EFFINGHAM — Celebrating its third anniversary in a new location this weekend the Wild Rose boutique at 100 E. Washington, downtown Effingham, opened the doors in time for both Black Friday specials and Small Business Saturday, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Wild Rose owner Rachel Cunningham said she’s hyped for the shopping madness this opening weekend is expected to bring her shop that offers women’s and children’s apparel; accessories and miscellaneous items.
The former Wild Rose location was closed last week in order to re-open at the downtown spot in time for the retail frenzy weekend. The location is the former Midwest Office store, which closed in April 2018, and the building has undergone a renovation.
“We had a lot of people sitting in their cars to avoid the cold, but at 8 a.m. when we opened (Friday) they are made their way in here,” said Cunningham. “We’re off to a good start and look forward to Small Business Saturday – with specials – in our new location.”
An addition to the current store, Wild Rose Bridal, is coming early 2020.
Down the street, The B Line Boutique was enjoying Black Friday and gearing up for Small Business Saturday with specials, starting at 10 a.m. today. The women’s clothing and footwear shop, has been in Effingham five years, on Nov. 21.
Bethany Ungrund, owner, of the B Line, said there were deals for Friday and Saturday including “doorbusters” all day long.
“Small Business Saturday for us is huge,” said Ungrund. “We always promote shop small, shop local. Keep your money in your hometown. We always have a great, great crowd on Small Business Saturday.”
Ungrund said Effingham has supported them for the past five years.
“Downtown (Effingham) is growing and thriving,” said Ungrund about her shop’s location. “We love being a part of the downtown and having our store downtown.”
Joanna Davies, owner of Fresh Digs, said Saturday is expected to be one of her top three sales days for the year at her store on Banker Avenue, downtown Effingham.
She stressed it is important to shop at small locally owned businesses – all year round.
“Shop small all year long not just on Small Business Saturday.”
She likes the idea of shopping locally and American Express helps get the word out each year.
At the Village Square Mall, another locally owned shop, was enjoying a busy Friday with Black Friday and Record Store Day, and gearing up for Small Business Saturday.
“Small Business Saturday is important,” said Aaron Wilson, owner of America’s Groove Record Store at VSM. “It’s very important to keep the money locally, to keep the money in this community. The money you spend here stays here and directly supports a local family.”
He explained that National Record Store Day is in April, but a scaled down version is also on Black Friday. This is when exclusive titles are made available only to independent record stores like his.
Those that don’t sell on Friday will be in his store on Saturday or until they are sold.
“There might only be 2,000 titles in some cases – or less copies even – and 1,500 stores that are participating in this Record Store Day program,” said Wilson. “So to get even a couple copies to the Effingham store is a big deal.”
Wilson said besides vinyl records and other ‘groovy’ things, this store also helps customers convert family VHS movies to DVDs.
With the growing popularity of vinyl records in recent years, stores such as America’s Groove celebrate Record Store Day twice a year, starting in 2008. There were four people in line well before the special 8 a.m. opening of the record store on Friday.
“The reason people are out early today is because it is Record Store Day and Black Friday,” said Andrew Evans of Effingham. “There are two each year – one today and one in April – and there will be exclusive releases from record labels with super limited number of copies available.”
Darin Blickem of Effingham joined the line and said the store has a dedicated group of customers at America’s Groove.
“I’m looking for a regional release that I’m not sure will be here,” said Blickem. “Sometimes these releases can’t be found in some of the smaller stores.”
Jennifer DeWeese of Effingham said she came to America’s Groove “to buy some new vinyl, and whatever catches my fancy,” but mostly because it is important to support a small business.
“I love supporting my local stores – and besides Aaron Wilson is just good people,” said DeWeese.
On Saturday, Effingham County Chamber will host “Coffee Stop” for Small Business Saturday shoppers, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Chamber office, 903 N. Keller Drive.
Coffee will be provided by Joe Sippers and shoppers will be able to pick up a reusable shopping bag containing local coupons and other promotional items.
It is being hosted by the Chamber in conjunction with the national Shop Small campaign, sponsored by American Express, the Chamber and participating local businesses emphasize the importance of shopping locally to help support Effingham County’s local economy year round, but especially during this busy gift-giving season.
Crystal Reed contributed to this report.