Tallahassee Store Sees Boost on "Small Business Saturday"

Hearth and Soul - Small Business Saturday 2015
Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 04:35:21-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Shoppers headed to the stores this weekend for holiday shopping, with local businesses celebrating Small Business Saturday -- encouraging people to "shop small."

Erin Rickards said she drove by Hearth and Soul Saturday and wanted to check it out. She will be moving in a month but said she had to see a store like this before she leaves.

"I've lived in New York City for 12 years, and a concept shop like this is so unique," Rickards said. "It's exactly the thing that Tallahassee needs to get away from sort of the name brands."

WTXL was at Hearth and Soul in September for the grand opening of its flagship store on Market Street.

Founder and owner Susie Busch-Transou said customers have embraced the store's concept of being a "home away from home."

"We've created an experience and a brand that we think delivers upon their needs and brings unique things to the community that aren't otherwise available," she said.

"I love the idea of someone setting up a home, and you can come see things and how they're positioned and give you ideas," Rickards said.

While Sundays are typically a quieter day for small businesses like Hearth and Soul, Busch-Transou said it's already been the biggest weekend in sales since the store opened.

"On Saturday, with the small business focus -- what a great idea," she said, "just to remind people that there are really special things right here in our own neighborhoods."

Mayor Andrew Gillum and his wife stopped by Saturday to support small business in the city. Busch-Transou said Tallahassee is home, but the store has a vision for the future.

"We really do hope to expand the concept and to bring a little bit about what is special and has been created right here in Tallahassee, Florida to other communities," she said.

And for Rickards, it's a place she said will keep bringing customers like her to town.

"You always know what you're getting when you go into a store. It never changes, and this is exciting," she said. "It's a cool idea, and things are just better quality, better taste."

After Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, attention will turn to online shopping tomorrow for "Cyber Monday." The following day, "Giving Tuesday," encourages people to donate to local nonprofits.