Black Friday means big bucks for big-box stores, but local small businesses are looking to cash in on the Christmas craze as well with several events on Small Business Saturday, an annual event that falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
One such event is the fourth annual Crafts and Drafts: Local, Independent Craft Fair that will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Loft at Portneuf Valley Brewing, 615 S. First Ave. in Pocatello. Admission is free.
Luke Bunzow, who owns Bunzow Glass Co. with his wife Nikki, started the fair to highlight local artisans and give consumers a way to buy locally made gifts for the holidays.
“We get local vendors and artists, people who actually hand make their own things, nobody who buys things and redistributes them or anything like that,” Bunzow said. “It’s all hand-crafted items.”
He added, “Really it’s just all unique gifts you can’t really find anywhere else.”
Portneuf Valley Brewing is a special location to hold such an event. It’s got a cozy atmosphere, and people are encouraged to have a pint of beer or a glass of wine while they peruse the booths.
“It’s a unique space to have a craft show,” Bunzow said.
For Bunzow, it’s really important to hold a local event on Small Business Saturday to give people an option to shop locally for their Christmas gifts.
In a promotional video posted to Portneuf Valley Brewing’s YouTube page, Bunzow said, “Small Business Saturday is when you get to come support the local people. A lot of times, we can’t compete with Black Friday. I don’t have TVs for sale that are like 75 percent off. But what I do have is a good locally made, handmade item and 14 other vendors that have these locally made, handmade items that are going to be perfect for what you’re looking for.
Bunzow said the event was successful in its first year, and it’s been growing ever since.
This year when Bunzow created the event on Facebook, without making any posts or doing any other marketing, within three or four days nearly 500 people said they were “interested” or “going” to the event.
“It has its own life now, which is pretty cool,” Bunzow said.
Vendors are also big fans of the show. In the beginning, Bunzow said he was scrambling to find artisans; now the vendor spaces fill up fast.
“The last couple years, we’ve had people who wanted to be in the show,” Bunzow said. “A lot of people have done very well at the show. This year, we actually filled up in two days. I’m usually trying to find vendors, begging vendors... This year, people were hitting us up early to try to be in this event. ... They came to us.”
This year’s featured artists are Bunzow Glass Co., Black Ink Arts, Mountain Girl Studios, Ideas on Wood, Pow Day Ski Art, Sagebrush and Indigo, Old Bag Jewelry, Eco Kat Designs, MandM Paint Parties, Deeply Dapper, Lumber Girl Woodworks, Nature’s Sp-Oils, Arlyn McCulloch Arts and Aimee Babneau Art & Design.
The artists have been featured on the event’s Facebook page, so if you’d like a preview of what’s going to be at the fair, check out 4th Annual Crafts and Drafts on Facebook.
In the video, Bunzow encouraged people young and old to come to the craft fair and said there will be something for everyone at the show.
“Crafts and Drafts in not only for the people coming to find a unique gift, a gift that you can’t find at Walmart or on Amazon or something like that,” he said. “It’s literally made by somebody local here. But it’s also for those people, the vendors, that are putting in a lot of time and a lot of work on their projects and their crafts and their art. And it’s awesome stuff that sometimes we just don’t have the right venue to go through. … But if you want something that’s one of a kind and you want something that’s local, then this is where you can find it at Crafts and Drafts. It’s for everybody. There’s going to be things for kids. There’s going to be things for (people) young and old and everybody.”
Old Town Pocatello is also doing something special for Small Business Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday throughout the downtown area, businesses will hide candy canes in their shops, some of which will be worth up to $100. Santa will also be in attendance at Station Square, 200 S. Main St.
According to the Old Town Pocatello website, there will also be a variety of free events that day in Old Town. You can:
- Make a jingle bell necklace at Poky Kids in Station Square.
- Frost cookies and drink milk at The Yellowstone restaurant, 230 W. Bonneville St.
- Write letters to Santa with Mrs. Claus at Kanda’s & Co., 410 S Main St.
- Make and take an ornament at Cherub Capers Creations, 115 N. Main St.
- Visit with Ruddy the Reindeer and get some Snow To Go at Poky Dot Boutique, 201 N. Main St.
- Paint a Dr. Seuss Tree or Whoo-cicle at The Elwen Cottage, 334 N. Main St.
Additionally, the Citizens Community Bank Old Town Trolley will be giving free rides throughout the event.
Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck is also throwing a holiday market vendor show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Santa will be arriving on a horse-drawn wagon to the mall at 11 a.m.
Friday, and free wagon rides will be available to the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in exchange for a receipt from any store in the mall.
If you feel like escaping the Black Friday madness all together, Maple Grove Hot Springs, 11386 Oneida Narrows Road near Thatcher, is hosting a Do Good Feel Good Friday, an alternative Black Friday fundraiser to support The Boa Ogoi Interpretive Cultural Center, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The hot springs will be donating 100 percent of its proceeds for the day to the cause.
Jordan Menzel, the general manager and owner of the newly remodeled hot springs, said this event is “a different way for families to kick off the holidays, not by shopping and consumerism but by getting their kids out, technology free, to enjoy nature while having an impact. … Its a chance for families and friends to ditch the consumerism and chaos and start the holidays off with a day grounded in wellness, nature and no technology.”
The day will include yoga classes, music, food, discussions and soaking. Additionally, Darren Parry, the chairman of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, will give a talk at 11 a.m. about the cultural center.
Menzel said Perry will speak “about the Bear River Massacre and the initiative underway to finally create an appropriate cultural and interpretive memorial site. Everyone from Idaho needs to know about this.”
Tickets for that event are $15 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased at maplegrovesprings.com.