Our Story

Dive into the heart of Southern hospitality at Southern Lion, where we’re more than just a store – we’re a family.

Inspired by our cherished history and devotion to the Carolinas, we’ve grown into who we are today. As we set our sights on the future, we invite you to be part of our endeavor to establish a legacy that will echo through time.

Guardians of Tradition

Unique Merchants
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Square Feet of Shopping
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Years of History
of happy customers and counting!
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As the premier destination for curated shopping in the South, we provide a platform for over 150 merchants to showcase their exceptional products. But beyond the products, it’s our community that shines brightest.

From tailor-made furniture and lush home decor to artisanal gifts that speak from the heart, our selections are as diverse as they are exceptional. Beyond what truly makes Southern Lion special is our commitment to creating a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. Shop with us, and let every find be a discovery.

Our History

How it Started

New Family

The Pop Up Shop Up Top

Grand Opening

How it Started

The Black Lion was founded in 1996 by native Charlotteans, Bob & Nita Emory. They had the vision to cultivate thousands of local entrepreneurs’ small businesses and curate an incredible selection of gifts and home furnishings from around the world. After 27 years, Black Lion left Pineville, NC and began its new home in Chicago, IL.

New Family

Wanting to keep the spirit alive in its roots of North Carolina, Sonja P. Nichols and her son Richard Nichols III rebranded as Southern Lion, keeping Black Lion’s original vendors.
Management Team: Maureen Rudolph (Merchant’s Manager & Leasing Agent), Eric Mechum (Operations Manager), Odetta Maxwell (HR Manager), and Harry Mack (Executive Assistant).

The Pop Up Shop Up Top

In the fall of 2023, Southern Lion opened at Carolina Place Mall with over 50 merchants in the upstairs of our full building, deemed “The Pop Up Shop Up Top”, while we awaited our grand opening to utilize the full space in 2024.

Grand Opening on July 13th, 2024!

Stay connected with us on social media to stay updated on the grand opening of our expansion in spring 2024! Prepare to explore over 85,000 square feet of shopping, showcasing a diverse array of products from over 150 merchants. It’s the ultimate destination to discover amazing pieces for your home. As our owners, Sonja and Rich, always says, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!”

Have Questions?

Need assistance or have a question? Our friendly team is ready to help! Contact us via our contact form, give us a ring, or drop us an email. We’re here to provide support and answer any queries you may have.

Become a Merchant

Ready to be a part of the Southern Lion family? Join us as a merchant and gain access to a growing customer base while you showcase your products, boost sales, and grow your brand. Get in touch to learn more about becoming a merchant today!

Work at Southern Lion

Looking to join our team? You’ll find a friendly work environment, competitive wages, and be a steward of a one-of-a-kind retail experience. Take the first step and apply today!

We Are Now Open!

Join us for our Grand Opening Event on July 13th at 11am


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