Small Business Saturday in NOLA

08:00 November 29, 2019
By: Cassandra Damascus

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since American Express exploded their promotion for supporting small businesses with Small Business Saturday-a day nationally reserved (and observed) for shopping at said small businesses. While Black Friday consists of mega-shopping events at big box stores and Cyber Monday unlocks the e-commerce floodgates, Small Business Saturday brings holiday shopping back to its roots. The camaraderie of strolling down the street, streaming in and out of local shops, is nostalgic and has a feel-good appeal. According to last year's survey, American Express boasts "record high spending of an estimated $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday" in 2019. When it comes to Small Business Saturday in New Orleans, it is facilitated by New Orleans' independent business alliance StayLocal. On November 30th, independent businesses citywide add festive atmospheres and special holiday deals to the expert service, hand-selected goods, and local flavor that retailers offer throughout the year.

One of New Orleans' small businesses, Octavia Books will be participating in Indies First, which is a national campaign in support of independent bookstores that takes place on Small Business Saturday, when authors will be honorary sellers. The authors will give shoppers recommendations, sign books, and give readings. Co-owner Tom Lowenburg always looks forward to Small Business Saturday because, unlike the other days (such as Black Friday) when big box companies herd shoppers to spend, Small Business Saturday creates a day that's fun for everyone and their families.

More often than not, when many of us New Orleanians think "shop small" in New Orleans, we think of bustling Magazine Street, which will be festive as always. New Orleans also has other notable local shopping districts, such as Oak Street and Bayou Road-which is ensconced by striving businesses in the African American Heritage Corridor. Last year, Bayou Road's Community Book Center lent their space to local entrepreneurs as a venue to host pop-ups and sell merchandise.

Notably, Artist Journey Allen Gallery Studio will be hosting five artist pop-ups, several local vendor pop-ups, and one vegan food pop-up-located at 1474 Broad Street, which neighbors Bayou Road African American Heritage Corridor. Journey Allen extends this opportunity to artists who do not have a storefront, and it will last 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 30th. This pop-up extravaganza is more robust than meets the eye. For the artists participating, Journey ensures the pop-up will leave a lasting impression for not only the shoppers but also the artist. Journey prepares artists for future endeavors by guiding them with their marketing collateral and preparation and states that "for everyone else in the world, it is a regular Saturday. It is up to us (the artists) to make it a unique and special day. This is our chance to make an impact and bring the best of ourselves-our chance to let our local community know that we are dedicated to our craft and that we exist."

Shopping on Oak Street:

Blue Cypress Books
8126 Oak St.

Louisiana Running and Walking Co.
8123 Oak St.

Haase's Shoe Store
8119 Oak St.

Eclectic Home
8211 Oak St.

Rabbit Ears
8225 Oak St.

Glue Clothing Exchange
8206 Oak St.

Shopping on Bayou Road:

Community Book Center
2523 Bayou Rd.

Domino Sound Record Shack
2557 Bayou Rd.

Material Life
2521 Bayou Rd.

Cupcake Fairies
2511 Bayou Rd.

Ego's Gentlemen Spa
2509 Bayou Rd.

Whiskey and Sticks
2513 Bayou Rd.

Mark your calendars. November 30th is just around the corner. Happy "Small" Shopping.

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