Monthly Archives: April 2013

Post-Event Collage

Thank you!

This past Saturday, our local businesses and their patrons helped us celebrate our second Shop Local Day, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of those who helped make it happen. We thought our expectations couldn’t be exceeded a second time, however, 41% more merchants participated in last Saturday’s event than at our event in November.

Throughout the month, Chesapeake Bank was able to distribute over 5,000 shopping bags to both shoppers and merchants, over 250 “Buck Stays Here” decals and over 2,000 pieces of Shop Local freebies. As we signed up merchants to take part in Shop Local Day, the Williamsburg region blew us away by having almost 160% more participating merchants compared to our first Shop Local Day.

While we may take a few days to rest, pretty soon we’ll be hitting the ground running with our now semi-annual Shop Local event. Every April and November, Chesapeake Bank, with the help of local Chambers of Commerce, will continue to encourage patrons to keep their dollars in the community by shopping local.

Thanks again for all your help. We’ll be keeping you posted throughout the year on other news coming from your communities and local Chesapeake Bank branches.

Stay tuned.

Shop Local

Two days away!

Everyone from our employees to our merchants are getting excited for our second Shop Local event, taking place this Saturday at various businesses around Williamsburg, Lancaster, Gloucester and Mathews counties.

To date, we have over 260 merchants from the four counties who will be opening their doors to the community and offering incentives to come out and support local business, who in turn will support the community.

“When we organized our first Shop Local event last November, we had no idea we would garner the amount of support we did,” says Paula Milsted, Director of Marketing with Chesapeake Bank. “These local merchants are passionate about what they do – about their businesses, and we’re passionate about our communities and the people who support it. Supporting the people who support you – it’s a win/win.”

We are constantly updating our merchant lists (which also highlight their incentives for shopping on Saturday), as well as profiling some businesses on “It’s All About Community” and our social media pages.

In Gloucester? Swing by Buttons-N-Bows for children’s cloths, or The Silver Box for your jewelry needs. For our folks in Mathews, drop off your dry cleaning at Village Cleaners while you eat at Sandpiper Reef. If you’re in Lancaster for the day, head over to Papeterie and grab some new stationary or get those pictures off your camera and get them printed at Yours Truly Photography. Our Williamsburg shoppers have more than 100 participating businesses to choose from, including Virginia Gourmet and Closet Envy.

If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by your local Chesapeake Branch to pick up your free Shop Local shopping tote (that’s for you, too, merchants). Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post – we will be letting you know what other Shop Local goodies are available to pick up and grab.

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Shop Local Profile: Show Off, Lancaster

From now through our spring Shop Local event, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.

Started by Jarrett Stephens and Alison Drake, Show Off aims to bring a fresh, new shopping experience to Kilmarnock.  The shop offers fun and fashionable clothes and accessories for women of all ages.

Featured designers include Joe’s Jeans, Ella Moss, Alice and Trixie, Splendid, Ella Moss and Hanky Panky, among others.

To learn more about Show Off, continue reading its profile below.

 

Business Name: Show Off

Owner: Jarrett Stephens & Alison Drake

Contact information: Web, Facebook or by phone at 804-436-9010

Shop Local Day Deal: 20% off your entire purchase and free gift with purchase for the first 10 shoppers

Store information:  Show Off is located at 14 North Main Street in Kilmarnock.  Visit them Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What does “shop local” mean to you?

“As a shop owner, this is an opportunity to bring local people in the shop. Especially in our area, we rely on visitors and second home people,” says Alison Drake.  “We would love to have more local people to at least try their local businesses.”

How does shopping local impact small businesses?

“The more support we get, the more we can offer,” says Jarrett Stephens.  “[Meaning] more variety of products and the ability to give back more to the community.”

How did your business fare in last year’s Shop Local event?

“We saw people embracing the concept of Shop Local Day by carrying the bags around town. Some people really got into it,” says Drake. “There were more people out shopping. As more people get into it, business will pick up.”

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Shop Local Profile: Quirks of Art, Williamsburg

From now through our spring Shop Local event, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.

 

Back in 1997, when Quirks of Art was known as Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine, this shop was a bright, funky spot in a town known for its colonial look and feel.  The store received local and national accolades in its first few years, helping it become a hot spot for locals from the beginning.

 

Renamed to Quirks of Art in 2011, store owner Jennifer Raines keeps the store stocked with beautiful, unique pieces of art from across the country.  If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a friend, or yourself, check out Quirks’ inventory of handmade jewelry, pottery, hand painted glass, local art and clothing.  And if you need a daily dose of Quirk when you can’t make it by the shop to explore its collection, check out the store’s blog.  It’s chock full of recipes, DIY, store products and other little tidbits that are sure to brighten your day.

 

To learn more about Quirks of Art, continue reading its profile below.

 

Business Name: Quirks of Art

Owner: Jennifer Raines

Contact information: Web, Facebook or by phone at 757-645-4366

Shop Local Day Deal: With any $100 purchase, receive a FREE whimsical clock (valued at $59).

