

He’s a sort-of surrogate parent for young businesses.

When he first came to Wake Forest, Johnson thought it resembled a more prestigious locale that West Coast transplants may be familiar with. The comparison came to him as he watched some ladies drive through town in their upscale cars – Lamborghini, Maserati and a “top-of-the-line” Mercedes – stop at an art shop, pick up a purchase and then zoom off to a restaurant farther down the street.

“I looked at Elizabeth and said, ‘You know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of Napa Valley, except there’s more money.’ ”

In addition to The Cotton Co., the Johnsons own a few other properties in downtown Wake Forest.

They live in Franklinton, but are devoted to making Wake Forest a more attractive place.

Not bad for two people who bought a vacant property with little idea of what to do with it.

“After we got the building, the only thing we really knew, or thought we knew, was there’s no reason to have an old building in downtown Wake Forest as a warehouse,” Johnson said. “It makes no sense. It’s gotta be a better and higher use.”

Thanks to the Johnsons, The Cotton Co. found that better use.

Alex Granados writes about people, places and traditions in North Raleigh and beyond. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Visit The Cotton Company Video Featuring American Made, Local Products Available Print E-mail

  If it's American made products and local art, local crafts then look at this video featuring Cotton Company vendors who support the community. 

Made locally Shabby Trees from recycled corks and other discarded items make perfect gifts Print E-mail

 Recycled Items, Unique, Local Made and A Wonderful Stocking Stuffer Handmade Gift

                                              Shabby Tree From Convoluted Notions 

 Shabby Tree made of recycled corks used for necklaces, tree ornaments made in the U.S.

  "I've been slicing the corks to make "beads" in some of my Convoluted Notions treehugger necklaces, which have been received VERY well by my customers, but I've been struggling to find a BIGGER use for the corks. (I  LOVE corks and you know I love to repurpose/recycle/upcycle whenever possible!)

    ANYWAY, I am absolutely tickled to pieces with my latest creation which has been bumping around in various forms in my head for well over a year and FINALLY came together last week!

    I'll be debuting these "shabby trees" in my booth in the next few days when I doll it up for the holidays, but wanted to give you and Elizabeth a sneak preview. They're created from copper wire, recycled wine corks, recycled/repurposed/upcycled and vintage fabric remnants, and vintage buttons! They're two-sided (with fabric and buttons on BOTH sides of the tree) and are free-standing but can also be hung as an ornament. I think they look FABULOUS grouped together on a shelf!

Caren Stuart, Artist/Crafter - Owner C
onvoluted Notions

Creating Google +1 On Your Blog Or Web Site - How To Print E-mail

   This is a service provided to and for the vendors of The Cotton Company.  The Cotton Company strives to help all our boutique vendors, crafts people, artists become successful ( see video)  in their own right.

   This video by Jeff Yentzer, Web Master and videographer for The Cotton Company,  helps entrepreneurs on SEO ( Search Engine Optimization), increase PPC ( pay per click) and search engine results. 

Google +1 SEO Video:

Local Made, Made in U.S.A., Made in N.C. Vendors Wanted Print E-mail

    The Cotton Company continually promotes local vendors with products made locally, in N.C. and U.S.A. made.  By supporting our vendors we help to preserve existing jobs and create new American made jobs.  If you are a vendor, artists, crafts person with products made or improved by Americans then we want you here.

    We have ongoing in store, online, adwords, print campaigns to support you and your products.  See our video below on becoming a vendor and also our ongoing efforts to support our vendors by our "Buy Local", "Made Local" campaigns to encourage sales. 



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306 S. White Street, Wake Forest, NC - 919-570-0087

Store Hours: Mon-Thurs 10-6pm, Fri-Sat 10-8pm, Sun 1-5pm