The holiday shopping season is just about to kick into high gear and local businesses are showing off the best of Erie. So, Traci Teudhope grabbed her wallet and her sidekick, Photographer Kristen Nielsen, and spent the morning checking out local businesses.
First up? The Brewhaha. The sun is up, the stores are open, and we’re off to see what we can find. “If we’re going to spend all day shopping we’ve got to start with coffee.”
Then, we’re off to Erie Apparel, where the motto is simply, “It’s okay to love Erie”.
Traci tells us, “what I love about it here is; you have a local business promoting other local businesses”.
When you think about your hometown, the 814, what comes to mind? Smith’s hotdogs, Sara’s Restaurant, Waldameer, and Mighty Fine Doughnuts. This store features them all. Owner Greg Straub tells us, “the idea for them is they have hundreds of walking billboards as well, but it’s also cool to see someone else giving fresh perspective of how they’re perceived in town”.
After living here for about a decade and a half, Traci says this town is ‘Erie-sistable’.
When you’re looking to shop small, there are a growing number of options. You have shops at the Colony, unique niche stores on Federal Hill, the newly revamped West Erie Plaza, and the tastiest stop of the day in the quaint, little plaza at Village West; that’s where we met Graci and the Lavender Rabbit Store Owner Susan Marshall, an Erie native who just likes to brighten your day.
“I love people.”
She says what sets independent local businesses apart is that personal touch, with a hometown feel. “We get to know our customers, we get to know what they like; what their preferences are so we can serve them better.”
And like so many of us, Susan loves where she lives. “I moved away for a while; came back, missed everything about it: Presque Isle, the people, family… Erie’s a cool place to be.”
So, if you’ll be out and about spending your hard-earned dollars for the holiday anyway; why not shop local and keep it in the economy?