Nervous energy filled The Baxter Bar & Arcade as vendors from across the Triangle waited for customers to wander into the makeshift market.
With holiday shopping beginning, local store owners were eager to get their name out and meet new customers.
Rumors Boutique hosted its second-annual Small Business Saturday market on Saturday to showcase the work of these local entrepreneurs. The market featured 16 vendors with products ranging from hand-crafted jewelry and clothing to kombucha.
“We picked people that all of my customers would like to shop with, too, so this way they get to shop directly from them and support them,” Rumors co-owner Casey Longyear said. “We don’t keep anything from any of the sales; the vendors don’t have to pay anything to be a part of this, and Baxter’s doesn’t charge us anything to be here. It really is the community coming together to support small business.”
For many small business owners, having large Black Friday sales cost more than they’re worth. Sarah Fountain, owner of Porch Opossum Art Experiments, said she can’t afford to offer price reductions that compete with larger stores.
“I had a lady message me and ask if I was running any deals, and I really can’t afford to,” Fountain said. “Everything is already priced as low as I can.”
Rumors also chose to abstain from Black Friday sales this year, instead offering a $1 sidewalk sale with all proceeds going to the LGBT Center of Raleigh in addition to their normal prices.
Longyear started the Small Business Saturday market after the success of Jaws Fest, a punk rock flea market held over Memorial Day Weekend that started three years ago in Chapel Hill.
She said the market is good for small vendors because they do not have to pay to set up a table. The market also allows customers to meet the designers of the products, which Longyear said can help increase sales.