Small Business Saturday draws crowds to Kingsport | Business
KINGSPORT – Renita Wolfe added 1940s glass Christmas decorations to her collection on Saturday.
Marty Combs and Mamie Minton picked up some antique oak furniture.
And Keante Dukes and Lizzie McMillian have been digging deep into antiques, as has Barb Vanderhoof with stepdaughter Jordyn Warren and son Adam Vanderhoof.
But what do all these people have in common?
They were out on Small Business Saturday, a day reserved for small businesses between the Black Friday events of big box stores and Cyber Monday for online shopping.
From antiques to clothing, record albums and guns, artwork and housewares, the bosses of the model town’s small businesses came out in force on Saturday.
VINTAGE ORNAMENT SEARCH
“I collect ornaments,” Wolfe said, choosing ornaments from a vintage box at Anchor Antiques, 137 Broad St.
“I have a ton of it on my tree,” Wolfe said. “I like everything vintage. I love coming here.
David Case, co-owner of the longtime antique business with his mother, Mary Jo Case, said Saturday was a good day for the family business.
He said the extra traffic was good for attracting new and existing customers.
Case said many customers, including Wolfe, seek nostalgia, including ornaments, glassware, old radios, and small items.
“This (the national event) helps small businesses a lot,” Case said. “It’s nice to see people downtown. “
Dukes and McMillian, of Kingsport, visited Anchor and other downtown businesses, including P&J antiques.
Paul Davis, owner of PD’s Records at 134 Broad St., said Saturdays were normally slow for him, but a customer was shopping on Saturday morning at a store with musical posters and also selling cassettes, CDs. and sometimes 8-track cassettes. .
Most posters are not for sale. They are only intended for decoration and those he has collected, including many Beatles.
“I was in my last year of high school when they came out,” said Davis, in a full-time location for eight years after retiring from Quebecor. “That’s (Beatles music) all we’ve heard for two years.”
He said Beatles albums were among frequent requests, along with Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead.
If he doesn’t have used copies of these artists, he said he would refer buyers to Walmart and other re-released vinyl record retailers, but said most want the original despite or because of the pops and cracks and the original mix.
“In country it’s Wayon (Jennings), Willie (Nelson) and of course George Strait,” Davis said, also adding Emmylou Harris, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.
Steve and Angela Cunningham of Kingsport worked out of their store, Almost New Consignment Shop, near the Greenacres Mall at 1001 N. Eastman Road, Suite F. It has been in existence for two years but has been in business for 14 years.
“Saturday is not usually a very busy day for us,” he said. Instead, he said Johnson Elementary School and the nearby U.S. Post Office draw traffic from the store during the week.
“We mainly sell clothes,” he said, although the company also offers housewares, jewelry, mostly smaller furniture and some antiques.
“It is starting to pick up” after the drop in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. The company moved to its current location in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the United States.
“Right now the most popular items are Christmas decorations, blankets, cushions and men’s clothing,” she said.
RIVER MOUNTAIN ANTIQUES AND PRIMITIVES
Reed and Debbie Dykes had River Mountain Antiques and Primitives, 120 Broad St., for 13 years, although she started the business before he retired as a teacher. The company, which sells antiques, clothing and other items, had a steady stream of customers on Saturday.
She said many customers are new to the area or at least to downtown businesses, although both said they have repeat customers. He said some came from out of state.
HISTORY OF OAK AND MAHOGANY BEDS
At P&J Antiques, 204 Broad St., longtime antique enthusiasts Pat and Jerry Houchens, along with their daughter Wendy, had a constant stream of customers in the two-story antique store.
“We’ve been so blessed it’s absolutely amazing,” Pat Houchens said, while employee Diana Gibson said hot items are “everything,” but include vintage boxes and knives.
Combs and Minton salvaged their oak bed and a low oak chest of drawers with a hatbox, with the help of Pat Houchens.
Houchens also showed Barb Vanderhoof, Jordyn Warren, and Adam Vanderhoof an early 1900s mahogany bed, sometimes referred to as rosewood, with carvings of lions and kings or knights. It’s like a four poster bed, but the four poster top is made of wood like the rest of the bed.
She said the bed was from a local estate but was from England. The firm price of $ 9,950 compares to a similar price in England which sells for almost $ 65,000 plus shipping.
“We just go shopping and hang out together,” said Adam Vanderhoof. His mother said she had recently moved to the Kingsport area, where her other son lives, with other relatives in Elizabethton.
She said property taxes are much lower here, as are property prices. Basically, she said she left Pennsylvania to escape the snow and high property taxes.
BOOMTOWN, OTHERS IN BOOM
Boomtown and Co., 271 Broad St., marks its third year and had a good stock of Dolly Parton for president’s shirts and other clothing.
Employees Christy Leonard, sister of the owner, and Brooke, said business was booming on Saturday, no pun intended.
At 109 Broad St., New and New Again owned by Cheri Morgan was making its first vacation sale. The company opened five months ago.
“We have new gift-type items,” Morgan said, as well as housewares and other pallet items, a white elephant room and other areas for local artisans.
“It’s been busy today and yesterday,” said Morgan. “It (Small Business Saturday) helps small businesses a lot. “
And at Gunsligers, 122 Broad St., customers were browsing and buying.
Hunter Sane and Kaitlyn Self of Cocke County were looking at guns – a deer shotgun for her and a “pest control” rifle for him.
“It was kind of a holiday or a famine today,” employee Jim Clark said of the business, owned by Todd Sutherland.
“Today is busy. It was busy yesterday too, ”said Chase White, firearms worker and repairer. In addition to guns, holsters and other gun accessories, the company sells ammunition, safes, and gun guards, the latter two having no sales tax in Tennessee until ‘in June 2022.
Both employees said some ammunition was scarce and guns were sometimes difficult to obtain.
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