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Small Business Saturday successful for Atlantic Ave businesses

Posted at 3:12 PM, Nov 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-26 16:45:46-05

Small businesses on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach enjoyed a busy Small Business Saturday.

“We’ve had a lot of foot traffic today, but more importantly we’ve had a lot of sales," said Susan Altschuler, owner of Spice.

“People are coming, going," said Hawk Stillwind, owner of House of Zen Dali. "Whether they buy something or not, it’s a commercial for another time.”

Nationally, people are encouraged to support their local mom and pop stores the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"We're very thankful for Small Business Saturday because all you hear about is Black Friday and Cyber Monday," Altschuler said. "Very grateful to have some recognition."

Altschuler's store, Spice, has home decor, art and gifts from around the world. She said it can be difficult to compete with big box stores and online retail for customers, but she keeps people coming in by offering them something different.

"The challenge for me is finding things that you just don’t go home and google on the Internet and you’re going to buy it for less," she said. "It’s a small what they call 'mom and pop' store and it has to be niche."

Stillwind echoes that strategy with House of Zen Dali, which has clothing and products from all over the world, particularly Asia.

"It may be a different clientele that finds us, but what they like about what we bring in builds our clientele over the years," he said.

He said the jewelry his partner, Jen Skoz, also drives sales because it's unique.

"So many of her pieces are just one-of-a-kind," he said. "You won’t find it in other places in the world."

Shoppers say they like to support small businesses because their money goes directly to the community.

"They’re people that live here that provide products that are unique," said Barbara Alfonzo, who lives in Delray Beach. "A lot of them are local to here, so I just love to vote with my money in that way and not support a big box store."

Alfonzo said she avoided shopping on Black Friday so she could support small businesses instead.

"I love supporting local, so it’s my regular way of shopping," she said.

People also say the experience of shopping small is another reason to frequent local businesses.

"The personal touch," said Paula Wondra, of Deerfield Beach. "Just being able to talk with the shop owner."