Best Ad Agency in the Triangle: Aubrey’s Marketing Services

Finalists: Abundant Marketing, Gather Group & Co., New Start Impressions

Best Architect / Architecture Studio in the Triangle: Sophie Piesse Architect, PA

302 West Weaver Street, Suite F, Carrboro,

Finalists: The End Vision Visual Design Group, Jim Spencer Architects, PA, Linton Architects 

Best Art / Craft Supply Store in the Triangle: The Scrap Exchange

2050 Chapel Hill Road, Durham,

Finalists: Freeman’s Creative, Hillsborough Yarn Shop, Jerry’s Artarama of Raleigh

Best Attorney in the Triangle: Arnette Law Offices, PLLC

Finalists: Ben Hiltzheimer, Chris Mann, Miller Law Group

Best Auto Repair in Durham County: Wasp Automotive

4906 Meadow Drive, Durham,

Finalists: Ingold Tire & Auto Service Center, Massey Brothers Automotive, Northgate Auto Service

Best Auto Repair in Orange / Chatham County: Chapel Hill Tire

203 West Main Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: Auto Logic, Chapel Hill Tire (formerly Auto Pro to Call), Sturdivant’s Tire Pros & Auto

Best Auto Repair in Wake County: Fuquay Tire & Automotive Center 

108 East Academy Street, Fuquay-Varina,

Finalists: A & J Automotive Inc., Chapel Hill Tire (formerly Atlantic Avenue Tire & Service), Johnson Auto Body Inc.

Best Bed & Breakfast in the Triangle: The Carolina Inn

211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Arrowhead Inn Bed and Breakfast, Guest House Raleigh, The King’s Daughters Inn

Best Bike Shop in Durham County: Durham Cycles

756 Ninth Street, Durham,

Finalists: Bicycle Chain (Durham), Bullseye Bicycle, Seven Stars Cycles

Best Bike Shop in Orange / Chatham County: Back Alley Bikes

100 Boyd Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: The Clean Machine, ReCYCLEry NC

Best Bike Shop in Wake County: Oak City Cycling Project

212 East Franklin Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Bicycle Chain (Raleigh), Cycle Logic, TLC for Bikes

Best Bookstore in the Triangle: Quail Ridge Books

4209 Lassiter Mill Road, #100, Raleigh,

INDY: In October, this quirky, inviting book store will celebrate thirty-five years, and it’s still going strong. On its shelves, style meets substance: Customers can browse the extensive Southern fiction and nonfiction collections and crack open a new release under the elegant chandeliers while kids cozy up with a picture book beneath the leaves of an indoor tree surrounded by fuzzy cloud lights. The shop also regularly hosts local and national writers, including, recently, the poet Ocean Vuong and the Pulitzer-prize winning historian Rick Atkinson.

Finalists: Dog-Eared Books, Flyleaf Books, The Regulator Bookshop

Best Butcher Shop in the Triangle: The Butcher’s Market

5045 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: Cliff’s Meat Market, Kings Red & White, Left Bank Butchery

Best Caterer in the Triangle: Catering Works Inc.

2319 Laurelbrook Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Neomonde Mediterranean, Old North State Catering, Rocky Top Catering

Best CD / Record Store in the Triangle: Schoolkids Records

2237 Avent Ferry Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: Chaz’s Bull City Records, Hunky Dory, Nice Price Books& Records

Best Children’s Clothing Shop in the Triangle: Beanstalk—Because They Grow So Fast

3400 Westgate Drive, #13A, Durham,

Finalists: Glee Kids, Little Details, Tiny

Best Comic Book Store in the Triangle: Ultimate Comics Durham/Chapel Hill

6120 Farrington Road, Chapel Hill,

INDY: Thief smash puny display cases! That’s what happened a year ago at all three of Ultimate Comics’ locations, in Raleigh, Cary, and Durham. It’s the favored shop of criminals because of its curated selection of rare comics and pricey toys, but it’s the favored shop of respectable citizens because of its welcoming staff and vibrant culture (it also puts on NC Comicon twice a year, in Raleigh and Durham). Atomic Empire is the joint for games, but when it comes to comics collecting and culture, make ours Ultimate.

