Julie Landry of Woodland had the perfect “ladies day” planned Saturday for herself, her mom and her mother-in-law.
First brunch, then shopping and then the spa. And every one of those stops was at a local small business — beginning with Bleu Door Bakery in Uptown Village — in a deliberate effort to support Small Business Saturday.
“I am absolutely opposed to Black Friday because I do not like the crazy crowds,” Landry said. “So this is a great way to support local businesses.”
American Express launched the Small Business Saturday movement in 2010, encouraging people to shop local the day after Black Friday. Alisa Tetreault, owner of Most Everything Vintage in downtown Vancouver, has promoted the shopping day for about five years, using the free signs and marketing materials supplied by American Express.
“Every year for Small Business Saturday, we’re seeing it grow and grow,” Tetreault said.
Other small businesses across the county pushed the campaign on social media and in email blasts to customers, and many shops touted special deals.
Bleu Door Bakery offered $5 gift cards for anyone purchasing $25 or more in gift cards. Vintage Books hosted talks with several northwest authors. And Bike Clark County had discounts on bikes and gear.
Small Business Saturday is one of three annual sales at Most Everything Vintage. This year, shoppers got 25 percent off of coats and clothing. And the first 25 customers received a free candle donated by Vance Family Soy Candles — another local business.
Tom and Alisa Brossia, who are frequent Most Everything Vintage shoppers, made the trip from their Skamania County home specifically to support the boutique on Small Business Saturday. They first visited the store two years ago, when their now 13-year-old daughter Marlene spotted it during a trip downtown.
On Saturday, the pair was shopping for Christmas presents for Marlene. They walked away with a gift for their daughter and a coat for Tom.
“I’d rather support a local business than a large chain, especially when everything is cookie cutter,” Tom said.
“You find unique stuff in stores like this,” Alisa added.
At Not Too Shabby, a steady stream of shoppers popped into the store on Saturday. Owner Reshell Douglas opened the doors half an hour early and still had people waiting to get inside.
“We’ve been busy since the second we opened,” she said. “Everyone is out and in full force, wanting to support local.”
Pam Stohr of Vancouver visited the shop Saturday morning with her daughters, Kristen Kuykendall and Morgan Stohr, and granddaughter Claire Kuykendall.
“We kind of avoided the Black Friday shopping and held out for the Small Business Saturday,” said Kristen of Chehalis.
Douglas noticed many family groups of shoppers on Saturday and was happy to hear most were out specifically for the shop-local movement.
“I call it our national holiday,” Douglas said. “I get the feeling more people are not going out for Black Friday. They’re intentionally going out to small businesses. There’s definitely huge support.”