News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 25, 2012

Shoppers flock to ‘Small Business Saturday’

Downtown shops say event a success

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Building on the momentum of Black Friday sales across the country, small businesses made sure their doors were swinging with foot traffic this weekend as well.

The second annual Small Business Saturday kicked off to much anticipation by local business owners in Terre Haute, with owners maintaining longer hours that day. First organized in November of 2010 by American Express, the event has been promoted as the small business owner’s answer to Black Friday and Internet-based Cyber Monday. The grassroots movement’s Facebook page had more than 3.1 million “Likes” Saturday afternoon, with stores participating across America.

Inside Rogers Jewelers and Boutique on Wabash Avenue, Pam Ellis said the morning rush had been impressive.

“It’s been very successful. The last two days it’s been successful,” she said, noting they’d been packed at noon.

The holiday sales season coincided with her business’ move a few blocks east into Center City’s first floor at 630 Wabash Ave. The store’s grand opening celebration will be Wednesday, but Ellis said Saturday’s event helped get the word out. In addition to several store-wide sales promotions, customers could also enter a raffle to win two diamond-studded earrings.

“We always have a special going on here,” she said from behind her counter. “Every day’s a special here.”

Like Ellis, Yvette Morgan said she helped promote the event via her Facebook page. The owner of Modern Charm at 9 S. Seventh St. pointed out this is her first year in the street-level store, having just moved downstairs inside the same building. The boutique owner said traffic in her store was also extremely busy earlier Saturday morning.

“Absolutely. It was easily as busy as Miracle,” she said, referencing the downtown business’ annual Christmas festivities, Miracle on 7th Street.

Normally her shop closes around 1 p.m., but Morgan kept the doors open later that afternoon for the business. Next year she said she’ll consider staying longer yet.

Around the corner, her neighbor Lynn Henry at Lynn’s Boutique said the smaller, locally owned stores offer a level of personalized service unmatched by their larger competitors.

“Just the unique items that no one else is going to find,” she said, explaining that when ordering products, she only orders two of each size and when they’re out, they’re out. She also strives to find American-made clothes and uses American designers. Like Morgan, she said she’ll re-consider her hours for next year’s Small Business Saturday.

“It’s been amazing. It was packed.”

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or