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Kingsland celebrates its uniqueness with Small Business Saturday event

Sister's in Kingsland is taking part in the Small Business Saturday shopping event Nov. 29. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton


KINGSLAND — When Kathy Stephenson and her sister-in-law, Melinda Stephenson, decided to go into business together with a vintage and antique shop called Sister’s, they never looked beyond Kingsland.

“Kingsland is so underrated,” Kathy Stephenson said. “There is so much to offer here, but I think people just overlook it. But this is where we wanted to be.”

Sister’s and a host of other locally owned Kingsland businesses want to spread the word about all the great things going on in the lakeside community and the wonderful shopping opportunities. So on Nov. 29, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, they’re hosting a Small Business Saturday event.

American Express kicked off the idea five years ago as a way to encourage people to shop small businesses. Since that time, communities such as Kingsland have latched onto it as a way to promote their locally owned stores.

“It’s our Black Saturday for small businesses,” said Amy Lescoe-Hall, owner of the Massage Depot in Kingsland and a community proponent. “Black Friday is typically when the big-box stores sell enough to move into the black (financially). On (Small Business Saturday), it’s a chance for people to shop in the small, locally owned businesses to help them move into the black.”

To encourage people to do just that, about 30 Kingsland businesses have joined to participate in the annual Small Business Saturday event. During the day, many of the businesses will offer their best deals of the year.

“While it’s a way to get people into the Kingsland businesses, it’s also a way for the businesses to say ‘thank you’ to the community for supporting us by offering the best deals of the year.”

Shoppers can check out the business around the community. Other businesses, especially those without storefronts, will set up booths in the parking lot of Prosperity Bank, 1801 RR 1431 West (at the intersection of RR 1431 and RR 2900.)

Another way participating businesses are encouraging people to give Kingsland a try is by offering a prize giveaway of a gift basket consisting of items donated by local shops. To get in the drawing, people simply need to get 10 of the participating businesses to punch or sign off on a entry form. When the person gets the 10th punch or sign off, he or she leaves the entry form at the last business. Organizers will pick up all the entry forms and draw the winning name.

At Sisters, Stephenson said small businesses make up the heart of Kingsland.

“There are a lot of great, unique shops here in Kingsland,” she said. “If people just give us a chance and take a look around, I think they’ll be surprised by what they find.”

Zane Lewis, who owns Tuck ’N Tumble, a gymnastics and boxing gym, with his wife, Meredith, pointed out that business owners and community advocates are working hard to improve the area.

“I guess you could say it’s a work in progress,” he said. But in the past several years, the community has made significant progress and experienced quite bit of growth. “We’re seeing new businesses come in and really helping to build Kingsland.

“Kingsland has struggled with getting an identity, but it’s coming along,” Lewis said. “We have a  business that gives kids and families with children something to do. And we’ve seen more businesses that cater to families begin opening up.”

Stephenson agreed that Kingsland is making strides.

“There are a lot of people working to make Kingsland better,” she said. “And right here with the businesses themselves. We try to help each other out.”

And that’s one of the things Lescoe-Hall sees in the community.

“We as businesses support each other,” she said. “We’ll promote each other’s businesses and stores. Because every business that gets stronger makes Kingsland stronger.”

Unlike many other towns and cities that include a mix of government, industry and retail — both large and small — small businesses serve as the backbone of the unincorporated Kingsland.

“Without small or locally owned businesses, there really isn’t a Kingsland,” Lewis added. “You either own or work at a small business here or you work somewhere else. It’s that simple.”

So supporting small businesses means supporting Kingsland.

Lescoe-Hall believes in the community and hopes others see the value of Kingsland.

“We’re growing, and there are positive changes happening in Kingsland. People in Kingsland — the last few years in particular — are taking more pride in the community,” she said. “And it all starts with shopping local. If each family commits to (purchasing) one Christmas gift in Kingsland this year, it would do so much for the community and economy.”

Check out Small Business Saturday-Kingsland’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.