Louisville shoppers support local stores

Louisville Courier Journal

Published 5:23 PM EST Nov 30, 2019

The rain may have been unrelenting, but that didn't keep Louisville shoppers from supporting local stores around the city during Small Business Saturday.

Like Black Friday, the nationwide event on the last Saturday of November has grown to become a permanent fixture of the holiday shopping weekend.

Small Business Saturday events were happening all over Louisville, including in the Russell neighborhood at Chef Space, 1812 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

There, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance and other groups hosted a West Lou Celebration during the morning and afternoon that featured graduates of the W.E. Art program along with food, resources for entrepreneurs, door prizes and, of course, a television showing the U of L-UK football game.

The budding West End artists are supported by Art Inc. Kentucky, a nonprofit business and marketing incubator for artists and creatives throughout the Bluegrass State.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and of the Kentucky economy," said Art Inc. Kentucky President Mark Johnson. "(Small Business Saturday) is an opportunity to celebrate the community of the West End."

Shop local Louisville deals:Museum Store Sunday and Cyber Monday

Louisville shoppers support local stores

Danielle Jordan, 29, was selling her own jewelry that she has made since 2004 alongside her 14-year-old sister, Micah, who just last year started selling her own "Moonas Art" paintings that feature things like a human eye and flowers.

Both were enjoying the chance to sell their artistic creations inside Chef Space, as Danielle otherwise sells her "Danielle's Jewelry Box" products online and Micah is still planning out how to best showcase her work.

Across the room from the Jordan sisters was artist and graphic designer William Sutton Jr., who was featuring several of his watercolor paintings under his Eye See Art Productions venture.

Sutton, 56, said his some of his art is inspired by a cartoon he created a few years ago titled, "In My Father's House," which focuses on a fictional family created by Sutton.

The parttime artist has been honing his craft for 20 years, and Sutton also includes religious aspects in his paintings that reflect his Christian faith.

"It is a boost," Sutton said of the Small Business Saturday event. "And it's just nice to help get the work I've been blessed to do to people."

Over in the Crescent Hill neighborhood, shoppers were undettered by the wet conditions as they popped in to shops like Just Creations, 2722 Frankfort Avenue.

Joan Frisz, the executive director and manager of the fair trade store, said a "big rush" of customers came in the door as Just Creations opened at 10 a.m.

Also: What you should (and shouldn't) buy during 2019 Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping

Shoppers could browse the store's unique array of sustainably and ethically sourced items from around the world, including candles, clothing, baskets and coffee.

Just Creations did not have any special deals for Small Business Saturday, as Frisz noted that customers value its focus on charging fair prices in order to ensure the individuals who make their products in countries like Nepal and Peru receive fair wages.

Just Creations was staying open late – until 8 p.m. Saturday – to host a "Holiday Shopping Night" in which a portion of every sale supports Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

"It's always meaningful for us as a small, local business," Frisz said. "Keeping your dollars at home is better not just for us but for everybody."

Louisville shoppers support local stores

Perhaps ironically, a rather large business (American Express) started Small Business Saturday in 2010 as way to get more customers through doors of small businesses.

An average of 67 cents per every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community, according to the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express.

Indeed, Cathy and Larry Rogers said they frequently visit Just Creations and other Frankfort Avenue shops, as they believe in supporting the area they live in.

"It's our home," Cathy Rogers said, holding a bag of fair trade coffee while Larr prepared to enjoy a piece of chocolate from Just Creations.

Despite some lingering anxieties over how tariffs may shrink profits, the National Retail Federation is predicting a 4% increase in holiday sales in November and December.

That is largely credited to a strong economy, modest wage hikes and a resulting upward trend in consumer confidence.

Reach Billy Kobin at [email protected] or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.

Tags:                              

0 Comments