As the Christmas shopping season officially started Friday, Saturday shone the spotlight on the brick-and-mortar shops in your own backyard during the second annual Small Business Saturday.
Intending for people to people to “pledge to shop small” according to the Small Business Saturday website, the event is Hosted by American Express. Small businesses that register with Small Business Saturday could get free in-store marketing and e-marketing materials, free Facebook ads and more.
Shoppers moved from store to store along Route 73 in Skippack Village, squeezing into some smaller spaces and enjoying chats about the products with the proprietors.
"A lady came in and said she wanted to buy hand-crafted goods that were made in the USA," said Carolyn Velazquez, owner of Carolyn's Creative Stitchery. The store, which has been around for 21 years, offers baby and doll clothes among its inventory.
She noted that other customers remarked they were "so glad" to still be able to find American-made items.
"They (shoppers) are coming in and saying they support us."
In another part of the area, the staff at the Town Book Center and Cafe were buzzing around the store, answering customers' questions and ringing up purchases as they kept up with the steady stream of business.
Connie Butera and Betty and Carmen Veneziale were at the center to support local authors James "Jim" Vance and Michael Chiaradonna, who were signing copies of their book "Malacchio: The Evil Eye Murders." The story is a fictionalized account of a string of murders in Norristown.
The trio of customers hadn't visited the store's new location since it moved from Trappe earlier this year, but said they would return, making note of the store's expanded space and selection and free Wifi.
"I support local (shops)," Butera said.