Finalists: Atomic Empire, Capitol Comics II, Fight or Flight Comics

Best Consignment Shop in Durham County: Pennies for Change Thrift Boutique

2715 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, Durham,

Finalists: Beanstalk—Because They Grow So Fast, Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, Gibson Girl Vintage

Best Consignment Shop in Orange / Chatham County: Clothes Mentor (Chapel Hill)

241 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: My Secret Closet, Rumors

Best Consignment Shop in Wake County: Fifi’s of Cameron Village

2028 Cameron Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Petersons’ Consigning Design, Raleigh Furniture Gallery, Revolver Consignment Boutique

Best Contractor in Durham County: Actual Size Builders Inc.

Finalists: CQC Durham, Grey Star Woodworks & Design LLC, Little Corner Construction

Best Contractor in Orange / Chatham County: Actual Size Builders Inc.

Finalists: Grey Star Woodworks& Design LLC, Little Corner Construction, Will Johnson Building Company

Best Contractor in Wake County: Big Monkey Renovation & Repair

Finalists: Tri City Maintenance, Razon Contracting, Little Corner Construction

Best Dance Studio in the Triangle: CC & Co. Dance Complex

8863 Six Forks Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: Arts Together Inc., Barriskill Dance Theatre School, Renner Dance

Best Early Childhood Learning Facility in Durham County: Nido: Coworking + Childcare

902 Broad Street, Durham,

Finalists: Children’s Campus at Southpoint, Harvest Learning Center

Best Early Childhood Learning Facility in Orange / Chatham County: Learning Outside

2912 Jones Ferry Road, Suite B, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Casa Club Spanish Immersion Preschool, Children’s Campus of Chapel Hill, Emerson Waldorf School, The Goddard School of Chapel Hill

Best Early Childhood Learning Facility in Wake County: Knightdale Station Preschool

710 Lightrail Drive, Knightdale,

Finalists: Arts Together Inc., Little by Little, Temple Beth Or Preschool

Best Electrician in the Triangle: Bonneville Electric

210 Maple Avenue, Suite B, Carrboro,

Finalists: Braco Electric Company, Electric Jake, Michael & Son Services

Best Environmentally Friendly Business in the Triangle: The Scrap Exchange

2050 Chapel Hill Road, Durham,

Finalists: CompostNow, TROSAThrift Store and Donation Center, Ungraded Produce

Best Erotic Gifts in the Triangle: Cherry Pie

1819 Fordham Boulevard, Chapel Hill,

INDY: This ain’t Walmart for vibrators. Cherry Pie is a locally owned love shack for all of your bedroom needs. You’ll find a wide array of lingerie, lube, toys, and novelty items, and no kink-shaming. Into BDSM? Get your freak on. Looking for some adult entertainment? Porn galore. And it’s also accessible to adult store virgins. As a sales associate describes it: “We’re pretty entry-level.”

Finalists: Adam & Eve, Frisky Business Boutique

Best Ethnic Market in the Triangle: Li Ming’s Global Market

3400 Westgate Drive, Durham

Finalists: CapriFlavors, H Mart Cary, Mediterranean Deli, Neomonde Mediterranean

Best Event Planner in the Triangle: The Details Events

Finalists: Cherished Occasions Production, Magnolia and Grace Events, Myss January Events

Best Fabric Store in the Triangle: Cary Quilting Company

935 North Harrison Avenue, Cary,

Finalists: Freeman’s Creative, Mill Outlet Village, MulberrySilks & Fine Fabrics

Best Florist in the Triangle: Pine State Flowers

2001 Chapel Hill Road, Durham,

Finalists: The English Garden, Fallon’s Flowers, Ninth Street Flowers

Best Furniture Store in the Triangle: TROSA Thrift Store and Donation Center

3500 North Roxboro Street, Durham,

INDY: TROSA is like the Six Flags of thrift stories—it’s cavernous and brimming with things, and after spending more than five minutes inside, you’re likely to lose some sense of time and space. The inventory is exhaustive. Need an assortment of vases? Check. Need electronics or a weirdly sized table for that one weirdly-sized spot in the living room? Check. Need a reasonably priced sectional couch? Check (and they’ll deliver it, too). It’s sort of staggering how one store can check so many boxes and fill so many nooks and crannies in your house, but TROSA—which is staffed by folks in TROSA’s nonprofit rehabilitative program—takes the cake.

