Shop Small Saturday arrives in the Mid-Ohio Valley

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Michael Penn puts the finishing touches on a drawing of the Highmark Building. He was one of the artisans selling items at the Parkersburg Art Center on Saturday.

PARKERSBURG — After the frenzy of Black Friday and two days before the Internet goes wild with Cyber Monday, Shop Small Saturday had small stores abuzz with some of the excitement of shopping for Christmas.

Pam Creel, owner of the Aspire Salon on Market Street in Parkersburg, said her first Shop Small Saturday was a bit slow, but it was worth the effort.

“Many of our customers came in to buy our Spa packages,” she said. “They are usually a good seller for us.”

Kristin Meeks, of Williamstown, said as a small business owner she makes it a point to shop at small local shops as much as possible.

“As a small business owner shopping small is more than one Saturday a year,” said Meeks, the owner of West Virginia Social Media. “I also come out for the special deals they had today at the Downtown Market Place and the Parkersburg Art Center.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Brenda Taylor, of Belpre, marks the price on an item in her stall at the Peddler’s Junction in Belpre during Shop Small Saturday.

Abby Hayhurst, director of the Parkersburg Art Center, said the center’s participation in having space available for local artisans saw brisk business.

“We had a busy day (Saturday),” she said. “All of our artisans had a terrific day and we’ve been selling a lot of food and cider.”

Hayhurst said as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday more than 350 customers came through the art center’s doors.

In Belpre, Abbie Tanner, co-owner of Peddler’s Junction, said the Shop Small was a boost to their post-Thanksgiving traffic.

“So far, so good,” she said.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Laura Lowther, left, performs a hand massage for Kristin Meeks, center, as her daughter Caroline, right, watches at the Aspire Salon on Market Street in Parkersburg during Shop Small Saturday.

For 2017 Tanner said Peddler’s Junction added a Santa Claus for the children to visit and have pictures made.

One vendor at Peddler’s Junction, Brenda Taylor, said she in her first year at the location and was surprised at how much the traffic increased.

“I’m selling something I don’t need,” she said. “Shop Small lives up to its expectations on how it increases traffic.”

Shop Small is part of Shop Small Saturday, an initiative of the Small Business Administration to help consumers find and celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Maria Richard, of Spencer, shows some of the tables she made from Ohio River driftwood at the Parkersburg Art Center. She said she gets tops for her tables and benched from a lumber yard. She began making them five years ago.