By JORDAN NELSON
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Pop-up shops were scattered all across downtown Beckley Saturday as a part of Small Business Saturday, a day celebrated all over the region, in which small, independent businesses sell their unique gift items to locals in hopes of them finding that perfect holiday gift.
Small Business Saturday aims to support the local community and strengthen its economic base, and with the over 30 vendors set up Saturday in the Grant Building and Beckley Underground, locals agree the event did just that.
Nancy Chambers said her and her partner’s business, Tickety Boo Mercantile, had a nonstop flow of traffic all day long.
Tickety Boo Mercantile specializes in rescuing, repurposing, refinishing, redesigning, and rethinking antique and vintage items. They also had jewelry, homeware and tarts of all different scents on display Saturday.
Chambers expressed her love for the business, and said Small Business Saturday really focuses attention on the community.
“But it’s also a good thing for the shoppers and everyone else as well,” she said. “If you live in an area, you should support the local businesses in that area; it’s a part of your home.”
Debbi Lingerfelt said she couldn’t disagree with Chamber’s comments in the slightest.
“Shopping local is very important,” Lingerfelt said. “We really need to work hard to keep our economy intact, especially these days.”
Lingerfelt and her business partner own Stained Classe in Beckley, where they work to make custom stained glass pieces to sell, but also create special pieces for customers upon request.
Lingerfelt said she had done well so far for Small Business Saturday, with lots of requests for custom pieces.
“We also have just had a lot of lookers,” she said, “but that’s just as good. It’s important to get the name out.”
Small businesses have more unique gift items than commercialized department stores, she said, and the owners of small businesses have a lot to offer.
“I came out today to set up my area and got off track talking to the other business owners,” Lingerfelt said with a laugh. “They’re all so interesting and have such great ideas.”
“But there are still a lot of things that need worked on, and Small Business Saturday is a great way to kick start that.”
Carol Humphrey of Beckley was out shopping Saturday for Christmas gifts for her family and friends. She said it was important to her to find special gifts she can’t find anywhere else.
“And when you have all kinds of cute and unique gift items like this all in one place, it makes it easier,” she said, “but it’s most important to me that I shop places in support of where I live.”
Kathy Everly of Beckley agreed. “I really enjoy shopping local,” she said. “They’re better gifts, and seem more special.”
Everly said she could recall a time when the city of Beckley was thriving, and hopes events like Small Business Saturday can bring it back to life.
“It used to be such a fabulous little town,” Everly said, “and it’s slowly getting back to that. Shopping local is a good start in getting it back to the way it used to be.”
Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH
See more from The Register-Herald