Finalists: Discount Furniture of the Carolinas, Petersons’ Consigning Design, Raleigh Furniture Gallery

Best Garden Store in the Triangle: Logan’s One Stop Garden Shop

707 Semart Drive, Raleigh,

Finalists: Durham Garden Center, Homewood Nursery & Garden Center, Stone Brothers & Byrd

Best Gift Shop in Durham County: Morgan Imports

113 South Gregson Street, Durham,

Finalists: One World Market, Parker and Otis, Vaguely Reminiscent

Best Gift Shop in Orange / Chatham County: Womancraft Gifts

360 East Main Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, SallyMack, This & That Gift Gallery

Best Gift Shop in Wake County: Deco Raleigh

207 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: The Green Monkey, NOFO @ the Pig, Petersons’ Consigning Design

Best Handyman / Woman in the Triangle: Grey Star Woodworks & Design LLC

Finalists: Big Monkey Renovation, James of All Trades, Razon Contracting, Shayne Kilpatrick

Best Hardware Store in the Triangle: Fitch Lumber& Hardware

309 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: Burke Brothers Hardware, Seaboard ACE Hardware, Triangle Ace Hardware

Best Hotel in the Triangle: The Umstead Hotel and Spa

100 Woodland Pond Drive, Cary,

Finalists: 21c Museum Hotel Durham, The Durham Hotel, The Franklin Hotel Chapel Hill, Unscripted Durham

Best House Cleaners in Durham County: Best Clean Ever

1631 Midtown Place, #103, Raleigh

Finalists: Carpe Diem Cleaning, Enovana Green Cleaning, Tangerine Clean

Best House Cleaners in Orange / Chatham County: Carpe Diem Cleaning

Finalists: Lucie’s Home Services, Southern Hospitality Cleaning& Concierge, Tangerine Clean

Best House Cleaners in Wake County: West Domestic

305 South Salem Street, Apex,

Finalists: Enovana Green Cleaning, Go-2-Girls, Raleigh Cleaning Company

Best House Painter in the Triangle: Zarazua Painting

Finalists: Anderson Painting, Bryant Froeschle, Jason Johns Specialty Paint

Best HVAC Company in the Triangle: Newcomb and Company

3000 Comfort Court, Raleigh,

INDY: Nothing feels better than a cool breeze blowing through your vents on a ninety-degree day—and nothing feels worse than when it’s replaced by stagnant, hot, stale air. Locals say the responsive pros at Newcomb and Company can solve HVAC problems faster than you can dab the sweat from the brow.

Finalists: 6 & Fix Heating & Cooling, Boer Brothers Heating & Cooling, Michael & Son Services

Best Insurance Agent in the Triangle: Amanda Hagood, State Farm

Finalists: Blake Edwards, Christine Walorz, Christopher Domingo

Best Jewelry Store in Durham County: Jewelsmith Inc.

2200 West Main Street, Suite A, Durham,

Finalists: Atelier N Fine Jewelry, Hamilton Hill Jewelry, John David Jewelers

Best Jewelry Store in Orange / Chatham County: William Travis Jewelry

201 South Estes Drive, #400D, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Creative Metalsmiths, Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, Melissa Designer Jewelry, Womancraft Gifts

Best Jewelry Store in Wake County: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

415 Daniels Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: HTY Jewelry, Katie Callahan & Co., Petersons’ Consigning Design

