Event supports small businesses

Published 9:17 pm Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hundreds of people got in the holiday shopping mood and supported local businesses during the {Re}Stored Downtown Pop-Up Shop Initiative on Saturday.

Dozens of local merchants offered artisan-quality crafts, fine art, jewelry, soaps and bath salts, candles, accessories, ornaments, home décor and more in outdoor tents and vacant storefronts along North Main Street for six hours during Small Business Saturday, which encourages people to support small and home-based businesses when they’re looking for Christmas gifts.

Several vendors said they had seen good numbers of people who were buying, not just looking.

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“I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said Rie Camba, who makes and sells jewelry, engraved pet tags and cookie cutters in hard-to-find shapes. Her best-selling cookie cutters at the event were the outline of the state of Virginia and the leg lamp from the holiday classic movie “A Christmas Story.”

“You can’t have just one cookie cutter,” Camba said. “When you have one, you have a hundred.”

Deanna Holt of Suffolk Economic Development, which sponsored the event, said everyone seemed pleased.

“This has been one of the busiest ones we’ve had,” Holt said. “Everybody’s happy, and people are buying.”

This week’s event was the third annual pop-up shop event held on Small Business Saturday. A fourth one was held in the springtime one year.

“It’s been pretty good flow,” said Kate Callahan of Brentwood Farm. “It’s a nice opportunity, and people are willing to buy.”

Naedine Haile of Posh & Candy Boutique also said traffic had been steady past her booth, which showcased jewelry and other accessories.

“People are in the holiday shopping mood,” she said.

Face-painters and Santa Claus, as well as live music, blow-up Christmas characters and free coffee and doughnuts, helped complete the mood on Main Street.