Giving a uniquely curated and locally sourced gift reflects the thought, care and love you have put into the gift chosen for your recipient. At Southern Oak Gift Co. in Cary, NC, Shea Armstrong, puts that same care into each gift box or basket she assembles.
“When designing gifts, I like to stick to the basics. I want them to feel natural, organic, classic and clean, all the while representing the South. I tend to use a lot of black and white, with a touch of nature. I love using keepsake pine, slide top boxes, made here in Chapel Hill, especially for Southern Oak Gift Co., and adding fabric bows with bits of live greenery as a gift topper.”
As a child, Armstrong took every art class or camp she could find but, in an effort to be practical, ended up studying business in college, instead of art. She was constantly looking for opportunities to scratch that creative itch, whether it was creating art for her children’s bedroom walls, painting furniture, planning parties and party favors or making costumes.
I love to keep it local! Born and raised in the South, I love the products made here.
After graduating college, Armstrong worked in the healthcare management field. She married, and decided to take a long time off to stay home with her three kids – a whole decade, actually. When her youngest started kindergarten, she felt the need to return to work, but wanted something that would fulfill her need for creativity and still work around her family’s busy schedules. “I’ve always loved putting together beautiful, fun, themed gifts for friends and family and am a firm believer in shopping local and supporting our local farmers and businesses.” So, at her husband’s suggestion, she put the two loves together and decided to start her own locally sourced gifting company.
Armstrong finds her inspiration by starting each day with a cup of coffee and a podcast! “My favorites are How I Built This, The Creative Empire Podcast and Raise Your Hand and Say Yes.”
It is so inspiring and encouraging to hear how other business owners have turned their dreams into reality through hard work, creativity and perseverance.
During the holidays, Southern Oak Gift Baskets creates one gift design to benefit the local food bank. Armstrong believes “it’s the perfect way to not only support our neighbors in need, but also the local businesses that are represented in our gift boxes.”
Anyone looking for a unique, locally made, curated gift for any occasion need look no further. There are several collections to choose from: The Belle, The Beau, The Babe, Southern Hospitality and The Bridal Collection. She is also happy to create one just for your special recipient. Gifts can be purchased from their website: www.southernoakgiftcompany.com and are available to ship nationwide.