Many Shopped Local Over Holiday Weekend

AT WALKABOUT OUTFITTERS on Black Friday, Sara Cunningham (at right) of Lexington shops with her sisters (from left) Barbara Wedig from New York and Carol Miller from Washington, D.C., as well as her nephew Dan Wedig. (Claudia Schwab photo)

AT WALKABOUT OUTFITTERS on Black Friday, Sara Cunningham (at right) of Lexington shops with her sisters (from left) Barbara Wedig from New York and Carol Miller from Washington, D.C., as well as her nephew Dan Wedig. (Claudia Schwab photo)

SHOPPERS check out the items for sale at Coiner Country Store in Buena Vista. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

SHOPPERS check out the items for sale at Coiner Country Store in Buena Vista. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

GRAY RANIELLA of Fredericksburg (at left) and Jean Geiger of South Carolina (right) look through some of the cold-weather accessories on display at Pumpkinseeds on Black Friday. The two were in town visiting the Harden family of Rockbridge County. (Claudia Schwab photo)

GRAY RANIELLA of Fredericksburg (at left) and Jean Geiger of South Carolina (right) look through some of the cold-weather accessories on display at Pumpkinseeds on Black Friday. The two were in town visiting the Harden family of Rockbridge County. (Claudia Schwab photo)

BRAD AUSTIN and his son Oliver shop at Vinyl Cuts in Buena Vista on Small Business Saturday. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

BRAD AUSTIN and his son Oliver shop at Vinyl Cuts in Buena Vista on Small Business Saturday. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

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ABOVE, shoppers pause outside Sugar Maple Trading Company’s seasonal storefront window on Lexington’s Main Street before continuing with their shopping on Black Friday. AT LEFT, Cindy Gibson (at right) of Botetourt County and her daughter Lauren Brown of Roanoke inspect one of the purses for sale at The Pappagallo Shop. (Claudia Schwab photos)

Many Shopped Local Over Holiday Weekend
Many Shopped Local Over Holiday Weekend

Light rain didn’t hold back shoppers from supporting local businesses over the weekend, leading to a successful kickoff of the holiday shopping season on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday for area shops.

Before the shopping weekend, the Lexington-Rock-bridge Chamber of Commerce promoted “shopping small” by circulating benefits of supporting local businesses on social media. For every $1 spent locally, 67 cents will stay within the community and ultimately support local services and families. Along with supporting economic growth in the community, area residents shopped small over the weekend to find holiday gifts unique to merchants in their hometown.

Saturday was “crazy good” for Sarah Dyer, owner of the upcycled antiques and gift store Urban Farm Girl in downtown Lexington.

Dyer, who took off Black Friday to be with her visiting family, opened Urban Farm Girl on Nelson Street to gloomy weather Saturday feeling apprehensive. However, the community support from shoppers that day cast out Dyer’s doubts completely.

“I’m so thankful that people who live in the Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista area tried to shop local first,” she said with a smile.

Dyer told The News-Gazette she was able to see what other nearby businesses had to offer when Urban Farm Girl was closed Friday. At a time she would usually be in her own shop, Dyer had the chance to enjoy the unique finds of her small business peers with her family.

On North Main Street, Sugar Maple Trading Company had their “biggest, best day ever” Saturday, owner Cindy Hughes told The New-Gazette.

“The store was full from the minute we opened until we closed. There was lots of local support,” Hughes said. Sugar Maple Trading Company offers customers a curated collection of new, vintage and handcrafted gifts.

“We sold a lot of little stuff for people looking for stocking stuffer items. We anticipated that from last year and it really paid off.”

Liz Murphy, owner of Lizzie’s of Lexington, new to Washington Street this year, said the weekend was also a very positive experience for her store.

“It went great. People really came together. It was very indicative of the processional the night before,” she said in reference to the processional and Christmas tree lighting ceremony Friday night.

Murphy said female shoppers typically gravitate toward Lizzie’s jewelry, beauty products and décor, but the weekend saw many families at her business.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see little children picking out ornaments,” she said. “My agate ornaments flew off the shelf. It was something different for everyone.”

3 Seasons Antiques & Unique Treasures in Fairfield saw two “incredible days” on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday thanks to support from the “awesome community,” owner Melinda Mills reported.

“This was the best year we’ve had in crowds and sales in our seven years of retail experience,” Mills said. “We wait until the day after Thanksgiving to begin our celebration of Christmas and I was overwhelmed with the appreciation shoppers expressed for this.”

Mills said the past weekend has created more excitement for 3 Seasons Antiques’ participation in the North Rockbridge Holiday Open House Trail on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“We hope this event will create even more awareness and support for our small family-owned businesses,” she said of the coordinated open house event, involving 12 businesses in the North Rockbridge area.

Buena Vista also saw an abundance of community support over the shopping holiday.

Ruthie Lawhorne, owner of Vinyl Cuts, said Friday and Saturday brought on a record sales day for her growing business.

“It went great for me,” Lawhorne said of the weekend at Vinyl Cuts, a custom gift store that specializes in personalized signs and home goods. “People were mostly looking for Christmas décor which is what I have a lot of. There seemed to be many happy customers.”

The Buena Vista Arts Council, meanwhile, hosted a Small Business Saturday Bazaar in collaboration with the Buena Vista Business Group and GO BV initiative, inviting a diverse group of vendors to display their one-of-a-kind artisan products.

“Our goal with the bazaar was to support all store fronts in Buena Vista as well as provide a store front for businesses that don’t have one yet,” Arts Council Member Marie Shiraki said.

Along with local artists, bazaar vendors included authors and novelists, woodworkers, soap and bath product makers and craft and repurposing connoisseurs. Kling Elementary students also set up a table at the bazaar to sell hand-made Christmas cards that featured original holiday paintings.

“It went very well; everyone enjoyed it,” Shiraki said of the event. “It was a great collaboration.”

“I am thrilled with the development in Buena Vista with all things art related,” Shiraki continued. “This was our second annual bazaar and it’s our hope to grow and get better every year.”

‘The store was full from the minute we opened until we closed. There was lots of local support.’

The News-Gazette

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