Local businesses prep for second Small Business Saturday, Sip and Shop | News, Sports, Jobs


LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS
Erin Engel, an employee at It Is What It Is, pauses for a photo while organizing a wall of Christmas ornaments at the shop.

LOCK HAVEN — National Small Business Saturday might be over and done with, but for the business owners downtown, they’re still gearing up for three more weekends of specials and deals.

The national Small Business Saturday event on Nov. 25 saw downtown Lock Haven abuzz with activity, as shoppers hit up a multitude of locally owned businesses to find gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Ashley Garbrick, owner of Blonde Boutique at 125 E. Main St., said with the holidays coming up her clothing store has been busier.

“We’re definitely getting busier as we get to Christmas,” Garbrick said. Garbrick said she plans to have various specials each Saturday, and encouraged everyone to stop by each weekend to see what’s new.

Garbrick will also be taking part in an upcoming Sip and Shop on Friday, Dec. 1.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS
Brooke Fravel, owner of Darling and Dapper Children’s Boutique, prepares a clothing rack at the shop on Main Street.

“Sip and Shops are always a good event,” she said.

Shoppers are able to shop downtown until 8 p.m., enjoy a specialty drink from their favorite store and peruse their inventory.

Garbrick added she’ll be adjusting Blonde Boutique’s hours during the holiday season as well.

According to Art Sanders, owner of It Is What It Is and It Is What It Is Sweet Shop, business at both stores was good on Saturday and Black Friday.

“We were really packed and busy,” Sanders said.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS
Kris McMann, owner of Main Street Books, organizes holiday themed books inside her store.

Overall, Sanders said things at both stores have been going well through the year, but November and December prove to be their best sales months.

“We’ve had a good year and we have some great, loyal customers,” Sanders said.

Erin Engel, one of the store’s employees who worked both days, agreed that they were busy.

“Last Saturday was great. Everybody was in a good mood and super friendly,” Engel said. “We thanked everyone for shopping locally and for the support.”

It Is What It Is will also be taking part in the Sip and Shop, as they’ve done in the past.

Cat Seid, manager at Rachel K Creations, said the business — which spearheaded the Sip and Shop on Friday — will offer specialty drinks and have a special guest, the Grinch.

“We wanted to do something with the Grinch,” Seid said, noting “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is the shop’s theme for the season. “We’ll have the Grinch here.”

Seid said the business, which offers customer designed T-shirts and other apparel, has been relatively busy and saw a boom of activity during Small Business Saturday.

“It’s definitely been hectic — both Friday and Saturday — but great,” Seid said.

Seid noted the space will be expanded come Friday’s Sip and Shop to allow room for more inventory to be on display.

Darling and Dapper Children’s Boutique owner, Brooke Fravel, said the store did extremely well during Small Business Saturday and hopes that continues throughout December.

“We did amazing, it was absolutely great,” Fravel said.

Fravel, who only recently took on ownership of the store located at 228 E. Main St., said the store had been pretty steady.

“We’re looking forward to the next Small Business Saturdays and taking part in the Sip and Shop,” she said. “We’ll have hot cocoa for kids and for adults and a lot of sales.”

Fravel said some of those sales include 20 percent off all Christmas items and 40 percent off some other inventory as well.

Things at Main Street Books, located at 134 E. Main St., have been going well too, according to owner Kris McMann.

“Last Saturday was great. I was very busy and people are starting to discover skateboards and apparel as well,” McMann said.

Main Street Books not only sells books, skateboards and apparel but also records and other items.

McMann noted the importance of shoppers considering shopping local, even if just for a few items.

“If everyone came in and just bought one book, that would be extremely helpful,” she said. “Don’t forget to shop local.”

McMann added that anyone who brings in a non-perishable food donation for The Haven Cupboard will get a $1 off their purchase.

Main Street Books will also be taking part in the Sip and Shop on Friday night.

Cara Mia’s Reloved Fashion, which moved to a new store front at 132 E. Main St., kept busy during Small Business Saturday as well.

“Things went really well. Small Business Saturday was really good,” employee Rachel Lehman said.

Lehman said the business will be taking part in Friday’s Sip and Shop with plans to offer adult drinks. On Saturday, Cara Mia’s will be offering hot chocolate for kids along with a photo booth.

The business will also be doing giveaways each Saturday that include Christmas towers and gingerbread goodies.

Lehman said each time a customer purchases an item, they’ll be entered into that week’s drawing.

Two of Lock Haven’s newest shops — White Knight Game Room in the Haven and Two Maidens Cafe — said their first Small Business Saturdays went very well.

“It was a really good day. We had a lot of people stop in and we sold a lot of tea,” Aly Di Costanzo, co-owner of Two Maidens said.

Aly noted the store will be participating in each Small Business Saturday, selling hot chocolate along with a range of hot and cold teas. Two Maidens will also be taking part in Friday’s Sip and Shop.

White Knight also saw a lot of foot traffic, and some new faces, owner Alex Di Costanzo said.

“Having a storefront on Main Street is a big benefit,” Di Costanzo said. “It’s nice to have new people come in, bring their kids and see what we have to offer.”

A multitude of other businesses in and around downtown Lock Haven will be taking part in the upcoming Small Business Saturdays on Dec. 2, 9 and 16.

To learn more about Small Business Saturdays and upcoming events, you can visit non-profit Downtown Lock Haven, Inc.’s website — www.lockhaven.org.


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