Design Archives Emporium – Holiday Shopping For the Local Eclectic

Design Archives Emporium – Holiday Shopping For the Local Eclectic

By Brian Watkins

Whether you’re looking to do some inspired holiday shopping or want to spruce up your home and wardrobe, the Design Archives Emporium should be your next stop. The Emporium has two locations that feature the products of 150 vendors (85 in Greensboro and 65 in Winston Salem).

Both locations primarily
sell handmade items and
vintage goods. Visitors can find everything from soaps, candles, jewelry, scarves, pillows, to local t-shirt brands. Vintage clothing, grooming products, and home decor are also mainstays of the Design Archives.

Owner Kit Rodenbough crafts some great souvenirs herself, including pillows, shot glasses, NC-themed tumblers, and postcards. These are perfect for visitors or as gifts for out-of-town friends and family, but can personalize any home.

In addition to the two storefronts in the area, Kit also says she’s planning to expand the online store to include the combined inventory of both locations. Orders from the website are shipped straight to the customer’s door, which is helpful for busy schedules or for visitors that saw the store while in town but had to return home elsewhere.

History of the Emporium

Kit enjoyed a successful career in clothing and textile design for 30 years, always enjoying collecting vintage pieces and developing brands. This love of design and creative expression led her to form the Design Archives, which began 15 years ago as a vintage clothing and textile resource.

Early on, Kit says, the store attracted quite a college following. This shaped the direction of the store into more of a retail front, especially after moving to their current location in 2011.

The new storefront was already divided into booths as she settled in, giving Kit the idea to run with that setup and feature the talents of a variety of individuals. This proved to be a winning concept for the many vendors featured within.

Many of the vendors are also on Etsy, but the Elm Street location gives them a physical storefront that expands their reach. When the Emporium expanded to feature a Winston Salem location as well, they enjoyed similar success being in the heart of downtown. Just as the Greensboro store is near Natty Green’s, the Winston Salem store is right beside the Foothills Brewery — so next time you’re out for a meal and a drink put this destination on your map!

Location and Holiday Shopping

Being in downtown Greensboro and across from Natty Green’s puts the Design Archives in an accessible location at the heart of many of the city’s goings on. Fans of art festivals and craft fairs love visiting, as do tourists and visitors for the selection and locally- inspired creations.

It’s a way to remember a visit to Greensboro or Winston Salem; handmade items and vintage decor give the home something special you can’t get in your average retail store. Even for Triad residents it’s a way to make
the home reflect a particular feeling. In the

end of course our homes feel most home-y when they surround us with that unique feeling that’s truly ours.

Gifts in that same vein can be just as special as the holiday season approaches. The Design Archives Emporium is holding a holiday open house November 19 at 6pm at the Winston Salem location that puts the focus on the vendors. All of them should be in attendance, making this a perfect opportunity for the community to meet the folks that make or collect all these great items.

You can find the Design Archives Emporium at the following locations:

Greensboro: 342 S. Elm Street (336) 272-1800

Winston Salem: 636 W. 4th Street (336) 602-2452

Drop by or visit their website at for more information.