VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – As Small Business Saturday approaches, shop owners like Jennifer Harris hope many will stop by and buy local.
Harris owns Cottage LunaSea in the Red Mill Commons shopping center off Nimmo Parkway. Her gift shop features home décor, artwork and crafts from more than 70 artisans across Hampton Roads.
“Our artists and crafters are single moms, stay-at-home moms. Some are actively-working school teachers, and this is a supplemental income for them. Some are retired people,” described Harris.
The shop has a coastal feel, with lots of mermaids and ocean-inspired artwork. You’ll find seashell ornaments and even ornaments made from bullet shell casings. There are books by local authors, wreaths, hand painted wine glasses, even greeting cards made by adults with special needs at the Ability Center of Virginia.
Many of the artisans sell their creations at local holiday craft shows or bazaars, but this year, COVID-19 restrictions have forced many of those shows to be canceled.
“Small Business Saturday is really a huge day for all small businesses, because January and February are pretty much very slow for retail," explained Harris. "So, what we do on Small Business Saturday is huge to get us through the rest of the year and into next year."
In addition to selling unique gifts, Cottage LunaSea also holds workshops for those who like to explore their creativity.
“Most of the time they are beginners, so we like to give them advice and let them know how these things work, because most of the time they end up going home and want to try it themselves on their own,” said Adriana Orr, an artists who works at Cottage LunaSea.
During the workshops, materials are provided, and staff give training on how to use different mediums. Prices vary, and so do the projects. Some customers will work on painting furniture and others like to paint signs or create art using resin.
Orr says offering one-of-a-kind goods and the stories behind them makes the gift much more special.
For more details on Cottage LunaSea, click here.