Camas merchants make ‘shopping small’ easy

Downtown retailers kick off holiday shopping season with events this weekend

Soap Chest employee Michelle Hughes ties the bow on a gift bag filled with cranberry-scented body products on Nov. 22. (Contributed photo courtesy of Lily Atelier)

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record Crazy about gnomes? Camas Antiques has you covered. Here, shelves of holiday gnomes await a flood of holiday shoppers at the downtown Camas antique mall. Camas Antiques will participate in this weekend's "Little Box Friday" and "Shop Small Saturday" holiday shopping events.

Amy Mason (left) and Jennifer Lehner (right) shop inside Lily Atelier during a Hockinson After Hours event on Nov. 21. The Camas women's clothing and accessories retailer will take part in the Little Box Friday and Shop Small Saturday events taking place this weekend in downtown Camas. (Contributed photo courtesy of Lily Atelier)

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record Shops in downtown Camas, including Lissabeth A pictured here, are getting their storefront windows ready for the holidays in preparation for this weekend's holiday shopping kick-off.

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record Jeff Cary, owner of Camas Bike and Sport, works inside his downtown Camas bike shop on Friday, Nov. 22. The shop will participate in this weekend's "Little Box Friday" and "Shop Small Saturday" holiday shopping events.

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record A "Merry Christmas" sign hangs inside Camas Antiques. The antique mall is one of several downtown Camas businesses participating in this weekend's "Little Box Friday" and "Shop Small Saturday" holiday shopping events.

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record The Soap Chest in downtown Camas will offer discounts on its holiday-themed cranberry products, including the hand and body cream and lip balms shown here, during the Shop Small Saturday event taking place this weekend.

Several downtown Camas businesses are gearing up for the annual “Little Box Friday” and “Shop Small Saturday” shopping events that follow the Thanksgiving holiday and kick-off the winter holiday season of gift-giving.

Little Box Friday, on Nov. 29, and Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 30, highlight the experience of shopping in-person, at locally owned small businesses.

“There are no ‘big boxes’ here,” Downtown Camas Association (DCA) Executive Director Carrie Schulstad stated in a press release touting the Nov. 29 Little Box event. “In celebration of the joy of shopping locally, participating downtown merchants will each have a ‘little box’ of coupons, specials, gifts and other surprises … a little something extra for supporting local.”

The Nov. 30 Shop Small Saturday event will feature a variety of specials at participating businesses — including $20 off a purchase of $100 or more at Allure Boutique; 10 percent off any purchase at Attic Gallery; $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at Navidi’s; and 20 percent off all coffee beans and 20-ounce drinks at Hidden River Roasters — as well as free “Shop Small” bags and merchandise while supplies last.

The Little Box Friday event on Nov. 29 also kicks off the annual “Golden Ticket” event, which runs through Dec. 20. Shoppers will receive a “Golden Ticket” from participating merchants during this time for every purchase. The tickets will be entered into a drawing with prizes that include a $250 shopping spree, a holiday basket with local merchant goodies and various prizes from participating businesses.

Additionally, shoppers who spend $100 in participating downtown businesses on Friday, Nov. 29, can bring their receipts to the Liberty Theatre by 8 p.m. that day to receive two free movie admission tickets good for any regular show through Dec. 31.

Participating businesses include 4Ever Growing Kids; Allure Boutique; Arktana; Caffe Piccolo; Cake Happy; Camas Antiques; Camas Bike and Sport; Hidden River Roasters; Lisa Le Properties; Lizzabeth A; Natalia’s Cafe; Navidi’s Olive Oils; Salon Magnolia; Salud!; Sass Beauty; and the Soap Chest.

One week before the Little Box Friday event, several downtown Camas retailers were preparing for the annual shopping extravaganza. At the Soap Chest at 521 N.E. Everett St., shop employee Michelle Hughes was filling gift bags with the business’s handmade botanical soaps and bath products.

“We’re doing Little Boxes and Shop Small Saturday,” Hughes said. “We will have a ‘treasure chest’ with discounts and holiday gifts.”

Some of the Soap Chest’s seasonal products include cranberry-fig soap, frosted cranberry body cream, cranberry spice lip balm and a pumpkin spice “soap of the month.” On Shop Small Saturday, the business will offer 10 percent off everything that includes cranberry in its ingredients.

The local shopping days tend to attract a number of shoppers hoping to find unique, locally made gifts, Hughes said.

“People love to support the businesses down here,” she said of Camas’ downtown core.

Inside Lily Atelier, a women’s clothing boutique on Northeast Fourth Avenue in the heart of downtown Camas, shop owner Marilyn Reed was busy last Friday preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season, and said she has ordered more items that might be easier for a husband or family member to purchase.

“We’re trying to get more accessories, jewelry, hats, purses … the things that a husband could buy,” Reed said. “They will be here in time for (Little Box Friday on Nov. 29).”

At Camas Bike and Sport, new owner Jeff Cary said he plans to have two raffle drawings for snowshoe rentals — one for the Little Box Friday event and one on Dec. 20.

Kristen Davis, of Camas Antiques, said the downtown Camas antique mall would offer 10 percent off its in-house Nest items on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30, and offer a variety of giveaways during the shopping events.

According to the DCA, Saturday marks the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, an event created in 2010 by American Express.

“In order to drive shoppers to Shop Small this Nov. 30, the DCA is participating in the American Express Neighborhood Champion Program to spotlight small businesses and the impact they have on communities,” the DCA states in its news release on the event. “An average two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in that local community. That means shopping small could help bring things like better schools, smoother roads and new jobs to neighborhoods across the country.”

For more information about the Little Box Friday event in downtown Camas or the Golden Ticket raffle drawings, visit