Shop Small: Niagara County businesses ready for Thanksgiving weekend
By Joshua Maloni
American Express created the template for Small Business Saturday in 2010. More than a decade later, the credit card company says, “Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the U.S. The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community, and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.”
While those numbers are impressive, smart money says most locally owned businesses aren’t so much thinking about that study as they are what Anchor Spirits owner Cheryl Irish-Butera said this week.
“We survived COVID,” she explained. “We're coming out of two of the hardest years for so many people. We are so appreciative that people were kind and thoughtful, wore their mask when they needed to, didn't give us a hard time. And you know, we don't know what the future holds. But we got through it, and we are so hand-in-hand with all the others that got through it, or those that are picking themselves up by the bootstraps and starting all over again.”
And so it is that, in a spirit of seasonal solidarity among storeowners – and appreciation for customers – mom-and-pop brick-and-mortars will showcase their uniqueness and provide some of the best deals to date over the course of Thanksgiving weekend.
Small Business Saturday is a time to patronize local establishments and, in turn, a time for those local establishments to show appreciation to their patrons.
Queen B’s Cottage photos courtesy of Brooke Unversaw
QUEEN B’S COTTAGE
Queen B’s Cottage might be new to the Village of Lewiston, but its owner, Brooke Unversaw, is no stranger to local shoppers.
“I used to rent space at The Country Doctor; so, I'm not really new to the Lewiston retail scene,” she said. “I have a totally different concept than the Country Doctor. Country Doctor was a co-op. It was antiques. I am doing more of a home décor gift shop. Everything's mostly new. I have a few little vintage pieces sprinkled in, because I like to mix the new and the old. But it's, I would say, 90% new.
“I actually helped Pam (Karski) at Canterbury (Place) with her going out-of-business sale. And people kept coming in saying, ‘Oh my gosh, where am I going to buy my gifts? Where am I going to buy my ducks?’ And then that's kind of what inspired me to open this shop. And I do carry the ducks that Pam used to carry. She kind of passed the torch to me.”
In fact, people are flocking to Queen B’s Cottage at the “Big Yellow House” for the DCUK (The Original Wooden Duck Company) line.
“People have been coming in saying, ‘Oh my gosh, you have the ducks. I'm so happy!’ ” Unversaw said.
She explained, “The wooden ducks, Pam used to have them in her window. They have the little Wellie boots on. They're from the U.K., and each one comes with a name tag. If it doesn't have your specific name on it, and you want it, the company will send me a tag with your name on it, for free – which people love. I have actually asked them for quite a few personalized tags. Great company to work with. They're so easygoing.”
Ducks are one of many unique items available at Queen B’s Cottage.
“I just brought in florals for Christmas,” Unversaw said. “I have gorgeous crystal trees from Moser Glass. I have bath and body products from FarmHouse Fresh, which is a very popular line among the spas in the area. I also have vinyl floormats that have been a great seller. People are going bonkers for them. I have a line of hook pillows.
“I mean, it's just like a whole mix of home décor. I have a little baby section with a few baby products. I have a whole entertaining section with charcuterie boards and wine glasses. I have greeting cards.
“I want people to be able to come in and walk out with a gift. Because I kind of remember that's what Pam said.
“I'm just trying to not duplicate what Pam did, but just kind of make it a little more current. I am happy because I'm appealing to young, middle and older. So, it's kind of nice, because I'm trying to capture everyone.”
Queen B’s Cottage is located in the building formerly used by the Lewiston Council on the Arts.
Unversaw said, “I loved the charm of this house. And I love the fact that it's through the Peace Garden, because people can come in and sit in the Peace Garden; they can come into my shop. And then they can also exit onto Ridge Street. So, I'm kind of fortunate that I have two points of entry.
“The house is old, it's charming; it has so much character. The space has separate rooms. So, I can kind of do different things in each one of those rooms. I can kind of make them all different, if I wanted to.
“I have a lovely porch that I put a fireplace on to make it a little bit more cozy.
“And then also, I have an upstairs. I have two rooms upstairs. Linda (Moscoti) from The Country Doctor is actually renting space from me, and she is bringing some vintage things upstairs.
“And then the other room, I'm going to do art classes. Those will be starting in January, like when it really gets quiet. Because I'm trying to figure out what to do in those cold, quiet months. So, I thought like wine and cheese; you know, night out with your girlfriends, kind of thing.”
In the nearer future, “For Black Friday and Shop Small, I was going to do a raffle,” Unversaw said. “Anybody who makes a purchase, we’ll put their name into a drawing, basically. And then I will raffle off a $25 gift certificate. And then I will also pick another name for one of my candles that I make, that are a huge seller.
“I'm going to be doing that both weekends – for Christmas Walk, and Shop Small and Black Friday. And then also for the Christmas Walk, I'm going to have a hot chocolate stand where people can get hot chocolate. It'll be super-cute. So, maybe, you know, a little photo opportunity. My daughter will be out there with her girlfriends serving hot chocolate.
