News-Sun photo by SAMANTHA GHOLAR Shop owner Rosalind Pershan (right) assists customers Patsy and Allysa Priest during their visit to her store on Small Business Saturday in Downtown Sebring.
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published: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Customers, owners appreciate Small Business Saturday
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Following the chaos and commotion of Black Friday sales comes the calm and courtesy of Small Business Saturday.
It's normally a quiet and uneventful day for the small business across America as they work to compete with the giant corporations and chains that offer low prices on Christmas gifts.
Small business owners know that corporations have true holiday shoppers eager for quick, easy deals (no matter the hassle it takes to get it) by the collars. But small business owners know the value of their merchandise and service.
Mid-morning Saturday brought several shoppers to the doors of Downtown Sebring's year-old Mermaid's Castle, which also houses Three Bears Antiques under the same roof. Both stores offer a variety of things that definitely can not be found in the Walmarts and Targets of the world.
Owners Jack Smile and Rosiland Pershan continue to bring the new and the old together to give customers a wide variety of things they may want.
"We have many unique things here. Even though (customers) do go Black Friday shopping, they know they still need to come here to get these unique things. They can't get stuff like this at those big places," Smile said.
A small group of customers trickled into the shop, including long-time customers like Eugene Allison.
"This is my favorite store in Sebring," said Allison.
The six-year resident lives in Tanglewood and said he visits the location several times a month. As for Black Friday shopping, Allison chooses not to participate.
"I didn't go to any store yesterday," Allison said with a chuckle. "At my age, there's just not a whole lot of things that you need, anyway. It's too much of a hassle to go out in all that."
Allison purchased small antique bowls and decor as well as a number of hand-made holiday cards during his visit Saturday.
Patsy Priest and her daughters, Allysa and Libby Pitts, checked out the Mermaid's Castle items, smelling incense and trying on jewelry during their visit.
Visitor and artist William Talenti shopped for antiques with his wife Saturday and knows the importance of small business as a local artist in his community.
Pershan has noticed a pick-up in the business since the doors opened last Thanksgiving and feels that the small community fits her and her business partner very well.
"We love Sebring. We moved here for a smaller, country feel. The money from small business stays in the community, over 85 percent of it. Only about 15 percent of money stays local from the big stores like Walmart and Target and Big Lots, any of those chains. It really helps and it's good to see. The concentration on the small local business here is such a great thing," said Pershan.
Mermaid's Castle/Three Bears Antiques is on South Ridgewood off of the Sebring Circle and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Christmas.
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