Shoppers go local for Small Business Saturday
Detroit – Over 100 million people nationally were are expected to shop small on Saturday during the eighth annual Small Business Saturday.
In 2010, American Express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hoping to bring more revenue to local stores hurting from recession.
Small business owners generated an estimated $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2016, according to American Express’ website.
Local stores participated largely in Detroit, Royal Oak, Ferndale and Westland.
In Midtown, unique gift stores City Bird and Nest on West Canfield and Second Avenue were popular for shoppers looking for local art designs and handmade goods. “This year is 50 percent better than last year. We’ve been so packed we had to add a second register to our small stores,” said Andy Linn co-owner of both stores. “Small businesses contribute strongly to the economy. If we support our small businesses, we support our extended community and our economy.”
Andrea Rizzo and her husband Kyle Johnson bought Detroit apparel, handmade toys, books and more during their shopping trip in Midtown.
“It’s my favorite day of the year. I love unique gifts so much I woke up at 4 a.m. and shopped in Mount Clemens, Detroit and next Royal Oak,” said Rizzo, 46, of Clinton Township. “My favorite shops are Max and Ollie’s Vintage Boutique and Weirdsville Records in Mount Clemens.”
The Holiday Market pop-up brought thousands downtown to shop for food, baked goods and apparel in 10-by-13-foot glass house-shaped booths. The outdoor market will be open until Jan. 7 in Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and Spirit Plaza.
“I’m vegan and allergic to gluten and was able to eat a dessert from Good Cake and Bakes and it was amazing,” said Trisha Cash of Canton.
April and Michelle Anderson of Detroit started Good Cake and Bakes four years ago specializing in organic and vegan desserts. April said she loved to bake and “thought everyone should be able to have a taste.” Good Cake and Bakes can be found in Spirit Plaza.
Christmas shoppers were able to pick up a ready-made box of gifts at Open Me When, a glass booth in Capitol Park. The themed boxes rage from $80-$190 and those who buy a box are entered to win two bench-seat Pistons tickets.
“Each box comes with items individually wrapped, a handwritten note, a theme and special goodies with notes about each thing inside,” said co-owner Beatrice Wolnerman. “It’s been very busy. My husband, Eli and I got married and we launched the business in August and here we are.”
The outdoor market also featured unique gifts made out of reclaimed wood from deconstructed houses and buildings at The End Grain Woodworking Co.
“Each item has an address on it and buyers can go to our website and see more about where that particular piece came from and it’s home,” said owner Sam Constantine of Westland.
James Franklin of Hamtramck said he bought “a sick hand-stained t-shirt from David Vintage (a apparel brand featured in Cadillac Square) that says ‘Detroit Never Left’ because it was handmade and different than the popular Detroit brands.”
Local shop owners like M. Missy Lewis who owns the Black Dress Co. in Midtown said it should encourage others to shop small year-round.
“We’ve participated every year and most of my customers love it because they don’t shop in the city often,” said Lewis. “A lot of it has to do with supporting your community and hopefully many will continue to keep us in mind.”