After bargain hunters went big on Black Friday, a slew of shoppers also decided to go small on Saturday and support the community’s local businesses.
The national Small Business Saturday movement, which started in 2010, encourages shoppers to patronize locally owned retailers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
A few years ago in Greeneville, Angie Helton, owner of the Glory Days specialty shop on South Main Street, helped to organize a Small Business Saturday event that was named “Shop Small Y’all.”
Now in its fourth year, the event has really taken off, she said.
“We are so small in Greeneville that it takes all of us coming together for events like this to make it really work for everybody,” Helton said.
Among the shoppers at Helton’s Glory Days shop on Saturday morning were Robin Morelock, who was browsing along with her daughter, Maggie, and her mother, Janet Barnes.
Maggie, a seventh-grader at Greeneville Middle School, was checking out the Greeneville Greene Devils attire that the shop carries. The shop also offers apparel featuring other Greeneville and Greene County schools as well as a selection of other clothing and specialty items.
More than 20 small retail shops in Greeneville took part in the 2018 Shop Small Y’all event — and most of the participating businesses appeared to be quite busy with shoppers on Saturday morning, despite the damp, chilly weather.
“We’ve been slammed today. It’s been very good,” said Emily Latham, who co-owns Esther & Ella’s along with Tara Broyles. The specialty shop, located on Tusculum Boulevard, offers a variety of unique items from clothing to home décor.
Among the Esther & Ella’s shoppers were Shana Marshall and Kerri Dayton, who said they were out and about looking for Christmas gifts for friends and family — but admitted that they both had purchased some items for themselves as well.
Saturday’s “Shop Small Y’all” event featured a scavenger hunt to lure shoppers into each of the participating stores, which were also offering special deals and refreshments during the event.
Shoppers who wanted to participate in the Shop Small Y’all Scavenger Hunt simply needed to pick up a flyer at any of the participating shops and then visit each one on the list to get their flyer stamped.
“They didn’t have to make a purchase in order to participate,” Helton noted.
The stamped flyers were then picked up on Monday and put in a collection box for special door prize drawings.
Any small business that would like to participate in next year’s Shop Small Y’all Scavenger Hunt can contact Helton to be placed on next year’s list.
The Saturday events concluded with a 7 p.m.showing of the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Capitol Theatre, where a food truck was available beginning at 4 p.m.
Among the participants in the Shop Small Y’all Scavenger Hunt were Nancy Henson and her cousin, Diane Dayton, who were found at Mountain Song Jewelers on Tusculum Boulevard getting their flyers stamped by store employee Haley Metcalf.
The women, who reside in the Philadelphia community, said they were pleasantly surprised to learn about several businesses through the scavenger hunt, especially the artisan shops.
“We’re finding a lot of businesses that we didn’t know were here in Greeneville,” Henson said.
Dayton echoed her sentiments adding that they had found several unique gift ideas, which could only be found at the small specialty shops.
“Such things can’t be found at Walmart,” she said.
Mountain Song Jewelers is co-owned by Jonita Ashley and Robert Sherman. Among the staff are longtime Greeneville jewelry experts Tom Paxton and Albert Anderson.
Ashley said the jewelry store had been quite busy on Saturday with shoppers, including at least one client who came from out-of-town to purchase an engagement ring.
Further up Tusculum Boulevard at The Greene House, Becky McNeese and her husband, Robert, were busy with their first Christmas season at their business. The couple purchased the greenhouse last year and opened in the spring.
On Saturday, they were enjoying a steady stream of customers who were checking out all of the holiday wares, including fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias and other plants, as well as decorative items for the home and other goodies available for sale. The McNeeses have been so busy that they had enlisted the help of Robert’s mother, Ducky McNeese, to aid with the shoppers.
Davina Myers and her sister, Hanalee Auchterlonie, were among the customers checking out the fresh floral items and Christmas décor at The Greene House.
The pair were also among the Saturday shoppers taking part in the Shop Small Y’all Scavenger Hunt.
“This is really a good idea,” Myers said of the hunt. She also said that she didn’t realize that many of the shops on the list were in business in Greeneville.
Another set of customers at The Greene House, also taking part in the hunt, were Davina Fillers and her daughters, Amber Rozar and Tara Trentham.
Last year, Fillers said there were four people in their group who took part in the scavenger hunt and “three out of four of us were prize winners.” She said they were hoping to keep up their winning streak again this year.
Participating in this year’s Shop Small Y’all event were: Artspace 4 Gallery, Back Porch Antiques, Brolin & Bailey Co., Broyles General Store, the Burlap Bunny, Catalyst Coffee Company, the Coffee Barrel, Corner Creations (formerly Richland Creek), Creamy Cup, Emma James Boutique, Esther & Ella, Flowers By Tammy, Glory Days, The Greene House, Greeneville Antique Market, Halos & Threads, Maddie Belle’s Cottage, Mountain Song Jewelers, Pritchard Design, Rambling Rose Boutique, Southern 44 Decor & More, Towne & Country Venues & Decor and Towne Square Package Store Inc.
The scavenger hunt list was provided by Artistic Printers.