Survivors who make it past belly busters and Black Friday specials into the post-Thanksgiving stretch may want to take a breather and kick around these 10 mom-and-pop shops on Small Business Saturday.
Houston Street Toy Co.
309 Houston St., Fort Worth
This boutique toy store opened its doors in Fort Worth earlier this month. The store, which shelves specialty products designed to spark youthful imaginations, is the brainchild of a mom who, according to houstonstreettoys.com, feared that the magic of play was losing ground among electronic devices. (So expect lots of plush toys, books, etc.)
“Specialty toys give the child the ability to make up their own story,” reads the toy seller’s website. “They tend to be the toys that families save to pass on to the next generation.”
Dude, Sweet Chocolate
1925 Greenville Ave. and 408 W. 8th St., No. 102, plus locations in Fort Worth and Plano
This chocolatier, which also churns out nuts, toffees, truffles and fudges, traces its roots to a dive bar, Lee Harvey’s, south of downtown Dallas, according to its website. Co-founders Redding May and chef Katherine Clapner were regulars there before launching the sweet shop which now has locations in the Bishop Arts District, Lower Greenville, Plano and Fort Worth.
“You will not find a single bow, ribbon or shiny box in our stores,” says the website. “Kraft paper packaging, brown labeling, and simple, clean design shift attention to the chocolate, which stands on its own.”
Cosmic Crow Collective
509 E. Abram St., Arlington
This vintage boutique and gallery provides free coffee and tea for shopping ease for those browsing among mystical supplies, vintage clothing, art and handcrafted jewelry, including creations by American Indian bead artist Autumn Moss. The store also sells specialty coffee and teas. Store owner Tammie Carson’s line of handcrafted notebooks featuring album covers from famous musicians are popular gift items.
“We’re actually hoping small business Saturday will be good for us,” said employee Sandy Kashmar.
Cosmic Crow Collective invites visitors to grab a guitar and play while there and also serves as an outdoor, pet-friendly, music venue sharing an open patio with Division Brewing. As usual, shoppers are welcome to BYOB to the patio party on Saturday.
Old Home Supply
1801 College Ave. Fort Worth
Shopping for someone who has everything but the proverbial kitchen sink? Then you may want browse the vintage washbasin section at The Old Home Supply. Nestled in Fort Worth’s historic Fairmount neighborhood, the architectural treasure trove showcases yard art and chandeliers as well as peeling doors, windows and columns, according to its website.
“From claw foot tubs to Victorian doors, we offer a variety of architectural elements,” says the supply house. “Whether you live in an old home or want to add some character to a new home, we have treasures for you.”
For treasure seeking convenience, the retro stockpile is open seven days a week.
Vargas Western Wear
11538 Harry Hines Blvd., plus locations in Grand Prairie and Irving
About 15 years ago, Juan Vargas decided to go full time in the Western wear business. He now owns four stores around Dallas carrying brands like Resistol, Stetson, Wrangler, Levi’s, Larry Mahan’s and more. The shop showcases finely detailed men’s and ladies leather boots as well as belts, hats and accessories.
In addition to its general drugstore merchandise, this small-scale pharmacy supplies a side line of unique gift items including handbags, jewelry, home décor, toys, games, handcrafted and specialty items. The drugstore, whose motto is “still your hometown pharmacy,” also stocks an ample supply of greeting cards. Find their locations at rayspharmacy.com.
Pan-African Collection Bookstore
4466 S. Marsalis Ave.
In addition to literature, this small business showcases cultural items such as clothing, shea butter, essential oils, soaps, incense and other items that promote African beauty and dignity.
Keepsakes Catholic Books and Gifts
2304 W. Park Row Drive, No. 20, Pantego
Keepsakes is a small, family-owned gift shop serving the Catholic community. Owner Joe Sutton said many Christian stores do not carry Catholic merchandise so people drive from Dallas, Garland and other areas to shop at the small business.
The store offers a variety of gift items including Bibles, rosaries, teddy bears, Precious Moments figurines, book bags and CDs. The gift shop's fastest-selling items are its John Michael Talbot CDs, which Sutton said were currently sold out.
The 30-year-old business moved from Arlington to its current location eight years ago. Sutton said his wife, Dolores, ran the shop until her death last year.
301 N. Bishop Ave.
The Laughing Willow, which doubles as a music venue on Fridays and Saturdays, peddles an assortment of statement-making wardrobe additions.
“Laughing Willow clothing boutique is always inspired by a touch of vintage and femininity,” says its Facebook page. While the shop is heavy on female fashions, they also offer unique items like color dipped, crystal necklaces as well as a selection of children’s and baby items including clothing, blankets and baby slings.
The shop, which is located in the Bishop Arts District, will be open from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. during Small Business Saturday. Shoppers can get 20 percent off baby items, except for books, and those who spend $50 will score a free scarf.
“Our scarves are really popular,” said owner Melody Ginn. “It’s just our style.”
Live music kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday and will last until 10 p.m.
1208 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth
This quaint shop offers shoppers a creative setting where they can choose from a variety of pots, gravel, moss and plants to put a signature twist on a terrarium they design themselves. For those not into extreme terrarium building, the store also markets comics. According to Ephemera’s website, the shop stores and sells “everything from curated comics and graphic novels, to terrariums, succulents, air plants, ferns, terrarium supplies and other plant oddities.”
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