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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

The Cotton Company Relives The Fun Of The Bazaar Experience Print E-mail
The Ancient Bazaar Experience

    Throughout history, for all civilizations, a central focus of human activity has been visiting the local bazaar. The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi)  in Istanbul, Turkey; was built in the 15th century, and remains the oldest covered market in the world. It covers an area greater than 54 square meters, and continues to rank as one of the world's biggest covered markets. One of the appeals of bazaars has been it is not only a market place but also a social gathering location for friends to meet and discuss the latest topics, be it solving the world's problems on hunger, or talking about the newest arrival to the family.

    Today there is concern that the actual physical locations of bazaars will fade as we move more to internet based purchasing. Let's stop and think this through. Is the purpose of a bazaar to be a collection of vendors and buyers or is there a more fundamental meaning to the reason bazaars have lasted many centuries and will the concept continue to be? My answer is yes and here's why.

  Think of the times you are on vacation, or visiting friends in far away places. What is unique and memorable for you? If you have a guest then what do you think of doing for entertainment? Do you want to show your guest the uniqueness of your town or city and how do you do that? It's extremely rare to take a friend to the local big box store, or mass merchandiser, or even to sit in front of the computer "shopping for the latest or best prices". Most people want to take their guests to some place uniquely different, yet memorable, and not found elsewhere. Historically what has attracted people, and continues to do so, is bazaar type settings.

   It's fun visiting a unique shopping location where clouds of spice aromas envelope the area and entice you with spicy smells of nutmeg, cloves, fresh cookies baking, or roasting chestnuts on a cold, wintry day. How about seeing a display of locally grown bright, colorful fresh irresistible fruits such as ruby-seeded pomegranates,peaches, prunes, fresh picked peaches, or ripe fragrant melons and loupes? Some local markets may feature vendors of poultry offering exotics like pheasants, ducks, geese, turkeys or quail. Each area has uniqueness in venison which can be deer, buffalo, or in the Southern U.S., snapping turtle.

   Often bazaar type areas feature craftspeople in such things as glass blowing, artists creating on canvas or other mediums, sculptors, and jewelers or metalsmithing. The visitor may not buy but can see the difficulty in creating art or crafts, often talking with the craftspeople as the process progresses to the final product. Throughout history one of the common crafters were basket weavers who would take plant material, dry it, and then from the reeds create.

   Functional items for use but also done decoratively. It is that one of a kind, non mass produced craft, that so many long for. There is a connect between the customer, the item and the crafter that one can not find where goods were stamped, or molded, in machines producing exact look a likes 100,000 items a day. People want to observe the process but in a warm, rich pleasant environment. In most bazaars there usually develops some form of public entertainment so if the participant is not there to buy then the free entertainment provides a reason for coming and a social outlet.

   It's that "different" aspect that is found in local communities that makes for the rich experiences of traveling and socialization. The ubiquity of upbeat conversations, friendly greetings and loud bargaining add to the overall fun of the experience.

   Bazaars do not attract shoppers only, but historically is an area of socialization around booths, vendors, foods, entertainment, education and a social gathering space. The future of successful shopping destinations will depend upon remembering the concepts of what a customer is looking for, not what is offered. The survivors will be those new retail enterprises that take advantage of old concepts and make shopping fun again.


Retail Shops

The Robin's Nest, Country Chic Gifts and Decor

Crystal Creek Jewelry with "The Look Of Real"

Carolina Clover Jewelry & Gifts Offers Personalize Monogrammed Jewelry

Southern Sass Is A Popular Visitors Destination for Apparel with a Southern Twist

Berry Towne Crafts, Pottery Made By the Permanent O'Berry Center Residents

Cornercopia Offers Soy Candles, Willow Tree, Plaques, Chamilia Bead Jewelry, Annaleece Swarovski Jewelry

Sweet Teas Southern Saying T Shirts At Southern Sass In The Cotton Company

Toads & Tulips, Baby Products and Educational Toys

Fashion Hound Is The Perfect Boutique For Your Pet Needs

The Tuscan Rose, Kitchen Decorative Items

Indulgences, Greenleaf soy candles, Decorative mailbox covers & Garden flags

Jizzy Jazz, Hand painted Home and Garden Decor

The Girly Corner, Designer Inspired Accessories & OPI Nail Polish

Bella Terra - Handcrafted Jewelry

JinJa Fair Trade, handcrafted silk scarves, alpace wool items and wire magnets

Bakers' Southern Traditions, NC Peanut Products

Creative Gifts Has Everything For Home Decor

Stationery Objects, Quirky Gift Cards, Stationery Sets and Notepads

Barbara Blaisdell, Fine Art Photography

Monagrammed Mudpie Accessory Bags, Sweet Tea T-Shirts, Flip Note by WellSpring @ Southern Sass In The Cotton Company

Boutique de Beaute Is Your Own Site Avon Store Featuring Beauty Products, Jewelry

Mother's Monogrammed Name Necklace Pendant With Children's Names

The Carolina Bee Company, Natural Soaps, Lip Balm, Candles

Fresh Catch: Offering all things Beach inspired, Beach Gifts and Beach Home Decor , Hand made, Recycled

Carolina Clover Monogrammed Necklaces At The Cotton Company

Danielson Design Small Talk Gift Signs & Desk Top Plaques at Southern Sass in The Cotton Company

