Big brand stores may have had their day on Black Friday, but Wapakoneta stole the spotlight during Small Business Saturday.
Many stores throughout Wapakoneta promoted shopping local during this year’s Small Business Saturday, a growing trend throughout the United States.
Sisters Cassie Wireman and Ashley Spillis, both of Waynesfield, said they visited downtown Wapakoneta specifically because of Small Business Saturday.
They originally planned to visit the mall for left over Black Friday deals.
“But we remembered Small Business Saturday, so we decided to stay local,” Wireman said. “We are conservative. We like to shop small.”
From Louisiana, the sisters agreed that Ohio had more “rugged, rustic” looking antiques, which is exactly what they were shopping for in Casa Chic.
Spillis said they appreciated the small town shops while they went antiquing.
“We don’t like Walmart taking over everything,” Spillis said.
Casa Chic participated in Small Business Saturday with vendor bargains and Christmas displays, Co-owner Londa Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the shop is excited to continue with the holidays and begin “gearing up for the new year.”
Small Business Saturday was a success for Casa Chic, Tomlinson said.
“People were waiting at the door at a quarter to 10 [a.m.],” Tomlinson said. “They were excited about shopping small and supporting the community.”
Also president of Wapakoneta Antique and Specialty Shops (WASS), Tomlinson said the day was focused on showing what Wapakoneta has to offer to the community.
“It’s not like at the mall where you see the same items at every store — we have items you won’t see anywhere else,” Tomlinson said about the stores downtown.
Tomlinson said the shops were busy on Black Friday, but not nearly as busy as Small Business Saturday.
“People love the ambiance of the small town — walking from shop to shop, listening to Christmas music,” Tomlinson said.
Gild the Lily Co-owner Glenna McCormick said her store has been prepared for Small Business Saturday since the Holiday Open House, and she has provided multiple deals for her “Black Friday weekend.”
McCormick said she likes having three days for customers to come in for special deals.
“People might be busy on Friday or Saturday,” McCormick said. “This gives them a chance to get in, and then they don’t have to rush. People are busy now-a-days — they have jobs and families.”
McCormick said the deals have brought in customers, but many have come out of their own holiday traditions. The store is celebrating its 16th year in business.
“Customers will come in and say, ‘I can’t do my holiday shopping without going into Gild the Lily,’” McCormick said.
McCormick said downtown holds a special meaning to her, since she owned multiple buildings as part of the family furniture business for 35 years.
“We’re always striving for that attention to keeping things local,” McCormick said. “People like our town — we get so many compliments on downtown Wapakoneta.”