WESTFIELD, NJ — A toy store on Quimby Street found luck selling a new craze containing not tiny dolls but itty-bitty replicas of grocery items.
An art gallery on the south side saw patrons arrive for wooden letter openers. And a DIY design company had its tables filled with customers making crafts. These were just a few examples of how stores found business on Small Business Saturday in Downtown Westfield.
“We’re out shopping for family and friends and maybe a little bit of ‘one for them, one for us,’” said Gail O’Connor, who along with her 8-year-old daughter, Fiona, were among the customers browsing at Learning Express Toys on Quimby Street. “We love shopping in town.”
The most popular item at the store Saturday appeared to be a toy called “Mini Brands,” which has five miniature balls contained in a larger ball that opens up to reveal miniatures labeled with brands ranging from SPAM to Skippy peanut butter and Vaseline.
“This is new for the kids this year,” said Elaine Jordan, the store’s owner, who showed the toy to this reporter. “You get five brands in one of these balls.”
Founded by American Express in 2010, which then offered a discount to customers shopping at participating small businesses, Downtown Westfield has embraced Small Business Saturday. Shoppers enjoyed free parking in public spots and many shops offered discounts and held special events.
At AR Workshop, where cocoa and cookies accompanied a 25% off discount off of orders, dozens of customers could be found making ornaments.
At around noon, wooden letter openers appeared to be a hot item at the Evalyn Dunn Gallery, which sells artwork and does custom framing on Westfield’s south side.
“The gift guide from the downtown has definitely brought people into the store for specific things like these letter openers,” said Jaclyn Civins, the shop’s owner.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh