MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Many Black Friday shoppers hit the stores Thanksgiving night, hours before the actual day. That seemed to be the case with Small Business Saturday as well.
“I came today, and she said it’s 50% off and I’m like, ‘Just throw it in the bag’,” said shopper Maya McFarland.
McFarland is visiting from Nashville, but she wasted no time shopping at her favorite Memphis store, Mbabazi.
“I am a firm believer in putting dollars back into the community. It’s actually abnormal for me to be out on Black Friday because I do Small Business Saturdays,” said McFarland.
It is a good thing she switched up her shopping days. Many small businesses were already offering deals.
“We just did a whole floor change. We changed everything around, so I’ve been here all night long,” said Naiima Love, a local artist.
One block away, T Clifton Art Gallery did the same.
“Our special for Saturday will be our ornaments, and we have a wide collection of hand-blown glass ornaments,” said Pat Brown, T Clifton Art Gallery Co-Owner.
Even the smallest of owners were prepping.
“We make hibiscus fire juice,” said Amaru and Amir Chavez-Asforis, Tru Bros Co-Owners.
They will be quenching shoppers’ thirst with their product.
“My mom and father, because she makes her own Shea Butter and my dad makes his own hot sauce. It inspires us like, ‘hey, we could do something’,” said Chavez-Asforis.
It is all an effort to keeping products local.
“People love to shop. They love to say, ‘Hey look it’s from a local artist, a local business.’ It’s also unique,” said Brown.
It helps local artists and entrepreneurs stay true to their art.
“We love the work that we do and feel like it’s our gift that we offer the world and for people to be able to feel that and come back for that. That’s living the dream,” said Vanessa Chavez, Mbabazi Chief Financial Officer and Store Manager.
Memphis Mayor, Jim Strickland, signed a proclamation encouraging people to support small businesses Saturday.
Owners say while promoting local artists is important, customers are their biggest support. They say it’s how they survive.