FROM THE EDITOR: Small Business Saturday Success!
I hope this email finds you exhausted yet thrilled after a busy shopping weekend in your stores! While I wasn’t actually working in a retail store myself this past holiday weekend, I visited countless of stores and was so impressed by both the retailers and the customers alike! More so than in the years past, I found the local businesses of my hometown of Geneva, Illinois to be filled with customers on Small Business Saturday, which also happened to be my birthday! How lucky am I that my birthday fell on a day dedicated to celebrating independent businesses? Truly a gift, and I was so inspired by how well the many retailers I had visited had planned for this exciting day.
Geneva based retailer Peaceful Parlour had vendors onsite to help support her on this busy day, as well as add engagement and excitement to her customers. Their participation worked! I ended up buying some beautiful earrings from an onsite vendor that day, as well as some other goodies. Peaceful Parlour also took advantage of their heavy traffic and was promoting an upcoming “Guy’s Night Out” event that they have planned. Finally, owner Shari Ralish’s went all out on highlighting Small Business Saturday by giving customers “Shop Small” bags with each purchase made, provided by American Express’s Shop Small campaign. She also had a doormat, window signs and other Shop Small promotional pieces used to help promote the day and her store, as well as had a recent front cover story about her store in the local paper thanks to her own outreach to the press. It was so much fun being a part of the excitement in her store, plus I was so happy for Shari – a wonderful, hard working retailer who deserves every sale made!
In addition to visiting Peaceful Parlour, I made stops – and purchases – at countless other local retailers including K. Hollis Jewelers, All Chocolate Kitchen, Grahams, Anastazia Gifts, The Olive Mill, Elburn’s Meat Market, The Turf Room and many more! While it was fun to be a consumer on Small Business Saturday, it was much more fun to see the collective, vibrant energy of retailers and customers supporting this important day.
In addition to my own fun on Small Business Saturday here in the Midwest, Jason Prescott, my co-author for our upcoming book and CEO of TopTenWholesale.com, was busy shopping the west coast with his daughter. His favorite stop was at the Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar, a playful and fun pet store with an edge located on Main Street in Los Angeles. Here’s a pic of Jason, his daughter and their pup after their purchase on Small Business Saturday!
Finally, while Small Business Saturday may be behind us, there are many more reasons to still “shop small” and support independent retailers in the weeks ahead leading up to the holidays (and let’s face it, always). Studies show that when you buy from independent, locally owned businesses versus nationally recognized or global businesses, you help keep nearly half of each dollar spent in that local town. Plus – as you already know – these same stores bring charm and character to the communities they exist within. So as you work hard to have your best season yet, don’t forget to also do your own holiday or everyday shopping at other local businesses. They need you as much as you need them to keep your communities and stores alive and thriving!
Here’s wishing you a season filled with lots of love, fun and sales!
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle Founder & Chief Retail Lover Retail Minded Magazine
Photo Details: Shari Ralish, store owner of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva, Illinois, had her best Small Business Saturday yet this past weekend. Plus, she had her best Black Friday ever, as well! Ralish prepared for these busy shopping days by promoting her store, unique products, vendor participation and more in the weeks leading up to this weekend. Ralish even reached out to her local paper, the Kane County Chronicle, and approached them about a story on Small Business Saturday. The result? A front cover story and picture from her store! All her hard work paid off. Ralish had fantastic sales and gained some much deserved attention – as well as many new customers. That’s a winning combination in our books!