Three shop keepers have come up with a fantastic idea to bring more people to downtown Ridgeway’s vibrant business district.
Shari Harper, the owner of J.E. Harper and Travel Company, Sarah Chevalier, owner of Lasting Impressions, and Tracy Nie, of Unique Creations, got together and, with the support of the Ridgeway Business Improvement Association, have created a fun, new event called Boutique Week, and it runs from Feb. 25 to March 2.
“The local restaurants have Restaurant Week and so we thought it’d be fun to have an entire week for the other businesses; kind of like a glorified customers’ appreciation week,” Chevalier explains.
“Everyone is doing their own thing, so there will be prizes, specials and little treats.”
Harper says the idea behind Boutique Week is not only about getting people to come out and see what’s downtown, but it’s also about encouraging the public to “try local first.”
Shopping locally first has many benefits, which include supporting local jobs. But there’s so much more to it than that.
“I know for a fact that people have walked by and looked in the windows (of a business) because they don’t know what’s inside. That’s what Boutique Week is all about, we want people to feel comfortable coming in and seeing what we’re all about,” Chevalier says.
“Even if people don’t buy anything, come and see what’s here because some people still don’t know what kinds of businesses are here and what we have to offer. Our doors are open.”
Harper says there’s a big misconception that just because a small local business isn’t as big as a big box store, it doesn’t offer the same or better value.
“I know that some of the items I sell in my (travel) store are the same prices as what you’d find in the outlet mall,” she says.
What both women say they love about the more than 20 business owners in the downtown core, is that they all support each other and it’s an amazing community to be a part of.
“Something else to think about is that all of the items in a store run by a local business owner are usually hand-picked, and unique, usually of better quality. Personally, if I don’t have something a customer is looking for, I’ll send them to another local business that does,” Harper says.
Boutique Week is just one of many upcoming events downtown Ridgeway has to offer. To see what other events are on the calendar, visit https://historicridgeway.com for more details.