I don't want to be a traitor to my generation, but I really hate the mall.
To be clear, I don't hate the stores, they're the reason I end up going. I just want to get what I need and leave.
But there's the mayhem of the parking lots - especially on weekends - and having to remember which entrance is the closest to the store in question, not getting trapped by the kiosk vendors as you power walk through the window shoppers ... It's too much.
With the mall experience in mind, I'm more than excited about the grand opening of Woo Skincare and Cosmetics tomorrow from 4-8 p.m. Photos: Store grand openings.
The store/spa, which had a soft opening Oct. 1, is in the Colony Road Shopping Center on Selwyn and has 1,500 square feet of luxury/niche brands that are usually the siren song of "the mall." (Fortuitous bonus: Blo Blow Dry Bar is Woo's neighbor.)
Laura Mercier. Bobbi Brown.Trish McEvoy. Nars. Butter London. Bumble and bumble. Those are just a handful of the "pretty" offerings.
When it comes to skincare, Woo has more that a few lines (Darphin, Natura Bisse) that include brands typically only available through doctors, (SkinCeuticals, Dermalogica, Latisse) thanks to medical director Dr. Robert Graper.
Gentlemen, they've got Jack Black, Supersmile whitening systems, St. Tropez products, Tan Towels and more.
But Woo co-owner and Charlotte native Kara Campbell is quick to emphasize the store "caters to all ages, all people, all price points.
"We love to educate the consumer. Our motto here at Woo is 'Everyone leaves happy.'"
The Woo concept is the brainchild of brand founder Woo Caroland, who's resume includes a number of NYC art galleries, Sotheby's and the art department of Vanity Fair.
The first Woo location opened in Nashville's Green Hills area in 1992, the second in Buckhead Atlanta in 2008. It was after visiting that location that Campbell said she and Woo met through a mutual friend.
Campbell also worked for years in NYC: seven years as executive director of Clinique International Cosmetics Division, and seven more leading marketing for Chanel's skincare and cosmetics division, Chanel Beaute, before returning to Charlotte in 2002.
Since meeting Woo, Campbell said, they've been eyeing the Myers Park area as a possible store location for more than two years.
"We knew we wanted to be in this neighborhood," Campbell said. "We wanted to be strategically placed away from the mall, but close enough to Uptown."
The mix of products and brands in the Charlotte location represent the best from both existing Woo locations, Campbell said.
The Atlanta store doesn't carry the Chantecaille (pronounced Shan-tuh-kigh) line, but Charlotte does.
(P.S.- Their holiday "The Diamonds" eye shadow trio is pure heaven. Are you listening, Santa?)
Want more? Woo Charlotte has pro makeup artists and beauty experts that provide spa and salon services such as a range of facials - including Jet Peel, which uses oxygen and saline as an alternative to microdermabrasion - waxing, brow/lash tinting and fake tanning, among others.
10-percent of Wednesday's grand opening profits will be donated to Freedom School Partners.
"We want people who come here to be thrilled they came," Campbell said. "There's no pressure. We want to be a place where everyone would love to get a gift from."
Get friendly with Woo Charlotte on Facebook.