When small equals huge

Jessica Henry McClements promotes Small Business Saturday at her store, McLemons boutique in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

Bountiful is a two-week-old, small, almost unnoticeable, shop on Main Street in downtown Gloversville.

But when its owner, Jody White of Gloversville, came to open up for Small Business Saturday “there were people waiting at the door,” she said.

“We’ve been crazy busy all day long,” said White, who describes her shop as a home, gift and garden store.

Nearby on Main Street, Vishnu Music, a 25-year-old business offered 20 percent off any instrument on Saturday and experienced strong sales after its noon opening.

The owner, Nicole DeLorenzo of Johnstown, likes the Small Business Saturday idea. “I think it’s good for the city that downtown is being promoted,” she said.

Rick Quiri of Ruby & Quiri said his business, which sells furniture, appliances, carpets and flooring on Route 30A, had a “huge day” on Black Friday, and customer traffic was good after the doors opened on Saturday. He calls this month ‘Black November’ because sales have been phenomenal.

Although Ruby & Quiri is not “a big box store,” its personal service, and its involvement in three national buying cooperatives, enables it to compete with the chain stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. Quiri said his store can match or beat the prices of the major corporations.

He applauds Small Business Saturday because small business is “the backbone of the economy” and greatly benefits the localities. Although Fulton County hasn’t grown much, “we’re having our best year ever” because the store draws customers from the Capital Region and beyond — and that aids the local economy, he said.

Downtown Johnstown business owners also seem enthused about Small Business Saturday and have been trying to promote it with sales, advertising and cooperation.

“I put a lot of effort into marketing and planning special sales for today and teamed up with other retailers” on or around Main Street, said Jessica Henry McClements of McLemons boutique. McClements even handed out buy local/buy small tote bags to buyers.

“You see people all over down here [downtown],” she said. “This is definitely more than normal.”

Part of that she attributes to new nearby retailers.

Peggy LaRue of The Plaid Giraffe, a combination restaurant and gift shop in Johnstown, said sales picked up Saturday after shoppers rushed into big box stores on Black Friday. On Friday “there was no one in town,” she said.

Her store specializes in furniture hand-built by her grandparents, not “machine made,” she said.

Nacole Insognia of Blooming Lotus, Yoga and Wellness not only drew customers into her business directly but also benefited area small vendors who don’t have physical stores. She allowed them to use open area in her studio.

“Why not share the space to bring the community together,” she said.

Kim Kitchen, a vendor from Mayfield, was happy with the opportunity to talk about the benefits of essential oils and sell Terra Essential Oils. “This is awesome to get this out to the public and network with other business owners,” she said.


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