Peak Experience

Highlands, NC

You’re on the Dillard Road and see the Peak Experience signs. Have you actually taken the time to stop? You should. You really, really should.
As owner Victoria Ingate says, “We hear it all the time. ‘We drive by but this is the first time we’ve stopped.’ These folks always come back.”
One in particular does all her Christmas shopping in May when she’s here on vacation. And for good reason. The Ingates, Victoria, Matthew and Rosemarie, know what they’re doing. Peak Experience has been in business for 17 years and their success is, in part, because they listen to what their customers want.
Apparently, quite a few want pottery. The store is full of handmade clay art that is collectible, functional and one of a kind. Plan to spend some time exploring all three floors. They have more pottery, as well as antiques, on the lowest level with a saleroom on the upper floor. There’s even an area geared toward children.
You may be familiar with the name, Peak Experience, because of the colorful SolMate Socks they carry. These colorfully mismatched socks are made right here in a family owned mill in North Carolina. The stunning hand-painted silk tunics and shawls from Tennessee have become collectors’ items, perhaps because no two are alike. There’s nothing like wearing something that no one else in the world will have!

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Is it true that people come to the mountains to shop? You bet! Most stores in the Highlands-Cashiers area are owner-operated. This means enjoying a level of personal attention unheard of at the mall. Many businesses have been here for decades and have become a destination for generations of shoppers.


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