Best Landscape Company in the Triangle: TROSA Lawn Care

1100 Neville Street, Durham,

Finalists: Bountiful Backyards, Central Carolina Lawn and Landscape, KP’s Lawncare and Landscaping

Best Local Brand in the Triangle: House of Swank Clothing

119 East Hargett Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Humility Clothing, Munjo Munjo, RUNAWAY (closed)

Best Moving Company in the Triangle: TROSA Moving

700 Mallard Avenue, Durham,

Finalists: All American Relocation, Crabtree Family Moving, Two Men and a Truck

Best Music Lessons in the Triangle: High Strung School of Music

1805 West Markham Avenue, Durham,

Finalists: The Musicians Learning Center; Katherine Posner, Vocal Studio; Matt Stutzman, American Home Studio

Best New Business in Durham County: Boxcar Bar & Arcade

621 Foster Street, Durham,

Finalists: Barley Labs, Emerald Medicine Company, Gibson Girl Vintage

Best New Business in Orange / Chatham County: Cat Tales Cat Café

431 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill,

INDY: Whether you want to get your cat yoga on or you just want to drink a craft beer and pet a cat, Cat Tales Cat Cafe is your one-stop shop for all your favorite feline fixes—including adoption. In partnership with the Goathouse Refuge in Pittsboro, Cat Tales gets its well-socialized and housebroken kitties from the good folks who foster from the Goathouse. On Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill, Cat Tales’ two-story glass-walled building is pure paradise for the twelve cuddly creatures who dwell there at a time, awaiting your pets—and maybe even a new place to call home. No purrrressure, of course

Finalists: House of Hops, Samantha’s Pupusas, Ungraded Produce

Best New Business in Wake County: Black Dog Bottle Shop

140 West Holly Springs Road, Holly Springs,

Finalists: Just 4 Dogs Mobile Dog Treats, Pine State Coffee, Trellis Beauty

Best Nonprofit in Durham County: TROSA

1820 James Street, Durham,

Finalists: Animal Protection Society of Durham, Beyond Fences, Hope Animal Rescue

Best Nonprofit in Orange / Chatham County: Orange County Rape Crisis Center

1506 East Franklin Street, #200, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Carolina Tiger Rescue, ISLA, TABLE

Best Nonprofit in Wake County: Cause for Paws

INDY: This nonprofit takes a multifaceted approach to rescuing abandoned and unwanted pets from euthanasia, from raising money through thrift stores and pet supply drives to fostering homeless pups. If you’re looking to add a furry friend to the family, you’ll have your pick of the litter. Sign up for CFP’s newsletter, Wet Nose News, for updates on local events and the cutest new rescues.

Finalists: Healing Transitions, Military Missions in Action, Urban Ministries of Wake County

Best Pet Boarding in Durham County: Camp Bow Wow (North Durham)

4310 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham,

Finalists: Creature Comforts Inn, Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa, Sunny Acres Pet Resort

Best Pet Boarding in Orange / Chatham County: Green Beagle Lodge

6805 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Chapel Hill Pet Resort, Doggie Spa & Day Care, Top Dog Training and Resort

Best Pet Boarding in Wake County: Dog Holiday Resort

830 Purser Drive, Suite L, Raleigh,

Finalists: Dogtopia of North Raleigh, PetSound Daycare and Boarding, Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa

Best Pet Groomer in Durham County: Elliotte’s Pet Spa and Grooming Salon

2005 North Pointe Drive, #1B, Durham,

INDY: If your puppy spends more money at the salon than you do but has yet to indulge at Elliotte’s Pet Spa and Grooming Salon, she’s missing out! The welcoming, supportive staff at this decadent Durham day spa can soothe the most anxious of your furry friends, as Elliotte’s skilled technicians specialize in customer service and bedside manner. Whether it’s a classic bath and regular grooming or a deluxe pawdicure, you can customize your dog’s (or cat’s, if your cat somehow tolerates grooming) spa treatments to suit their fancy, helping them detox, destress, and decompress from their very demanding lives.

