By Caleb Slinkard
Editor’s note — Today is Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday that encourages people to shop in local stores. I hope that this article provides a glimpse at the wide variety of goods and services available in Greenville.
Major retailers have the stranglehold on holiday shopping, epitomized by the annual Black Friday sales that often begin on Thanksgiving Day.
But there is a strong small business community in Greenville that offers goods and services that many local residents don’t know about.
Consider George Lacy’s downtown store, Magic Bubble. Specializing in party supplies, Magic Bubble offers a year-round selection that one would only find at a local party supply store. Lacy, who grew up in Greenville and left, came back in 1979 and later opened Magic Bubble.
“Greenville is home,” he said.
Lacy has seen downtown businesses struggle over the years, in part he says because of the one-way streets. He suggests the city change the lights to stop signs.
“If local residents don’t shop in town, we can’t keep our doors open,” he said. “The speciality shops here have things no one in town has.”
Some local small businesses are working to revitalize downtown Greenville. Downtown Art Party is located on Stonewall Street in downtown Greenville, in a building constructed in 1925 that was most recently the Stonewall Music Hall.
Marilyn Wineinger, owner of Downtown Art Party, opened her business six months ago after experiencing similar events in Dallas with her husband, Kevin.
“We just loved it and thought about how often we hear, ‘there’s nothing to do in Greenville,’” she said. “We wanted to offer something new and fun.”
The Wineingers renovated the space by replacing the flooring, painting, lighting and adding a kitchenette area.
“We want to be part of the revitalization of our downtown and we see a lot of good things happening,” Marilyn said.
The Wineingers have hired six local artists that have created more than 70 original paintings to date, with new paintings added regularly. The business also hosts art parties for artists of any skill to attend and recreate featured original artwork. Attendees bring a bottle of wine or their favorite beverage and snacks and are guided by a local artist. Each guest then takes home their artwork.
“We believe in supporting the local community,” Marilyn said.
Sometimes shopping locally isn’t just about finding items you can find anywhere else. It can also be easier.
John Williams, who lives in Greenville, is the manager of Texas Furniture & Appliance located on Oneal Street. The company has a Paris location, which has been open for 87 years, and Greenville location on Oneal Street that has been open for 12.
“We specialize in meeting the needs of local customers,” he said. “In most cases, we have free home delivery within 24 hours.
Many local businesses will be open on Saturday, offering sales to encourage customers to come out and shop. Magic Bubble is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and has a sale on collectibles and tin signs. Texas Furniture & Appliance will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and currently have a Christmas sale.
Magic Bubble is located at 2314 Lee Street. For more information, visit www.magic-bubble.com. Texas Furniture is located at 2825 Oneal Street. For more information, visit www.texasfurnitureonline.com. Downtown Art Party is located on the second floor at 2611 Stonewall. For more information, visit www.downtownartparty.com.