Every Saturday has become a day for running errands, but I had marked on my calendar that this Saturday was something a little different--Small Business Saturday. I usually start my weekend off with a quick visit to the , but this week I decided to stay in the neighborhood a bit longer to finish some of my errands and by also supporting local businesses while doing so.
I definitely had to start my day at the farmers market, since it has introduced me to some business owners in the community I’ve come to love. I always stop by , the fresh baked cookies stand, to say hi to Tameka or her friend Rose. After learning that Tameka wakes up 1:45 a.m. every Saturday morning to make the cookies she sells, it inspired me to make time to do the things that I love. So many of the small businesses start with someone following their passion, like --a business started by Mark Likowski who sells beautiful succulents grown in his Long Beach garden. It always makes me smile when I hear him talk about succulents with such excitement; you can hardly believe he's talking about plants!
After grabbing a few more things at the market (especially apples from ), I decided to go get my eyebrows threaded at a small local salon called in Artesia. Though I hadn’t made an appointment, I was quickly greeted and offered a chair for my service. The lady who threaded my eyebrows was quick and precise with her threading. I was satisfied with the friendliness and cleanliness of the little shop, but most of all, I was happy with the price. The total (before tip) was only $4 — a price that definitely can’t be beat!
As I was leaving the salon, I passed by in Artesia, a small café/grocery store that sells Portuguese goodies like donuts, tarts, sweet bread and other goods. I found this spot a few months ago and went home that day with one of their Portuguese custard tarts. It was definitely a sweet treat that can’t quite be compared to any pastries from a typical coffee shop.
Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that Artesia and Cerritos have lots of cultural shops, stores and eateries, so I decided to stop by in Artesia, a small store that sells tons of spices and ingredients needed to make Indian dishes. I didn’t really have a plan to make Indian food, but I realized they sell herbs, spices and different types of beans and grains that would be appropriate for all kinds of cuisines. After browsing through their large variety of ingredients, I picked up a few things I could use to whip up curry dishes when I'm in the mood for it.
After venturing into Little India, I set out to buy a new light bulb for my desk lamp, and instead of going to or , I decided to go to in Artesia. The store sells all kinds of tools, bolts, and paints -- you name it. I went in with the bulb that I needed and a gentleman quickly helped me find it. The store wasn’t overwhelmingly big, but it was well-stocked. According to their website, Prescott's is a family-owned business that has been in the community since 1928! It makes me happy to see small businesses surviving through the years, and still offering good prices (the bulb was only $1.50).
Satisfied with my "small business experience" so far, I decided to take the opportunity to look for a local salon to get my hair cut. With the help of the Patch directory, I found in Artesia. The salon is located on the second floor of a mini plaza—I would’ve never found it if I was just driving around the area. I met Ludy my hair stylist, who owns the salon and works there with her daughters. There is a relaxed and “homey” feel to the salon that I love, since getting a haircut for me is all about the overall experience. The technique matters, but I also enjoy good conversations and a friendly atmosphere. And at Dylux, I got all that — Ludy is experienced with hair, and we were able to talk throughout the whole process. I was happy with the cut, but I was mostly glad to have stumbled across this hidden gem and to have met a sweet hairstylist like Ludy.
I didn’t have the whole day to keep visiting more local businesses, but I was surprised by how many local shops I was able to visit within just a few hours. Though I may not be visiting all those spots weekly (since I won't need haircuts and light bulbs every week), I know there will always be errands to run, and tons of local businesses that may have just what I need. So here’s to not only Small Business Saturday, but to many more small business days!
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS SECTION
What are your favorite small businesses in the neighborhood? Did you participate in Small Business Saturday? Please share!