While shoppers were busy finding sales and Christmas gifts that coincided with Small Business Saturday, business owners were excited to talk about what their stores mean to the community of Sedalia.
According to some statistics, more people are realizing the need to to shop small and shop local.
A National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey said, “A substantial 47 percent (of shoppers) are expected to shop on Saturday; of those shoppers, 24 percent say they will be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday, up from 22 percent last year.”
For businesses like Bodyworks Day Spa & Boutique, that has been in business two decades, this is good news. The store located in the Thompson Hills Shopping Center, went the extra step this year for customers, and applied for small business sales tools from a post on Facebook. Bodyworks owner, Pamela Vaught, said her application was accepted and they received signage, a banner, balloons, “Shop Small” totes and pins that they planned to give away to customers on Saturday.
“We’ve even done social media advertising with the signage,” Vaught added.
Although this isn’t her first year to participate, she noted the business has only recently started observing Small Business Saturday.
“I believe this is our third or fourth year,” she said. “It’s become a fairly new thing for us.”
She was happy to have the sales tools she and her staff were using on Saturday.
“It was really nice that so many marketing tools were provided by a combination of American Express and Fed-Ex,” she added. “They sent us a wonderful box of marketing materials.”
On Saturday, the store was offering specials on essential oils and a gift with each purchase. The spa’s Himalayan Salt Lamps were on sale for $10 off and they also offered specials on 30 and 60 minute massages.
For the rest of the holiday season Christmas specials will include a Spa-Li-Day wish list that can be taken home. The person circles which spa package they would like for a gift and they leave it for a loved one to find. Holiday specials on the list run from $59 to $199. Bare Minerals are also included on the wish list.
“Bare Minerals is our number one line,” Vaught added. “We are Bare Minerals’ number one spa account in the midwest region. So, we have all the holiday collections … it makes shopping easy.”
She noted that they were “excited” to be participating with Small Business Saturday.
“We’re excited to see the growth of focus on small businesses,” she added. “The understanding that shopping small not only puts jobs in our community but the dollars recycle better through our community. More of the dollar goes back into the community than dollars spent online at big box (stores). We currently employ 24 people here at Bodyworks Day Spa.”
Andrew Wittman, store manager for Instrumental Influence, Inc., said the store was offering a 10 percent discount on non-sale items for Small Business Saturday. Instrumental Influence sells a wide variety of musical instruments and provides private music instruction. It has been in business for 26 years and is owned by Cayle and Lisa Yonce, of Sedalia. The store moved three years ago to the Thompson Hills Shopping Center. It was a good move.
“We’ve downsized a little bit, but it was a pretty good move for us,” Wittman said. “Because it’s in a high traffic area.”
He added that the store would have additional Christmas sales during the 2016 season. He and Dillon Hasten, with the store’s sales and customer service, were both excited the business is offering a new electric guitars this season. The Paul Reed Smith or PRS guitar line is made in the United States.
Wittman retrieved a PRS, antique white, Starla model with a Bigsby Tremello system, while Hasten brought over a PRS single-cut guitar, in whale blue, with coil tap pick-ups. The pair talked about the instruments as they played a few notes.
Also on Saturday, Reader’s World located in State Fair Shopping Center was offering 40 percent off art supplies, buy-one-get-one bargain books and a reusable “Indy First” tote bag.
Jill Wade, the store’s manager, said the business is family owned by Cowley Distributing in Jefferson City. The Crowley family has eight stores across Missouri. They are planning to open a new Reader’s World on Saturday in Warrensburg.
“We are trying to fill that gap there,” Wade said. “We are all like sister stores … it’s still a very small company. We fall right in the small business nook.”
The Sedalia store employs eight people and carries not only books, but art supplies, educational toys and gift items.
“We really do our best to have toy and gift items that you don’t find at big box stores,” Wade noted. “I try to have fun, quirky, gift items for the quote, unquote ‘geeky’ set, like Dr. Who stuff.”
The store also tries to keep a stock of items that one might find in big city museum gift shops.
“I thought it was really neat that we could offer that type of merchandise to small town Sedalia,” Wade said. “I don’t think people really realize that.”
For the Christmas season Wade said they are carrying small Nativity sets and other spiritual items.
The store also carries many gift items from the J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series and will soon be getting items featuring characters from the new Rowling’s piece “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
“I’m really proud of our little store,” Wade said. “I think it brings something special to the town. We are the only general book store in town and we intend to stay here for the long haul.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.