Customers shop local to support Small Business Saturday in Bishop Arts

OAK CLIFF, Texas -- This holiday season you might consider shopping small by supporting North Texas businesses. Many shoppers did for Small Business Saturday this weekend as stores in the Bishop Arts District offered deals to bring in new customers.

"We are having a special today! All of our baby stuff is 20% off excluding books!" Laughing Willow Owner Melody Ginn told a customer.

The Laughing Willow has a little bit of everything; boutique clothing, home goods, baby products, even a hair salon and event space in the back.

“We do the mamas, they get full pampering here. They can shop for them, shop for baby, get cute in the back - were good!” she laughed.

In the beginning, Ginn stayed home to raise her six daughters and started selling handmade wedding veils out of her home.

Now her business has gone from brides to babies inside a colorful home in the Bishop Arts District.

"Really we just took a little house that was just a dark little corner and we lit it up and it’s so much fun," she said.

This holiday season she hopes people will think to shop local for their gifts.

"That way were still here in January!” she laughed. “No, I love it. We will be here.”

Joking aside, supporting her fellow local artisans is important. She sells North Texas goods and often features local bands on the stage at her store.

“We are like a family, it's a team and we all support one another,” she described.

In Bishop Arts, she's surrounded by other like-minded businesses. You won't find a chain restaurant or big box store there.

“If you don't spend money in the small stores, there will be no neighborhoods like ours to visit,” said Cody Ellison, president of The Bishop Arts District Merchants Association.

Ellison and his partner, Ken Valencia, own four stores in the neighborhood.

"For every $100 spent with small business, $68 stay within the community. Versus $43 when you shop big market, big stores, big box stores,” Valencia said.

These business owners said shopping small means supporting your neighbors and the community where you live.

“I've always had a philosophy of ‘I bless you, you bless me and we all love each other when were done!’"Ginn said.

Small Business Saturday brought in $16.2 billion last year.

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