A PERSONAL TOUCH: Local businesses around Asheville, such as Dancing Bear Toys (above), play an indispensible role in driving the area’s economy and lending the city its unique ambiance. Through a combination of hands on ingenuity, creative approaches and a strong sense of community, Asheville’s specialty shops and boutiques are a testament to the viability of independent, locally-owned businesses in a world of big box chains and internet megastores. Photo by Max Hunt.

Local businesses drive Asheville vibe

Walk any downtown Asheville street and you’re likely to encounter some quirky storefronts offering unusual products. Together, these “specialty shops” or boutiques, most of them locally owned businesses, are a key component of the city’s distinctive flavor, attracting thousands of tourists each year and helping fuel the economy.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Purl's Yarn Emporium yarn-bombed Wall Street, taking on the Flat Iron sculpture and even the trees. Photo by Hayley Benton

Flat Iron sculpture gets a sweater

The stealthy stitchers of Purl’s Yarn Emporium are at it again. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Wall Street was transformed with knit and crochet creations. As with their installations last spring and fall, the stitchers will be adorning many fixtures along the quaint street. This fall, however, they have added a much larger target to their yarn-bombing: the Flat Iron sculpture.