“I know Santa is going to be here in the Peace Garden. So, I feel like, if people are waiting on line, they can grab a cup of hot chocolate and stay warm.”
Queen B’s Cottage is located at 475 Ridge St. (directly behind the International Peace Garden), Lewiston. Visit online at www.facebook.com/QueenBeeCottage/.
Queen B's Cottage image courtesy of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
About Small Business Saturday
Nov. 26 is the 13th annual Small Business Saturday, proudly backed by American Express. Dedicated to supporting the diverse range of local businesses that create jobs, help boost the economy, and enhance neighborhoods around the country, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers.
This national holiday shopping tradition is dedicated to celebrating small businesses and driving more customers through their doors on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
About Shop Small
Shop Small is a year-round movement that supports small, independent businesses and calls attention to the valuable and distinct contributions they make to their communities and the economy. Shop Small celebrates small businesses ranging from retail stores and restaurants to fitness studios and salons, and everything in between. The Shop Small movement was spurred by the widespread participation in Small Business Saturday.
CELEBRATE LOCAL WITH SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 to remind our neighbors how important their support is to local businesses this holiday season.
The Chamber has compiled a listing of member businesses that will be celebrating the special day with a discount or promotion. The Chamber has been a part of the Small Business Saturday movement dedicated to supporting the independent businesses that make our communities unique and provide invaluable contributions to our economy. We encourage everyone to celebrate and support the neighborhood businesses in our communities every day.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors will have an open house at the Chamber office and Welcome Center, 895 Center St., in the Village of Lewiston, beginning on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Chamber will give away 50 $15 gift certificates to the first 50 people who visit the Chamber office! Free canvas bags will be given to the first 35 shoppers, along with a listing of promotions from our member businesses. Free coffee will also be available.
Participants must be at least 18 years old, complete paperwork, and be present to receive the certificate. One prize per person.
Below is a listing of businesses offering special promotions on Small Business Saturday. A full listing and featured spotlights are available online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com. Hours vary per business.
•Antique to Chic (536 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Unique variety of vintage, new and hand-crafted gifts with great holiday décor ideas. Sweet holiday treats. “Super Santa Sale” items. Coupon drawing for 30% off one regular-priced item.
•Be OK Studio (265 Portage Road, Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Small Business Saturday: Spend $100 on classes/gift card, get an extra $25! Visit www.mindbodyonline.com/explore/locations/riverview-fitness.
•Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery (1243 Ridge Road, Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off bottle purchases. Visit www.bellarosewinery.com.
•Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop (444 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Enter to win Brewed and Bottled swag with any to-go beer purchase of a mixed four-pack or more! Every four-pack earns you an entry. Two winners will be chosen. First place wins a B&B hoodie; second place wins a B&B T-shirt. (21-and-older only).
•Chéri Amour (522 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Special gifts with purchase, and extra discount promotions!
•DeGiulio's Pharmacy (220 Portage Road, Lewiston): Receive 20% off all store gift item merchandise (excluding gift cards, prescriptions, etc.).
•Everything Youngstown (435 Main St., Youngstown) Extended hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Come Shop Small with Everything Youngstown. Free gift with purchase. Special sale items on Small Business Saturday!
•Healing Earth CBD (765 Cayuga St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Black Friday through Christmas Eve, save 10% on all THC products; 25% off all soaps and candles; buy one, get one on all cbdMD Botanicals products; CVD tea sample pack (five teabags for the price of four). Visit www.HealingEarthCBD.com.
•Inspirations on Canvas (449 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and treats, as well as 10% off all in-store purchases (excluding commissioned art and gift certificates). Enter to win one of five prizes with purchase! Happy holidays!
•Orange Cat Coffee Co. (703 Center St., Lewiston) Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off all bulk coffee and tea! Enter our raffle to win a basket filled with OC goodies!
•Queen B’s Cottage (475 Ridge St., Lewiston) Enter to win a $25 gift certificate! Second prize is a candle!
•Research and Design (721 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: BOGO 50% off select styles. BOGO free on select Junkfood styles. 25% off select Sorels. Extended holiday hours and complimentary gift wrapping!
•Revamped New York Inc. (484 Center St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Hair braiders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forever bracelets from 3-7 p.m. Free hot cocoa bar! 70% off sale items. The entire store is 20% off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 15% from 3-7 p.m. Visit www.revampedny.com.
•The Rose Hanger Shop (411 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Door-buster deal: First 10 purchases of the day will receive a free Rose Hanger Shop gift bag filled with products, accessories and gift cards – a $100 value! 25% to 70% off storewide! Exclusions apply. Visit www.therosehangershop.com.
•Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces, Etc. (444 Center St., Side Unit 4, Lewiston): Enter to win a $50 gift certificate and a Sgt. Peppers T-shirt with any purchase of $10 or more. Drawing on Dec. 20. Visit www.sgtpeppershotsaucesetc.com.
•Trait-Carré (480 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 10% off storewide, and more discounts on awesome gifts!
•You & Me (467 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off every purchase, and a variety of free gifts with purchases of $25-plus. Visit www.shopyouandme.com.