It’s Shop Small Saturday, the 2nd annual nationally recognized day where retailers are asking shoppers to make just one purchase with a local business. Much of our focus has been on shopping and dining in Fondren this week – and rightfully so. It’s the kickoff weekend to the holiday shopping season, and while the national eye has been on big box and mass retail chains, communities like Fondren are claiming their rightful place. On Friday, when many were seemingly occupied with doorbuster deals, Fondren merchants reported brisk traffic. This time last year, we told you that it had been a mixed bag, but yesterday, feedback was all thumbs up. Ron Chane at Swell/Soma said they “tore it up” while Karen Parker at Fair Trade Green said they had been steady all day. Bill Nobles at Brent’s said they had had a good crowd and Michele Escude’ at circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING said her store had seen many first time guests. And at Fondren Guitars, Patrick Harkins said he had seen the shoppers who chased deals make there way to a more laid back Fondren.

The message today is simple: support the people who have made an investment in the community. These are the people who buy supplies from local vendors, pay accountants and electricians for their services and essentially, keep others in the area in business as well. Statistics say that locally owned businesses return 80% of each dollar back into the community which is then recirculated five times. In contrast, figures for nationally owned retailers point to as little as 20% on every dollar that stays local.

If we can help you remember three things that influence your shopping choices today and all throughout the year, it would be this: 1) Fondren is laid back and relaxed. Park your car, stroll this historic neighborhood and leisurely make your way from shop to shop. No one’s camping out for a limited number of items here. 2) Service is personal, attentive and appreciative. Often, you are waited on by THE shop owner who truly cares that you have a pleasant experience. 3) The merchandise and food here is unique. Sure, you can get a purse or pizza anywhere in town, but not like what we have here. There’s something different about our shops and we are proud of this fact. ‘Best Of’ lists in publications statewide consistently point readers this way. There’s good reason.

Welcome to Fondren. Let us make your holiday merry – and stress free. Our doors are open and we’re always glad to see you in Jackson’s Hippest Neighborhood™.