Rugby region shoppers stayed near their homes for the weekend after Thanksgiving, seduced by discounts, unique items, and even goodies offered by local businesses.
Cindy’s Country Cupboard owner Cindy Brossart put the finishing touches on the Christmas garlands on the outside of her shop on early Small Business Saturday, November 28th this year. The Special Small Business Celebration Day was founded by American Express in 2010 when the credit card company encouraged them “Shop small” the day after Black Friday when big stores saw lots of customers.
“It was fine” Brossart said about customer traffic in their store. “I had people come this morning.”
“I’m giving 18 percent off purchases across the store today because I’m celebrating 18 years in the store.” Said Brossart. “November 12th it was 18 years” She added. “I only do this Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.”
Brossart said Cindy’s Country Cupboard was selling a variety of Christmas decorations, “But I have gifts for the whole family. I have sporting goods and wine items for the wine lovers. “ She added. “Puzzles and toys are really good for Christmas gifts right now.”
Brossart said she is also participating in the rugby Chamber of Commerce’s Scratch ‘n Win promotion. “I spend the scratch cards” She said. “The more you buy, the more I spend. It’s also a chance to win something. “
The prizes for the promotion range from rugby dollars, which can be spent at participating local businesses, to gift items.
Brossart said she noticed shoppers strolling downtown and visiting her store who followed social distancing health guidelines and wore masks. “Everyone is careful” She said. “They are socially distant and wear their masks. So if we just take our precautions, it is possible to shop small.”
Holly Niemi of Holly’s Stitches and Crafts said her company also took part in the board’s “Scratch ‘n Win” campaign. One of her customers won $ 25 in rugby bucks with a card on November 28th.
The smell of cinnamon greeted visitors to Niemi’s shop on Small Business Saturday. Niemi offered spicy cider and mini cupcakes near the front that day.
“We have some handicraft items and sewing ideas and threads” Niemi said about the items that were advertised for the weekend. “For me, our bestsellers are always the same. People make Christmas gifts, so I need to have things for handmade Christmas items – yarn, fabrics, and ideas. “
“It’s always fun” She added “We can visit customers and see what they are doing, or they can show me pictures of what they have done.”
Niemi said Holly’s Stitches and Crafts offer gifts for artisans of all ages. “I have some riddles; I have some craft kits and art supplies. I have Christmas stockings. These are things that children can paint and decorate and hang on the tree or give away – teacher gifts or gifts from grandma and grandpa. “ she noticed.
Holly’s Stitches and Crafts also stocks craft items for broadcast, including a collection of rugby high school panther magnets. “I have several ladies who sell by mail” Said Niemi. “I have Rose Jacobson who makes small gift bags. I have wooden blackboards; They are taken care of by Rose’s sister. “ She added.
Niemi said she plans to stay open late Nov. 28 and attend the Rugby Parade of Lights. “I have a lot to do” she said, pointing to a shop window she was decorating.
In addition to Holly’s stitches and crafts, Taylor Sager of This’ N That spoke to customers who browsed his store’s selection of antiques and second-hand clothing.
“It was not so bad” Sager said about the flow of customers into his store over the weekend. “We had a steady flow of traffic and it seemed like everyone who came in was in a shopping mood. We had a lot of spectators last year. This year, people who came in were here to buy, not just to browse. So it was good. “
The store’s unique inventory of merchandise and vintage items is on shelves, walls and display cases throughout the store. The parquet floor offers plenty of space for browsers to walk around and stay socially distant. One item, a uniquely framed antique photo of a boy in a sailor suit, hangs on the wall near the cash register.
“That would be from the 1920s” Sager said about the photo of the boy wearing a sash on his suit that says “Scout.” “The frame is where the value is” Said Sager. “These frames are called” Bubble Frames “and were made between 1913 and 1923. They stopped manufacturing because the glass was so expensive and so thin to make that it would break every time it was transported.” Explained Sager. “The photo is cool too” he added. “That’s someone’s great grandfather.”
This’ N That also has shelves and cases of antique containers and promotional items that used to be given away by companies like Rugby Farmers Union Elevator.
A ceramic set of two jugs and a bowl with matching red apple motifs from elevators in Rugby and Martin stand opposite the colored pencils and advise: “Call your local Montgomery Ward Store.”
The store also has a shelf of VHS movies, a box of vinyl LP record albums, and a wall of used clothing. An old cast-iron stove and a metal tub filled with skeleton keys are near the records. There is a stack of suitcases on the wall by the front door.
“People do amazing things with it” Sager said of the suitcases. “You take Grandma’s old suitcase, which looks cool but has no purpose and is no longer used for travel, and you use it as a decoration.” Sager showed photos of suitcases and suitcases that were converted into side tables and furniture.
Two benches from the original interior of Rugby’s Lyric Theater stand on the store’s doorstep. “These sell for $ 100 for the set” Said Sager. On the back of one of the seats hangs a photo of the theater from decades ago.
“I am sure that many memories arose in these.” Cases smiled.
Across the street and on the opposite corner from This’ N That and Holly’s Stitches and Crafts, the Main Street boutique saw lots of visitors too.
“I would say it went great” Ashley Berg, the owner of the Main Street boutique, said. “They always support rugby and the weather always helps when it’s nice outside. Everyone itches when they start their holiday shopping and support the city. “
Berg added “I have specials on decor, jewelry, wallets, Liverpool jackets and jeans. Sales were good too. Nice to see people come in and look around. You get excited and talk to them today. I hear they’re coming out for the parade tonight. “
A lone nutcracker sits outside the Main Street boutique. His partner has been missing since November 7th. Berg posted messages on social media offering rewards for returning the Nutcracker. However, she said she had received no clues as to the location of the decoration.
“I kind of gave him up” Said Berg with a rueful laugh.