SmallBizSat

Candace Wilson (left) purchases clothes at Twill Trade Boutique assisted by cashier Samantha Gregory.

Many local businesses felt the rise of customers on Small Business Saturday.

Twill Trade Boutique owner Elizabeth Knispel said she had a good day with shoppers coming in the store looking for trending clothes.

The biggest seller for customers this season is “shackets,” Knispel said. 

“It’s a shirt-jacket, and we can’t keep them on our shelves. It’s a popular trend right now coming into the holiday. They have been popular all fall, but now people are actually buying them,” Knispel said.

Other notable sellers for Twill Trade are denim jackets, sweater vests and combat boots. While these items are hot-ticket items for customers, they might not be buying them to gift to their family and friends just yet.

“These aren’t last-minute shoppers. People get the OK to start shopping after Thanksgiving, and these shoppers now are coming in to see what we have and get some ideas,” Knispel said.

Eudorable Home owner Courtney Gebauer also saw success Saturday with seating furniture and smaller decor items being her top sellers.

Eudorable Home had a 15% off storewide sale for the day and quickly drew in customers.

“We have been doing very well. It has been busy. Furniture goes out the door all the time and a lot of the Christmas decor is selling,” Gebauer said.

Smaller items could be early gift ideas for customers, Gebauer said. People also want extra seating for the holidays with more family members visiting for the season, she said.

Small Business Saturday was a steady day for Eudora Thrift Store owner Andrea Starr as the store attracted customers from neighboring cities.

“We post on 75 social media groups every morning, and we bring in business from everywhere in Kansas and Missouri. We bring a lot of new revenue into this town,” Starr said. 

Christmas decor is also a big seller for Eudora Thrift Store in addition to antique and vintage items. Cookie jars, vases and glassware have all been popular with customers, and Starr is happy to see them go off the shelves.

“We sell items just like those all year round, but today has been pretty good. Customers have been out supporting local businesses, that’s really good.” Starr said.

Evening Star Pines opened Friday for people to buy and chop down a Christmas tree. The farm sold more than 300 trees on opening day, said owner Cris Crawford. The business is continuing to sell into the weekend.

“We got a good supply still. Yesterday [Friday] people were going for the pre-cuts, and today they are going for ones in the field,” Crawford said.

His Hands Clothing Closet has been seeing a rise in customers for the past few weeks, owner Christine Zimmer said.

With all clothing items under $5, the store couldn’t afford any sales for Small Business Saturday. Customers still came to shop looking for low-price clothes for the family.

“I have seen some really good things the last three weeks. For the last three Saturdays, we haven't been that busy since 2019. I came into the store a few times during the pandemic, and I was scared we were going to have to close for good,” Zimmer said.

His Hands Clothing Closet is only open two days out of the week, which has added more pressure for the owner to stay open. 

“I used to be open five days and now only two. I need to make between the two days $300, and usually those days you're lucky if you make $20,” Zimmer said.

More than 40 customers came into the store on Saturday. For Zimmer, that was a blessing answered for her and her store. 

“I love doing this because I was once a child in need. My mission is to help anyone in need and if I close I can’t help anyone,” Zimmer said.

SmallBizSat2

The National Retail Federation tracks holiday shopping trends.

Nearly 160 million shoppers were expected to begin their holiday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. About 58 million were expected to take part in Small Business Saturday.

The most popular purchases were expected to be clothing, gift cards, toys, books, music, movies and video games.

Reach reporter William Crow at eudoratimes@gmail.com

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