The best things come in little boxes

Downtown Camas shops prepare for ‘Little Box Friday’ and ‘Shop Small Saturday’ events after Thanksgiving

Christine Tricker, boutique manager at Camas Beauty Bar in downtown Camas, sorts jewelry next to the shop's stylized holiday tree on Nov. 15. The salon/boutique is hosting a variety of specials after the Thanksgiving holiday, including a "buy one, get one 50-percent off" sale on PJ Salvage items and 20 percent off jewelry on Friday, Nov. 23 during the downtown Camas "Little Box Friday" event, and a merchant appreciation for other downtown Camas businesses on Saturday, Nov. 24, for the "Shop Small Saturday" event.

With its streets filled with small, locally owned boutiques, salons and eateries, historic downtown Camas is a prime spot to "shop small" and support local businesses this holiday season, especially during the "Little Box Friday" and "Shop Small Saturday" events happening on Nov. 23, and Nov. 24, following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stylist Nichole Stewart works on a client's hair at Nico Bella Salon, Nov. 15. The salon will join other downtown Camas businesses on Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, to promote "Little Box Friday" and "Shop Small Saturday."

Deb Funches, an employee at Arktana, a retail boutique in downtown Camas, prepares for the holiday shopping season by swapping old lightbulbs for more energy-efficient versions.

Dawn Stanchfield, owner of Lily Atelier boutique in downtown Camas, adjusts a mannequin decked out for the holidays on Nov. 15, inside her shop at 237 N.E. Fourth Ave.

W hen Black Friday, the ultimate day-after-Thanksgiving shopping day, rolls around, shoppers in downtown Camas won’t have to compete for mall parking or stand in lines inside packed “big box” chain stores.

Instead, these shoppers can enjoy a long brunch at one of the several eateries along Camas’ Northeast Third, Fourth and Fifth avenues, stroll the pedestrian-friendly downtown streets, grab a coffee at a local cafe, and, of course, find some great sales inside one of the many locally owned, “small box” shops.

“It’s always a huge, crazy day for us,” Lily Atelier boutique owner Dawn Stanchfield said of the day known as “Black Friday” in most places — and as “Little Box Friday” in downtown Camas. “People don’t want to go to the malls. They’d rather come down here and make a day of it.”

Stanchfield, who is preparing for her shop’s 16th winter holiday shopping season in downtown Camas, said she has regular customers who bring their out-of-town family and friends to the small Camas shops for Black Friday as well as the weekend following Thanksgiving.

“They come here to support local, independent businesses,” Stanchfield said. “It’s just a fun weekend to be downtown.”

Like many other downtown Camas’ businesses, Stanchfield’s boutique will offer special discounts on “Little Box Friday” and “Shop Small Saturday” to entice shoppers to the downtown business district. Lily Atelier will have a “buy one, get second similar item 50-percent off” sale, as well as 40-percent discounts on holiday collections from Lynn Ritchie and XCVI and all clearance merchandise throughout the holiday shopping weekend.

Up the street from Stanchfield’s shop, Beth Forsythe, owner of Lizzabeth A, a home d?cor and furniture shop located in the heart of downtown Camas at 339 N.E. Fourth Ave., was getting her store ready for the impending holiday weekend shopping rush on Nov. 15.

Shoppers in the market for cold-weather hats, gloves and scarves may want to check out Lizzabeth A on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 — the store will have a 15-percent off sale on those items during both the Little Box and Shop Small events.

“It’s always a successful weekend for us,” Forsythe said of the weekend following Thanksgiving.

Likewise, inside Arktana, a boutique that specializes in women’s shoes and accessories, employees were preparing for the shop’s holiday sales, which will include a raffle and “buy one, get one 30 percent off” discount on Black Friday and $20 off $100 or more and a gift with purchase on Shop Small Saturday.

The Little Box Friday event, happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fri., Nov. 23, offers “little boxes” of coupons, specials, gifts and a raffle drawing for a holiday merchant basket — with extra tickets for every $10 spent at participating shops. Shoppers who spend $100 in downtown on Nov. 23, receive two free movie tickets from the Liberty Theatre. Receipts must be turned in to the theater, also located in downtown Camas on Northeast Fourth Avenue, by 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23, to receive two tickets good for any regular show through Dec. 31. The theater will give a maximum of one set of tickets per shopper.

‘Shop small’ to get golden tickets

On Saturday, Nov. 24, downtown Camas merchants will celebrate the national “Shop Small Saturday,” created by American Express in 2010 as a way to entice customers into small businesses, and begin the DCA’s Golden Ticket event. For every purchase a customer makes at a participating downtown Camas “small box” store between 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 24, and 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14, they will receive a “golden ticket.”

Merchants collect the golden tickets at their individual shops. Each ticket qualifies shoppers for a chance to win a prize from that individual shop as well as a chance to win the grand prize — a $200 downtown Camas shopping spree, sponsored by local real estate broker Carla Edwards. Participating shops will draw for the individual merchant prizes on Friday, Dec. 14.

Allure Boutique owner Bobbi Lee is going into her third year running a business during the “shop small” events.

“It’s always a good weekend,” Lee said. “We have specials, deals. And we always have a surprise deal — one year we had half-off jeans, for example.”

At the far west end of Northeast Fourth Avenue, closer to the Georgia-Pacific paper mill, the Camas Beauty Bar was already decorated for the holidays by Nov. 15, and employees were finalizing the shop’s plans for the Little Box and Shop Small events.

“We will have a ‘buy one, get one 50 percent off’ sale on all PJ Salvage, 20 percent off jewelry, stocking stuffers and ‘doorbusters’ on Friday. Then, on Saturday, we start the Golden Ticket event, and we will have a ‘merchant appreciation day’ with 25 percent off for all downtown Camas merchants,” boutique manager Christine Tricker said.

Even non-retail shops in downtown Camas are getting in on the “shop small” action. Nico Bella Salon, at 419 N.E. Fourth Ave., for instance, plans to offer 10 percent off retail products and $10 off hair services during the Little Box and Shop Small events.

“It’s usually a busy weekend for us,” said Nico Bella employee Wendee Hanlon.

For more information about Little Box Friday on Nov. 23, visit downtowncamas.com/event/little-box-friday. For more information about the Golden Ticket event, starting Saturday, Nov. 24, visit downtowncamas.com/event/golden-ticket-event/2018-11-24.

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