Wraps of Style Offers Pashmina Wraps Made of Silk Or Cashmere

Steelman Studios Offering Unique Stained Glass and Mixed Media Paintings

Video of Chamilia Finest quality bead, charm and jewelry collection of sterling sliver, 14k gold, Murano Glass beads, Swarovski crystals and exclusive Disney charms available at The Cotton Company

Video of Toads & Tulips Lifestyle Strollers, Bassinets & Educational Toys Such As Erector Sets

The Jeweled Lily

Shady Oak Studio Features Custom, Handmade, Kiln Fired Pottery

MudPie Fashions Featured At Carolina Clover

Video on "Dogeared" Brand Charm Necklaces Now At Southern Sass

Video on Books of Local North Carolina and Wake Forest Interest Available at The Cotton Company - Video

RockflowerPaper Trays In Stock At The Cotton Company

The Dorm Life : Offers specialty gift items for your home decor and Kitchen Decor, collegate pins, collegate accessories, books, puzzels and gifts sweet tea tshirts

Doreen Tewksbury

From GMA 2 U Children's Apparel Including Custom Peasant Top Dresses & Collegiate Sports Bibs

The Cotton Company Relives The Fun Of The Bazaar Experience

Elf On The Shelf Products At The Cotton Company

Dena's Jewelry Box: Semi Precious Gemstone Jewelry, True Baltic Amber, and Titanium Druzy Pendants

Nicola Godfrey Tile, Ceramic Handmade , Tile Coasters, Custom Tile Work

Beautiful Spacez: Home Decor, Home Accents, Table Top, Wall Hangings, and an Interior Designer

DMC Designs, Interior Design, Wreaths, Home Decor, and Accents

Ema Godfrey Paintings, Garden Art, Wire Fish and Metal Made Creatures

Legacy Athletic Caps, Jewlery, & Reel Badges At Southern Sass in The Cotton Company

WaxingPoetic Custom Charms Available At The Cotton Company

Art 4 You : Abstract Art By Barbara Batchelor

Beeswax Cold Pressed Soaps and Honey Butters

Home Decor, Pet Greeting Cards & More Gifts At Indulgences

College Hot Chocolate in School Colors - Chocolate Changes Color

Fun and Fabulous at The Cotton Company Offering Gifts specializing in Clocks

MudPie Wraps, Earbands, Dresses & Fashions At Carolina Clover in Cotton Company

Cross My Heart Creations: Reclaimed Wood Frames, Magnetic Boards, & Crosses

Valentine Gifts From Carolina Clover @ The Cotton Company

The NewEnglander Wooden Bowls and Wood Crafts

Dilly Dally Doodles Personalized Gifts For All

Porcelain English Teapots & Accessories At Baker's In The Cotton Company

Bean Therapy: Offering 100 loose leaf teas, 140 varieties of coffees and coffee and tea accessories!

Purple Petunia: Glory Haus Products, Unique Curios, Inspirational Decor, Christian Decor And Scripture Gifts

Jinja Fair Trade Offering Unique Kantha Embroidery Totes and Blankets

Interior Design Services Featuring Custom Window Treatments & Bedding

ZuZu's Petals Creations Handmade by Yvonne Stewart

Dolls & Trains Children's Apparel Features The Craftmanship of Sheryl Hughes

The Original Candies From The 60's

Custom Ceramic Tea Accessories In Stock @ Indulgences @ The Cotton Company

As Featured On Oprah, Effie's All Natural Oatcakes & Pecan Cakes

DMC Designs Offering Elegant Jewelry and Specialty Gifts.

Earth Village Market Offering Eco Friendly Gifts For All

ReDesigns For Your Designer Home Decor Accessories

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Stuart Nye Hand Wrought Jewelry

Creative Gifts Featuring Handpainted Gifts for Everyone

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Bella Terra One Of A Kind Personalized Valentine's Jewelry

Colorado Sky Encaustic Art Painting By Doreen Tewksbury

Eliza Ash Boutique Offering Women's Boutique Clothing

By Nature Soap Featured at Berry Towne Crafts

Video Of Local Artist, Les Tryon, Owner of Jizzy Jazz

Travis Baker Photography

Shady Oak Studio Featuring One of a Kind Pottery

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Dick Larsen, Original Dog Portraits, Prints and Greeting Cards At The Cotton Company

Lee's Decorative Photography

Shop The Cotton Company

Tiny Tiptoes Boutique: Clothing, Toys, and Hair Accessories

The Cook's Nook: Kitchen Items, Textiles, Decor, & Gifts for the Heart of your House.

Chanmala Gallery: Watercolor Artist, Art Lessons, and Fine Art Printing

Steve Karloski Sculptures

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C. Siegmund: Oil and Acrylics

Bekah Haslett Oil Paintings at The Cotton Company

Sue McGlothlin Photography Featured at The Cotton Company

Art From The Empty Nest Offers Pastel Artist, Watercolor Artist, & Photographer.

Gavy's Jewelry:Shabby Chic Vintage Jewelry

Reborn: French cottage chic furniture rediscovered for your home.

Purple Petunia: Vintage Items for Contemporary Living

Dick Larsen Postcards exclusively at The Cotton Company

By Majestique: Personalized Gift Baskets & Majestique Spa Custom Blended Natural Body Products!

Unique Wind Chimes and Sun Catchers in stock at Indulgences sold at The Cotton Company

Z-Bake's Featuring NCAA/NFL/MLB/NHL and Other "Man Cave" Decor

Twelve Forks Junction selling Amy Howard at Home Paint

Pantry Stuffers Offering Soup Mixes Using Dehydrated Products

Chanmala Gallery Offering Printing Services

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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