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Small Business Saturday


Small Business Saturday Customer Profiles



Ann Cantrell, owner of Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn NY, 10+ years in business


Q: Tell us a little bit about your store, your community, and your customers.

A: We are a Modern General Store in Brooklyn, NY selling all the things you want to give and to get! We have a loyal local customer base, but we also ship nationwide so love to connect with our community around the country too. We offer a lot of seasonal merchandise but also keep to the basics for some goodies too. New York Magazine once wrote about us saying "compulsively giftable merch that prioritizes design."

Q: How did the pandemic affect your business and how did you adapt?

A: We haulted in store shopping before our governor legally mandated us to, and pivoted online. Luckily we already had a robust online businesses, but how to ship, how to service those customers were all big questions. Plus, we had already placed a lot of orders that shouldn't ship since we were closed so we were in crisis mode trying to figure that all out, plus try to secure our PPP loan, etc. We really got by through the dedication and hard work of team members, our local community who rallied around us, as well as other business owners we were in constant contact about- trying to figure out our next moves.

Q: What marketing tactics do you utilize to engage with your customer and get them into your store to shop?

A: Through social media- hello Instagram! and marketing emails and LOTS of DM's/calls/video chats we were able to connect with customers and get them what they needed. We did some Curbside Pick Up too, and then finally after 3 months of being physically closed we were allowed to open back up. Customers cautiously started coming back, although a lot had changed (it was summer, people had left NYC...). We are grateful things turned around for us though and our Shop Local window from Now Designs really helped!

Q: What are your favorite Danica items?

A: We currently have the Soleil story in our shop, although we rotate out depending on the seasons and our stories. Danica and Now Designs products are some of our most reliable staples in the shop! I am SOOO Excited for the navy and white ticking cart for Spring 2022!!!

Q: What's your favorite thing about being a store owner?

A: I love connecting with customers and finding cool, new products they are going to react to in a meaningful way. This is our 15th Holiday season but I am more excited than ever for all the MAGIC that comes with it!

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2022?

A: Hopefully in 2022 we can really start to get back to normal and take off our masks in the shop. I am looking forward to resuming in store events like our Annual Easter Egg Hunt that we've had to cancel the past 2 years.





Richard Festen, owner of Baking Arts in San Mateo CA, 10+ years in business


Q: Tell us a little bit about your store, your community, and your customers.

A: Baking Arts is a cooking school and retail store dedicated to baking, chocolate and confection arts. We have a full retail selection of kitchen items, bakeware, candy and chocolate making supplies, specialty ingredients, housewares and linens. We serve everyone from home cooks to professional chefs and local restaurants. Depending on the day, you can always find a changing variety of handmade chocolates and baked goods for sale.

Q: How did the pandemic affect your business and how did you adapt?

A: We had to close our cooking school or sharply reduce capacity during the pandemic, but being a food based business we were able to quickly pivot to selling all manner of hard to find ingredients and baking supplies. We became a resource for the local community and in turn they were greatly supportive of our work. It was great to see everyone come together on this. It introduced us to so many new people and those relationships continue today.

Q: What marketing tactics do you utilize to engage with your customer and get them into your store to shop?

A: We let our customers do our marketing for us! Almost all of our business is word of mouth. All the cooking class photos our students take while taking our classes and post to social media do the talking for us. We occasionally post a photo on Instagram, but almost every class we do sells out, so luckily we don't have to spend much of our busy day trying to promote the store.

Q: What are your favorite Danica items?

A: Those Aprons! OMG they sell like hot cakes... and all the varieties of pinch bowls and printed kitchen towels are perfect hostess gifts. We started selling the Ecologie sponge clothes this year and they are a customer favorite and mine too. They sell themselves. We are looking forward to the Spring 2022 collection arriving soon.

Q: What's your favorite thing about being a store owner?

A: I've been in business for 15 years now. I've watched people who have come to our store and classes get married, have kids and then have their kids attend our culinary camps. It's great to become part of our customers lives and to be part of this local community.

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2022?

A: Fingers crossed we will be back in full swing for 2022!

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