Working remotely is one of the hottest topics right now after our year in the confinement of our homes taught us that productivity can occur anywhere! As a result, companies reevaluate drafting people into offices and acknowledging the entrepreneurial skills we all seemed to exhibit during work-from-home stints. So, I’m encouraging you all to take a deep look around at where you want to be now that the office and home life barriers look a little different. You no longer have to break the bank in the big city just to make it to work at the nine to five. Instead, you can venture to pretty much anywhere to get your work done and be inspired for new adventures on your post-covid horizon.
So, that’s why I ventured off to Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina. These two are neighboring cities not too far from Charlotte and Raleigh, home to dreamers, doers, makers, and shakers. From the moment you step foot in the area, you can sense the pride in this thriving community. After all, this East Coast charmer drafts college students worldwide and young professionals and creatives from everywhere. I was indeed in awe of its variety of opportunities and inspired to find even more hidden gems like this throughout the United States.
Where to Stay
Pandora’s Manor was the perfect place for a magical night of sleep. The property is located in High Point and is a designer’s dream. Filled with suites, the home is a personalized experience that makes you feel cozy and whimsical. Each suite is curated from the floor to the ceiling with the best fabrics, architecture, features, and more. If all I did were set up camp at Pandora’s Manor, I would’ve done enough in High Point. It embodied the spirit of the city through each element of the place. It was our first stop on the trip, and after seeing it, we couldn’t wait to get out and see more!
Best Places to Eat
Chez Genese (Greensboro)
Brunch at Chez Genese was for sure a favorite on this trip! I enjoyed french toast. What I loved most about this place’s mission to empower and employ individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are making sure that they are reaching anyone with goals and aspirations and showing them the way! Not only will you eat a good meal here, but you’ll feel good about the cause. Sometimes a business is more significant than the money and the logistics, and I felt every part of that in this establishment.
Don’t worry about getting your upscale dining experiences in. This fine-dining restaurant had impeccable service and an atmosphere of a big city. 1618 prides itself on being an active member of the local community, supporting education, arts, equality, and health issues that better the lives of its employees and patrons.
International Civil Rights Center and Museum
I always enjoy a bit of history, and when I’m visiting a new place, I find it. Located in downtown Greensboro is the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. It’s about an hour and a half of history lessons that duly detail the Civil Rights Movement in Greensboro, NC. Located on the formerly F.W.Woolworth Company, you can experience the exact room where the sit-ins of four teenage NC A&T University students sat down here at the “whites only” lunch counter and began America’s sit-in movement. You can feel the soul of the movement when you go throughout this museum.
High Point Candle Bar
If you’re looking for an intimate experience, this one was an excellent experience for my mom and me. We enjoyed picking out our own fragrances and then creating our own candles. It was a memorable experience. We loved talking with the owner, Michelle Stroud, about her entrepreneurial start. It’s incredible to hear so many local stories of thriving entrepreneurship in this area. To date, she’s shipping candles everywhere, and she’s a household business in the area.
Start Your Career
Small Businesses seem to thrive in High Point. The community is full of dreamers and doers that all undeniably support each other. We stopped by a few that were doing extraordinary things!
Born from passions of art and philanthropy, Pen+Pillar is owned and operated by wife and husband team, Taylor and Justin Mahlke. They work out of their backyard studio in High Point, North Carolina.Taylor and Justin’s heart and passion in life is to serve refugees and to do so, Pen+Pillar gives 10% of all profits to help local refugees get settled into their new lives, as well as partner with local refugee artisans.
The owner Gary opened the store in 1988, and it has thrived ever since then. To date, Gary is still highly committed to the business and, in fact, greets you at the door. That is true entrepreneurship. He says he enjoys the personalized shopping experience that he’s been able to create within the community. He’s just another example of a thriving entrepreneur.
Sabrina’s at Gallery on Main
This art gallery is breathtaking. It’s full of unique pieces that tell stories. Sabrina, another local entrepreneur, took us on tour, sharing the stories behind different pieces that she and other artists in the area had created. Located in downtown High Point, this gem fosters creativity in all of us.
High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World, and it’s a designer’s dream to wander through the countless showrooms of pure artistry and delicacy. Even if you’re not an interior design guru, you’d be enraptured in the idealistic rooms of pieces and lighting that are perfectly curated. Perhaps you might stumble upon a career that you never thought of. If the pandemic didn’t teach you anything else, innovation across the small and big businesses was a must, and sometimes, the right ideas live in the strangest places. I left each of the showrooms with ideations for business and personal ventures.
Co-working spaces across the world are profoundly beneficial for fostering thriving companies and inventions. So, stopping into Congdon Yards to get some much-needed work done myself, I got to explore the many incredible things this place has to offer entrepreneurs too. It seemed to be a place of inspiration with its historical background of pioneering the hosiery industry. Today, it provides resources to creators, makers, and entrepreneurs.
For example, the Material ConneXion library empowers creators to visualize and design products — even faster than ever. With more than 10,000 materials in their collection, designers have access to an assortment of product samples from textiles and fibers to powders and coatings. And with a self-service setup, visitors can browse materials and contact textile manufacturers for purchasing options whenever they feel inspired.
As I mentioned before, you could stumble upon a new passion project that you can mobilize into a bustling business with these types of resources at your fingertips.
The cool part about Greensboro-High Point is that it is oozing creativity from furniture design to arts to candle making to developing and more. So, a stop by Wrangler Lee Hometown Studio for a personalized shopping experience in downtown Greensboro was even more inspiration. For those interested in merchandising or design, Wrangler’s parent company Kontoor is located in Greensboro and is a thriving workplace for young professionals.
If you aren’t already intrigued enough to make it to this mecca for creatives and entrepreneurs, here are some other stats about the area you should know of!
- North Carolina is the #1 State for Women in the Tech Sector Workforce (N.C. State of Tech)
- Greensboro and High Point are two of the most diverse cities in the U.S. (WalletHub)
- Greensboro ranks among Finance Buzz’s Top 25 Cities for Newly Remote Workers.
- Greensboro-High Point is the #1 Best City to Start a Small Business (ZenBusiness)