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{Re}Stored: A unique shopping experience

The best way to find a gift for a loved one and show your love to local retailers is to participate in the {Re}Stored pop-up shop event on Small Business Saturday.

The day after Black Friday has become known as Small Business Saturday as merchants look for more ways to attract customers during the holiday season. After the big-box stores get overwhelmed with customers on Black Friday, it will be time for small businesses to shine and show customers what they have to offer.

Suffolk started the {Re}Stored pop-up shop event on Small Business Saturday three years ago. Suffolk Economic Development Manager Deanna Holt said the events have been a success in at least one big way.

“When we originally started, downtown had a lot of empty spaces,” Holt said. The idea was to put merchants in those empty spaces for the weekend to allow them to envision themselves in the space and also to allow others to see the available commercial buildings in the historic area.

Now, Holt said, there are fewer spaces available, and that’s a good thing.

“We have seen those empty spaces being leased, which is wonderful,” Holt said.

This year, shoppers at the pop-up event will visit merchants in a couple of vacant spaces along North Main Street, as well as outdoor vendors in a tent in the Suntrust Bank parking lot.

More than 25 merchants will offer artisan-quality crafts, jewelry, soaps and bath salts, fine art, needlework, ceramics, woodcrafts, crocheted items, jams and jellies, nuts, pottery, totes and handbags, holiday ornaments and more.

Existing merchants have been encouraged to extend their store onto the sidewalks and offer specials to get customers interested, Holt said.

The event will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will also be able to enjoy complimentary coffee and refreshments, live entertainment, face painting and a visit from Santa in the downtown area.