Finalists: Beth’s Barks N Bubbles, Pam’s Paw Prints, The Pampered Pooch

Best Pet Groomer in Orange / Chatham County: Top Dog Training & Resort’s Emily Harris

Finalists: Dogs Paw Mobile Grooming’s Fiona; Green Beagle Lodge; Hair of the Dog Grooming Studio

Best Pet Groomer in Wake County: Dogtopia of North Raleigh’s Angie

4708 Hargrove Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: City Pet Grooming, Dog Holiday Resort, Top Notch Pet Spa

Best Pet Specialty Store in the Triangle: Phydeaux

400 South Elliott Road, Suite A1, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Oliver’s Collar DogTreat Bakery & Boutique, Other End of the Leash Pet Boutique & Bakery, Unleashed at Lake Boone Shopping Center

Best Pet-sitting Service in Durham County: Kate’s Critter Care

Finalists: A Whole Lotta Love Pet Sitting, Bull City Pet Sitting, Rachel McNeil

Best Pet-sitting Service in Orange / Chatham County: Kate’s Critter Care

Finalists: Laughing Dog Pet Care, Rachel McNeil, Walk & Wag

Best Pet-sitting Service in Wake County: FURbaby Pet Sitters

INDY: The second you lock the front door, you hate to think your precious Mr. Fluffers is anxious and alone. FURbaby Pet Sitters ensures this won’t be the case. In addition to dogs and cats, they have experience accommodating special-needs pets as well as chickens, hedgehogs, parrots, hamsters, and guinea pigs. These sitters also know how anxious pet parents can be, so they’ll send you pictures and videos while you’re away to calm your nerves.

Finalists: All Breed Care, Dog Holiday Resort, LindsLove

Best Place to Adopt a Pet in the Triangle: Saving Grace NC

Wake Forest,

INDY: You know better than to buy a dog from a puppy mill, right? A reputable, independent breeder, perhaps—if you’re set on a certain breed, and if they can demonstrate that the puppies have been bred responsibly. But never, ever one of those places that breeds by the hundreds and ships the pups out to pet stores. OK, end rant. Now that we know you want to be a decent human being who would like to adopt a dog while not feeding a garbage industry, let’s look at your options: You could go to the shelter—and our local shelters always need more people willing to adopt. But maybe you’re skittish about what that shelter dog will be like once she gets home—whether she’ll be healthy and happy, whether she’ll get along with your kids or your other dogs or your cat, whether she’ll tear up your sofa or poo all over your rug. This is where Saving Grace comes in. A Wake Forest-based nonprofit, it does the pre-adoption work for you: It rescues dogs mostly from animal control facilities in impoverished rural areas in North Carolina, gives them vet care, vaccines, and parasite treatment, and trains and socializes them before putting them up for adoption. No guarantees, of course—some issues don’t manifest right away—but adopting from Saving Grace means you’ll have a better sense of what kind of furry child you’re bringing home. (Also: The INDY already has two assistant editor dogs, but if we were in the market, holy cow is Noob the retriever puppy adorbs.)

Finalists: Best Friend Pet Adoption, Hope Animal Rescue, Love Mutts Rescue, Triangle Beagle Rescue

Best Place to Buy Locally Made Art in Durham County: The Patchwork Market

Finalists: The Artisan Market at 305, Durham Craft Market, Pleiades Arts

Best Place to Buy Locally Made Art in Orange / Chatham County: Womancraft Gifts

360 East Main Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: FRANK Gallery, Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, The Joyful Jewel

Best Place to Buy Locally Made Art in Wake County: Cedar Creek Gallery

1150 Fleming Road, Creedmoor,

Finalists: Artspace, Pop-Up Raleigh, Raleigh Night Market

Best Place to Buy Musical Instruments in the Triangle: High Strung Violins & Guitars

1803 West Markham Avenue, Durham,

INDY: If you need an electric ax, look elsewhere: Locally owned standby High Strung traffics in acoustic guitars, ukuleles, violins, and cellos, and that’s pretty much it. There’s nowhere better for your unamplified string purchase, repair, and rental needs, thanks to the ramshackle charm of the space and the helpful, knowledgeable staff. Of course, you can also dip in for all your impromptu pick, string winder, and other-odds-and-ends needs, and if you get really serious, there’s an affiliated music school onsite. Whatever it lacks in the convenience of a big-box or online retailer, it more than makes up for with the human touch and the chance for discovery.

