Each year, small businesses in Lexington County get a little more support the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
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Small Business Saturday, a marketing initiative created and promoted by the American Express credit card brand, pushes consumers to look beyond the big national brands that bombard them with sales on Black Friday and direct some of their holiday shopping dollars toward the small, locally owned business that are part of their communities.
The Chronicle caught up with some local business owners, who described benefits from the day that ranged from direct sales spikes to building awareness.
Brooke Finch named her new business, Rhettley’s Ribbons, after her late daughter, who died unexpectedly in August. She sells handmade bows, with each fabric pattern named after a child who has passed.
Finch said that her online sales doubled Saturday compared to any single-day event she has experienced so far.
She did not offer any discounts for Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, though she might in the future as her business grows.
“Paying a little more for a local item pays for their family's food, their kids' clothing, events and camps, time with their family,” Finch said, encouraging people to give their business to locals.
Hollow Creek Distillery in Leesville celebrated Small Business Saturday by hosting a market with six vendors, including a jewelry maker, two woodworkers and a jam maker, along with a food truck. The distillery was open for the day, offering samples and tours and selling bottles.
Co-owner Meredith Amick said the event went well, though she didn’t offer any specific numbers.
“It is always so wonderful to see community members embrace several local small businesses and include them in their holiday shopping," she said.
According to Amick’s husband, Craig, the distillery gets about a 30% increase in sales during these events.
The female-owned-and-staffed Piercing Parlor in Irmo, which opened in 2019 offering piercings along with a boutique selling jewelry and accessories, has offered Black Friday sales each year it’s been in business. The shop also offers rotating special offers, advertised via Instagram, to help stimulate business.
Genova told the Chronicle her shop conducted more than three times the piercings Nov. 25 than they normally do on a Friday.
“It's very important to me personally to support other small businesses because I know how much work and effort goes into having your own business,” owner Kara Genova said.
Tiffany Hargenrader and Maria Cardona started their business, Tiffany and Maria Event Design and Consultation, in September after they designed Cardona’s wedding together.
They didn’t offer any specials or discounts last week, but they were pleased to receive several social media shoutouts as a result of Small Business Saturday.
“As a new business, it can be difficult to break into any new industry, especially an industry where making a name for yourself is of the utmost importance,” Hargenrader said. “Opportunities like Small Business Saturday are a great way for us to do this."
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