HUNTINGTON – While Black Friday is known nationwide for its stampedes of shoppers looking for the best deals on items big and small, Old Main Emporium in downtown Huntington focused on the local Thundering Herd during Small Business Saturday.
Though “small” in name, Small Business Saturday has blossomed to become a $14 billion event nationwide, and Huntington was no stranger to the homegrown support Saturday, during the 6th annual Small Business Saturday.
While some business owners mentioned the rainy weather as a possible deterrent for holiday shopping, Old Main owner Sara Deel had an additional concern on her mind.
“I think people are upset about the (Marshall University football) loss yesterday,” said Deel, who noted there was a high volume of traffic in her store Saturday. “We had a winning season. It was a good season for us. Ten percent of our sales go back to the university, so what we do helps the university.”
The way Old Main gives back to Marshall and the way other local businesses contribute to the community was a common theme among business owners Saturday, who said they are just trying to give back to Huntington what they have received from its residents.
“Huntington has been really good to us in supporting our business as well as the other counties in the Tri-State,” said Whitney Epling, who co-owns Birds of a Feather Boutique in Heritage Station with her sister, Lindsey Ellis. “It’s really cool that we’ve been able to grow this big. This was a hobby we started out with, and our dream has become a reality thanks to the support we’ve gotten here.”
Birds of a Feather Boutique offered a variety of promotions for Saturday’s occasion, including buy-one-get-one deals and free accessories with certain purchases.
Epling said she and Ellis living in Huntington also gives them a better understanding of local customers. They make sure they keep their wares affordable, saying they rarely have an item in the store that costs more than $50.
“We felt like there was a need for a shop like ours, a place where we wanted to shop and where we could charge prices we were comfortable paying,” Epling said. “We wanted to have it here in Huntington to serve our families, friends, our college and our community.”