URBANA, Ill,. (WCIA) — On Small Business Saturday, people started taking to the shops, supporting many Central Illinois organizations throughout the day.
Many gathered Saturday morning in Urbana at the Winter Farmers Market inside Lincoln Square Mall. Vendors were selling anything from soaps to breads, to even scarves and earrings.
Jackie Wright, the owner of “Wright Soapery” said she sees an uptick in sales on Small Business Saturday going into the holiday season. She said she’s excited to be with people in person again. She prefers selling her soaps that way and really getting to know people from across Central Illinois.
“We love getting out into the community and connecting and talking to our neighbors,” Wright said. “When we’re doing events like this, we just really feel part of the community.”
She said that’s all she can ask for.
“I am very passionate about making soap and I wanted to share that,” Wright added.
This year, she’s excited to spread holiday cheer, selling her Christmas-themed goods at Urbana’s market.
Vicki Brown, the owner of “Simply Vicki,” has lived in the Champaign-Urbana area her whole life, and has been a part of the market for many years. She knows how important Small Business Saturday is.
“Homemade stuff is dying out. And we need to keep this alive, we need to keep, it’s an artistry,” Brown said.
And to do that, she’s passing it down to the next generation and introducing her grandchildren different creative avenues.
Lauren O’Reilly, one of the shoppers, said she always tries to shop local because she’s seen the importance of it firsthand. Her daughter and daughter’s fiancé own a farm in Sadorus.
On Saturday, O’Reilly made an effort to support others as well.
“I eyed some other earrings, I was looking at some of the purses people made, I’m looking at the jams,” she said.
Vincent Carlson with Central Illinois Bakehouse is happy people like O’Reilly understand.
“All of the money that you spend at small businesses are for those small business owners in the community,” Carlson said. “That money goes back into the community itself.”
Urbana’s Winter Farmers Market is open every Saturday morning 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. until April. For more information, visit their website.