By Sherry Lucas
Brick Street Jingle rings the bell for local shopping, with extended hours at Olde Towne businesses on Thursday, December 15. That should particularly appeal to busy shoppers still looking for that perfect present, as the clock winds down toward the Christmas Day deadline.
Rather than closing up shop around dinnertime, participating businesses keep the doors open and the cash registers ringing until 8:30 p.m.
“There’s just a big shop-local focus,” Main Street Clinton Director Tara Lytal said. The extended hours provide a prime time for small businesses to compete with bigger retailers that are open longer hours, and catch Clintonians who may work in other communities, who often can’t get back home in time but still want to shop local.
“The event has consistently been a good one, with the primary focus of providing late-night shopping for people who work and have trouble getting to businesses during the day,” said Lytal. “Many of the businesses also offer discounts or incentives to shop.”
It can take the rush-rush anxiety out of holiday shopping, and put a festive spin in the air, as well.
“It’s just a really fun event,” said Morgan Boyd, assistant manager and buyer at The Cupboard. The gift and home decor shop is usually only open until 6 p.m.
“This gives them an extra two hours to shop,” said Boyd. “We’ll have a sale. It’s just a fun event, where everybody can come, knock out their Christmas shopping, and we’ll do all the wrapping.”
It’s a more relaxed vibe, she said, and the event has grown over the years.
This will be the first Brick Street Jingle for new business Potter & Clay Studios, which just opened in October. For owner MaKayla Sherman, it’s another chance to share in Olde Towne camaraderie, and she wouldn’t miss it.
“We wouldn’t have had as much warmth, good vibes and appreciation, if not for our location on Main Street,” Sherman said. It’s a chance, too, to introduce the paint-your-own-pottery studio to folks in Clinton. The studio provides a fun, relaxing, inspiring and encouraging space where people can grow and explore their artistic potential, and come and create something unique to boot. With active birthday party bookings since opening, they’re eager to see what the season ahead brings.
“We’re excited for Christmas, and have some ideas … and potentially a lot of new things to come in the new year,” such as a series of classes to learn the art of pottery.
Civic as well as holiday spirit is a key component. Panoply co-owner Krista Markham said, “First of all, being a Main Street business, we feel very strongly about supporting Main Street Clinton’s efforts. They’re doing a great job promoting us … creating events to showcase businesses on the brick streets,” she said.
Businesses, too, share a responsibility to revitalize downtown Clinton, “to make people in our town want to shop local,” Markham said.
The clothing and gift store will feature specials that night, she said, and Brick Street Jingle folds right into the most frequent feedback they hear from customers.
“For working people – and especially moms – it’s nice to have an event that goes past 7 p.m.”
The clothing and gift store’s clientele is primarily moms, wives and working women, who may need to fetch kids from day care or get them to or picked up from practice, get families fed and more.
“Having an event that goes to 8:30 is really a great opportunity for shoppers in our community to do some late-night local shopping.…to fit everybody’s lifestyle.”