Finalists: American Home Studio, Sam Ash Music Stores, Twin House Music

Best Plumber in the Triangle: Midtown Plumbing

3029 Stony Brook Drive, #111,

Finalists: Carrboro Plumbing, Leak Locators, Michael & Son Services

Best Realtor Group in the Triangle: The Abshure Realty Group

201 South Main Street, Fuquay-Varina,

Finalists: DeRonja Real Estate, DuBois Property Group, ERA Dream Living Realty

Best Realtor in Durham County: Lisa Ellis

Finalists: RED Collective’s Alison Domnas, Justin Burleson, Kenny Coates

Best Realtor in Orange / Chatham County: Martha Newport

Finalists: Justin Burleson, Virginia Sloop, Octavius “O” Smiley-Humphries, Hope Tyler

Best Realtor in Wake County: Tracy Watson

Finalists: Justin Burleson, Samantha Gradle, Lynette Mittendorf

Best Retail Beer Selection in Durham County: Sam’s Bottle Shop

1112 N.C. Highway 54, Durham,

Finalists: Beer Durham, Beer Study, The Glass Jug Beer Lab

Best Retail Beer Selection in Orange / Chatham County: Beer Study

106 North Graham Street, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Bottle Rev (Chapel Hill), House of Hops, Weaver Street Market

Best Retail Beer Selection in Wake County: Tasty Beverage Company

327 West Davie Street, #106, Raleigh,

Finalists: Cellar 55, The Green Monkey, Peace Street Market, Pelagic Beer and Wine

Best Retirement Community in the Triangle: Carol Woods Retirement Community

750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill

Finalists: Cambridge Village of Apex, Carolina Meadows, Croasdaile Village, The Oaks at Whitaker Glen

Best Roofing Company in the Triangle: Baker Roofing Company

517 Mercury Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Avilez Roofing, Joe Ray’s Inc., Roofwerks Inc., Walker Brown Roofing

Best Running Store in the Triangle: Bull City Running Co.

202 West N.C. Highway 54, #109, Durham,

Finalists: Fleet Feet Raleigh, Run-N-Tri Outfitters, Runologie

Best Salvage / Reuse Business in the Triangle: The Scrap Exchange

2050 Chapel Hill Road, Durham,

Finalists: CompostNow, Habitat ReStore Durham-Chapel Hill, TROSA Thrift Store and Donation Center

Best Store to Buy Eyeglasses in the Triangle: Upchurch Optical Center

Riverview Shopping Center, 5108 North Roxboro Street, Durham,

Finalists: Specs Eye Care, The Spectacle, Warby Parker

Best Toy Store in the Triangle: Ali Cat Toys

200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro,

Finalists: Crowemag Toys, Learning Express Toys & Gifts, Science Safari Inc., Tiny

Best Summer Camp in Durham County: Schoolhouse of Wonder

2634 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, #220, Durham,

Finalists: Camp Shelanu at the Levin JCC, Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts, Duke Lemur Center

Best Summer Camp in Orange / Chatham County: Carolina Friends School

4809 Friends School Road, Durham,

Finalists: Chapel Hill QuestMartial Arts, Immersion Island, Learning Outside

Best Summer Camp in Wake County: Raleigh Little Theatre

301 Pogue Street, Raleigh,

Finalists: Arts Together, Lux Performance Arts, Schoolhouse of Wonder

Best Tailor in the Triangle: Lee’s Tailor

6910 Fayetteville Road, #188, Durham,

Lee’s Tailor Shop

5535 Western Blvd #201, Raleigh,

Finalists: Alterations by Christina, Anna’s Tailor and Alterations, Glenwood South Tailors Alterations

