Twenty-three Highland County small businesses, including two that recently opened in uptown Hillsboro, jointly participated in a special shopping event that offered shoppers refreshments, discounts, and special promotions on Saturday, called Fall In Love With Highland County Small Businesses.
Despite a rainy forecast, Mother Cluckers Farmhouse owner and organizer of the event, Heather Hughes, said that, “Based on the response that I have received from business participants, the event seems to have been a success. I know that I had a much busier day than normal.”
Hughes said that, “The idea for the fall tour came from a customer who was in my store one day.” The customer, Hughes said, remarked that, “It would be so neat if the stores worked together and did a tour so people could find all of these little stores that no one may know about because they are off the beaten path.”
From there, Hughes said, “I reached out to Destiny Bryson from the Highland County Visitors Bureau to see if she could help me promote the idea and get the ball rolling.”
Hughes said collaboration via social media was integral to the event coming to fruition, and noted, “I also took to Facebook to engage with other small business owners that might be interested in participating, and it grew from there.”
Included in the event were a few new businesses among other, more familiar names.
Located at 146 W.Main St. in Hillsboro, Main St. Chic celebrated its grand opening in conjunction with the event on Saturday. Kassi Kiser, who, with Julie Ellis, owns Main St. Chic, said, “The Fall In Love event and our grand opening that took place this past weekend was a huge success. We got to see so many new faces and met wonderful people within the community and from outside of town.”
Kiser said, “The opportunity to open a storefront landed on my lap. I would be crazy not to take the leap.”
Kiser credits social media and word-of-mouth as important facets in the evolution of her business.
“I have been selling Paparazzi Accessories, and have done really well on Facebook selling,” she said. “I do lives, post albums, and have a group.” She said that, “People would say to me, ‘I love the jewelry, but I’m not sure how it would look on me,’ or ‘I would love to see that piece in person.’ I started selling out of my basement and my inventory kept growing, and my clientele kept growing. We are so excited and anxious to see where this journey takes us.”
Kiser said she welcomes the opportunity to help, “bring business back to downtown Hillsboro.”
The Daily Grind, at 122 S. High St. in Hillsboro, opened earlier this month and was also a part of the event. According to information obtained on its website, The Daily Grind was created in response to people’s busy lives, “when you’re working and hustling and you don’t have time.”
In addition to premium coffee blends, The Daily Grind also serves sandwiches, soups and salad.
Hughes said she hopes there will be more, similar events soon and added, “My goal is to be able to do more of these in the future, possibly as soon as Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30). I am a firm believer that small businesses need to work together to help each other.”
Main St. Chic’s Kiser echoed those sentiments and said, “We hope to be involved in another event like this in the future.”
The full roster of businesses that participated in the event were: Mother Cluckers Farmhouse, Shabby Moose, The Rustic Bee Boutique, Cundiff’s Flowers and Gifts, Batter Up Bakery, The Design Chambers, Main St. Chic, The Rural Pearl Boutique, The Frog and Club Restaurant, H&M Knotty Pine, Janie’s Closet, Simply Southern Boutique, AnnMarie Boutique LLC, Momma’s West Main Street Cafe, The Daily Grind Cafe & Bakery, Main St. Tux Bridal & More, Greenfield Homestead, The Sugar Shack, Westwind Property Maintenance, Aloha Tacos & More, Boggess Beef, Stitch Boutique and White’s Bakery.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.