In the wake of Black Friday came Small Business Saturday, with dozens of area shoppers dedicated to “keeping it local” patronizing local businesses for the one-of-a-kind items they would not find elsewhere.
Lambco Appliance and Attleboro Jewelers in Attleboro both saw a steady, busy stream of customers throughout the day who told the businesses that locally was where they wanted to give their patronage.
“It’s great to see people are coming out and supporting local businesses,” said Lambco employee Courtney Nacewicz.
Nancy Young, owner of Attleboro Jewelers, said that while Black Friday was “fabulous” in terms of customer purchases, Saturday was just as busy with custom designs for patrons, as well as those who were placing special orders.
The jewelry store’s outdoor lighted sign announced there were only 25 days left to shop before Christmas, and Young was grateful to those who chose to shop locally and give back to the community.
“Shopping locally is extremely important,” Young said. “It’s what keeps our doors open.”
In downtown North Attleboro, new business owner Patti Murphy of TRUT Emporium saw a modest volume of shoppers in the first hour of her store’s opening, although the foot traffic became quieter later in the morning and early afternoon.
Murphy, whose store sells womens’ clothing and accessories at a one-size-fits-most, opened for business on Nov. 21.
The cool weather and brisk wind blowing through the downtown area appeared to keep most of the outdoor foot traffic to a minimum.
“I’m hoping I’ll get another little boost today,” Murphy said.
Down the street at The Preservation Framer, which also had displays of small jewelry and accessories, a group of friends stopped in as part of their Small Business Saturday pastime: Denise Blacker and Bonnie Scoullar of North Attleboro and Kerri Champagne of Providence, R.I.
The Love Life Gifts winter hats, made by Shaina Perry, caught Blacker’s eye on a display table in the Preservation Framer.
“Feel how soft this is,” Blacker told her friends as she held one of the hats.
The three friends all believed in giving back to the community by supporting the local businesses.
“These stores here are very unique,” Blacker said. “They have unique things that you’re not going to find in a mall.”
The cluster of local shops reminded Scoullar of a different era.
“In the 1950s, we had a lot of small businesses, and now they’re all dying,” she said.
The three women continued their local business shopping excursion to An Unlikely Story in Plainville, where the bookstore was bustling with customers for its fifth Christmas season.
Part of the celebration of Small Business Saturday for the store was a book signing for 14 local authors.
Since opening for business for the day, general manager Deb Sundin said the flow of customers had been “very steady,” and becoming even more so after noontime.
“It really has become a community space,” said general manager Deb Sundin. “It just fills me with joy, because I feel like we have a mission, and (owner Jeff Kinney) has his mission, not only to spread our love of books but to make this a community gathering place for our customers and our authors.”
One customer, Julie Redlitz of Norfolk, brought her two daughters, 15-year-old Melanie and 11-year-old Danielle, for an afternoon of shopping at the bookstore they all loved.
“I don’t mind spending a little more for gifts, because (the Kinneys) give so much back to the community,” Redlitz said.
In the center of Foxboro, Fab Finds Foxboro was also providing a one-stop shopping endeavor for many patrons on the hunt for one or more unique finds, such as Jane Locke of Franklin and Laura Sfeir of Westwood.
“I prefer to do small businesses. I am not a mall girl,” Sfeir said. “Here, I’d find something very unique.”
The store hosts over 35 vendors selling antiques and other collectibles, and owner Suzanne Peterson was also committed to supporting those vendors, as well as the community around her, on Small Business Saturday.
Additionally, store manager Anita Waite concurred: “We really like to promote a community vibe with the other small shops nearby — we all try to help each other out.”