I did not participate in any of the Black Friday sales but I always take part in Small Business Saturday and this year was no exception. This year I took it a step further and didn't go to any big businesses. Of course to go shopping I needed a partner in crime so I called Nicole. Before shopping I needed to have a come to Jesus meeting and Nicole is good for that, so went for coffee.
Afterwards it was time to shop! I suggested we head downtown to A. Schwab, my grandma would take me there when I was little. A. Schwab opened in 1876 selling dry goods and what nots, plus there is only one location so it doesn't get any more small business than that. Here is a little info from their website.
*In 1876, Jewish immigrant Abraham Schwab opened a store on Beale Street. Over its 136-year history, A. Schwab has become a Memphis institution, beloved by many generations. A. Schwab is the only original business remaining on Beale Street.
The owners are dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of the store and telling the story of the street and region through historic artifacts and relevant merchandise. An authentic mercantile experience still greets visitors from around the world. Children of all ages enjoy an assortment of old-fashioned delights.*
Its been awhile since I've been and a few chances have taken place. First Schwab's has changed owners but that's a good thing because the store was in danger of closing something I didn't know. The new owners have made a few additions to the store, we discovered there is now a ice cream and soda fountain with a soda jerk behind the counter! It was like walking back into the 50's. The menu is on a chalkboard, there are glass containers for the ice cream and they even make their own sodas. Sadly there aren't any vegan items on the food menu BUT they do have sorbet! So Nicole and I sampled the blueberry it was awesome and locally made. I will return for more.
Once we got back to the shopping, we found tons of cool things but sadly I can't post any because they are Christmas gifts and that would ruin the surprise. We did stumble on one knick knack that was ingenious. It is a notebook where the pages are napkins! It's the perfect idea, who hasn't written on a napkin? Plus sometimes the best ideas are ones written on a napkin. Now the upstairs has changed a bit too but the scale that will give you your weight and fortune for a penny was still there. Of course we used it, after take of a few layers (yes I stripped off my sweatshirt, shoes and purse in the store) I am happy to report that I am down 38 pounds since January! Whoop whoop!!
A. Schwab is a 3 story building and the 3 floor use to be a museum but now its a mojo shop. This really excited me but sadly the lady that has all the mojo knowledge was on vacation so I picked a few things on my own just to get me started.
Next stop on our small business Saturday adventure was Nicole's suggestion of a wig shop on S. Third St. Its always fun to go and look at wigs. Of course we were just window shopping but i'm sure we will return because I do have my eye on one wig but that too is a surprise. Stay tuned for the unveiling but check out the hat I brought and of course bedazzled. Yes I own a bedazzler and I bedazzle anything I get my hands on.
I have a lot of creative energy so my favorite place to go on Saturdays is Five in One on Broad Ave. It is kindergarten for grown ups! VINI is owned by the husband and wife power duo Alice and Micheal. Along with being a crafting shop they are sale items by local artists as well as screen printed shirts, hats and posters. All the apparel is Memphis themed, created and made by in house by Michael and Alice. If you are in Memphis go check it out!
This Saturday in the clubhouse the project was wine bottle glasses. What's that you ask its where we took empty wine bottles and turned them into drinking glasses! I had plenty of empty wine bottles so I was prepared for this craft. The great thing about VINI crafts is that there are simple enough to be done at home. After soaking our wine bottles to remove the labels Bianca and I were ready to get to work. (Nicole and I parted ways) The process is super simple, once the labels were removed we had to score the bottles using the a glass cutter box Micheal made. Once that was done Micheal alternates pouring hot and cold water over the score line to break the bottle. If the scoring is done correctly you end up with a perfect glass cup after you sand down the rim of course. This craft was the coolest one i've done so far! Don't worry if you missed the craft on Saturday they always repeat it again on Monday nights. So check out their calender!
While waiting for the bottle breaking line, Bianca discovered the coolest jackets. There were only two left, a size small for her and a medium for me so we had to nab them. Plus on the back they said Crosstown which just happens to be our hood! The final selling point they are trimmed in pink!! This jacket screamed bedazzle me! Of course I offered to bedazzle Bianca's but she said she would pass. (She's not the shinny sparkly type) Since we now have our jackets we will refer to ourselves as the Crosstown Mafia because we are tough like that.
So if you haven't been to A. Schwab or Five in One go check them out. They are just two of the local businesses that make Memphis Memphis!