Best Tattoo Studio in the Triangle: Dogstar Tattoo Company

807 East Main Street, Durham,

INDY: You turn eighteen, so you want your first tattoo. Being eighteen, you want it to be massive—a giant forearm illustration of a faceless, cross-legged woman surrounded by flowers, vines, birds, and butterflies. But when you show up to Dogstar, you get cold feet: Do you really want that inked on your forearm the rest of your life? But the tattoo artist understands. He talks you through it. He draws up an alternative—a simple outline of a rose—and makes sure you’re at ease before he starts needling it into your arm. In the years since, you’ve been inked at studios all over the country, but Dogstar is your first love, not just because of that one experience, but because it’s the most sanitary and accommodating place you’ve visited. And also because you’d be hard-pressed to find crisper lines, smoother shading, or bolder colors anywhere in the Triangle.

Finalists: Conspiracy Ink Tattoos, Raleigh Tattoo Company, Sacred Mandala Studio

Best Veterinary Practice in Durham County: Southpoint Animal Hospital

5601 Fayetteville Road, Durham,

Finalists: Carver Street Animal Hospital, North Paw Animal Hospital, Willow Oak Veterinary Hospital

Best Veterinary Practice in Orange / Chatham County: Carrboro Plaza Veterinary Clinic

104 N.C. Highway 54, Suite M, Carrboro,

Finalists: Cats Love Housecalls’ Dr. Barbara Kirch, Cole Park Veterinary Hospital, Piedmont Veterinary Clinic

Best Veterinary Practice in Wake County: Bayleaf Veterinary Hospital

10009 Six Forks Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: Care First Animal Hospital at Glenwood, Hayes Barton Animal Hospital, Magnolia Animal Hospital

Best Vintage / Antique Store in the Triangle: Father & Son Antiques

302 South West Street, Raleigh,

INDY: There are antique stores, and then there’s Father & Sons, which just last year moved into the burgeoning Warehouse District. You’ll find loads of mid-century modern furniture, vintage clothing (think fifties bomber jackets, seventies wide-leg floral jumpsuits, original Farrah Fawcett t-shirts), antiques, oddities, artwork, vinyl, record players, even a sixties-style brutalist chandelier. It’s the kind of place you spend hours in without realizing you’ve been there for hours—and the kind of place where you wish your paycheck had an extra zero so you could buy everything you wanted, because you want it all. 

Finalists: Dolly’s Vintage, Petersons’ Consigning Design, Raleigh Furniture Gallery

Best Wedding Planner in the Triangle: A Southern Soiree

Finalists: Cherished Occasions Production, Lillian Suarez Weddings& Events, Magnolia and Grace Events

Best Wine Shop in Durham County: Wine Authorities

2501 University Drive, Durham,

Finalists: Durham Co-op Market, Ramblers, The Wine Feed

Best Wine Shop in Orange / Chatham County: Southern Season

201 South Estes Drive, Chapel Hill,

Finalists: Chapel Hill Wine Co., Hillsborough Wine Co., winestore. Chapel Hill

Best Wine Shop in Wake County: Cellar 55

1351 East Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina,

Finalists: Short Walk Wines, The Raleigh Wine Shop, Wine Authorities

Best Women’s Boutique in Durham County: Vaguely Reminiscent

728 Ninth Street, Durham,

Finalists: Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, Smitten Boutique, Vert & Vogue

Best Women’s Boutique in Orange / Chatham County: Sofia’s

200 North Greensboro Street, Suite B3, Carrboro,

Finalists: Clothes Mentor Chapel Hill, Lark Home Apparel, Whilden, Womancraft Gifts

Best Women’s Boutique in Wake County: Possibilities Boutique

1247 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary,

Finalists: Fifi’s of Cameron Village, Little Details, Petersons’ Consigning Design

Best Yarn Store in the Triangle: Great Yarns

1208 Ridge Road, Raleigh,

Finalists: Freeman’s Creative, Hillsborough Yarn Shop, Warm ‘n’ Fuzzy

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