Big day for small businesses

Looking in the window of The Northwest Shop.

Tacoma residents appear to have given their enthusiatic support to Small Business Saturday, according to a check-in with several North End merchants late Saturday afternoon.

“We always look forward to this day,” said Valla Wagner, co-owner of Proctor’s Teaching Toys. “Over the last few days we’ve had people saying ‘see you Saturday.’ Quite a few people choose to come in today to show their support.”

She said this year she’d heard a couple of people switching out the name of Black Friday to “Big Box Friday.”

Mimi Levenson, who works at Crescent Moon Gifts, which has been in the same location on SixthAvenue for five years, said the store did really well today and she heard similar tales from customers to Wagner’s. “We actually had a number of people who said they were waiting to come in for Small Business Saturday.”

Next door, a newer business, Mandelin’s Consignment Boutique, also had a good day and had “quite a few people who said they were out for Small Business Saturday,” owner Rachel Kragelund said. She said the businesses on the block got together to put out a flyer with specials for the day and that helped everybody out (also the “happy hours.”)  A Mandelin’s employee made the rounds offering glasses of champagne to shoppers.

Back in Proctor, at The Northwest Shop, there was a healthy late afternoon crowd. Owner Bill Evans chatted up customers and gave out tastes of bulk candy. He said the store had “a wonderful day.”

“I thanked a lady for using her American Express card,” he said. “You know they sponsor this.”

Evans said the Saturday after Thanksgiving, not the Friday, has always the biggest day for his store, and also his wife’s store across the street, The Old House Mercantile Company.




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