With any $50 purchase, receive a FREE hand-painted wine glass (valued at $25).

Store information:  Quirks of Art is located at The Shops at High Street, 1430 High Street #709, Williamsburg. The store is open daily from “noonish to 8ish.”

Fun Fact: Quirks of Art’s store dog is Zack.  Be sure to give him a scratch behind the ears if you see him running around.

 

What does “shop local” mean to you?

“Shop Local means that when consumers have a choice of where to spend their money, that they choose to spend it at locally-owned shops, restaurants, hardware stores, etc,” says Jennifer Raines.  “It is important because independent, locally-owned businesses create character in our communities, and give back at a higher rate than chains.  Yet, they are going out of business at an alarming rate.  Without this grassroots movement, main streets will eventually completely die out and be totally replaced with strip malls full of big-box chain stores…YUCK!”

 

Tell us about your participation in the last Shop Local Day.

“I was absolutely thrilled with last year’s Shop Local Day,” says Raines.  “We had a 319% increase on that day over the previous year.  I appreciate so much the fact that a local bank spent their resources trying to help out the little guys, like me.  I appreciated it so much, that I relocated my banking to Chesapeake Bank, and I’ve been very happy with their service. I truly believe that consumers are beginning to really grasp the positive impact of their decisions as it relates to choosing to spend their hard-earned dollars with locally-owned, independent small businesses, retailers, and restaurants. Thank you to Chesapeake Bank and all of our loyal customers!”

Shop Local Teaser Graphic

9 Days Away – Shop Local Day

The excitement is building among our merchants and branches; our second Shop Local Day will take place on April 27, just 9 days away. All of the branches have been equipped with Shop Local bags, merchants have their decals in their windows and, now, we want to arm you with everything you could need to make the most out of Shop Local.

To date, we have over 100 merchants from Mathews, Williamsburg, Lancaster and Gloucester who are participating, offering shoppers incentives ranging from 10 – 25 percent off their orders to free gifts with purchase. Some merchants are rewarding shoppers just for stopping by, others, you have to know the secret word to get your goodies (learn more by reading the merchant lists below).

Spread the word and get a group together on Shop Local Day. “I would encourage you to talk to people about Shop Local Day on April 27 and shopping locally every day,” says Jeff Szyperski, president of Chesapeake Bank. “The next time you think you may need to go online or to the ‘big’ city for a purchase, think about your local businesses.  You may be surprised at the value they offer and the time and gas you will save because you bought locally.”

So, get out a pen and paper and start planning out your Shop Local Day. It is the perfect opportunity to shop for those last minute birthday, wedding shower and baby gifts. And don’t forget to get yourself something, too!

To view the current list of Mathew’s merchants and their incentives, click here.

To view the current list of Williamsburg’s merchants and their incentives, click here.

To view the current list of Lancasters’s merchants and their incentives, click here.

To view the current list of Gloucester’s merchants and their incentives, click here.

 

Photo – from top left to bottom right: Cattails Gifts (Mathews), Williamsburg Cupcakes, Car Wash Cafe (Lancaster), Angelwing Stationers (Gloucester)

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Need a reason to Shop Local? We have five.

In preparation for our Shop Local Day, we’ve talked to a lot of area merchants. One of the questions we like to ask is why they feel it’s important for consumers to shop locally. A common thread that has weaved its way among our conversations, is that shopping local should be a habit, but to get there, a customer first needs the mindset.

For those who aren’t convinced, here are five reasons to Shop Local between now and our event on April 27 (and while we’re at it, every day after that):

The Buck Stays Here

We know, we know, but we can’t say it enough. When you buy local, you are providing local wages, local services, local taxes and are more connected to local charities. National businesses are more likely to outsource and have more hoops to jump through when it comes to supporting local charities. Also, one daunting stat shows that the United States imports $2.2 trillion in products from over 150 countries. Why can’t we keep those funds here?

Customer service is superb, bar none

You know small businesses have a great rep for customer service when big brands like Starbucks and Barnes & Noble are learning from them. And really, if you buy a wedding present from Target, will they gift wrap it for you? We didn’t think so.

Mother Nature will love you

Transportation by sea and by air cause significant damage to our atmosphere according to this infographic from ELocal.com.  Each year, shipments by sea omit one billion metric tons of carbon monoxide and burn off 11 billion gallons of fuel. Also, the United States produces 11.9 million tons of plastic packaging, 90 percent of which ends up in a landfill after just one use.

Sense of community: Priceless

When you walk into a big box retailer, all they see is another customer. When you walk into a local business, you’re walking into your neighbor’s living room. One of our participating retailers, M&M Building Supply in Mathews, has a collection of chairs and stools haphazardly set around an aisle cap. On any given morning, you’ll find Grady making crab pots as others gather with their morning cup o’ Joe.

Continuing a time-honored tradition

Locally owned businesses have been around since man started living in communities. Local communities can thrive with successful local businesses, but it takes community support to keep them alive.

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Shop Local Preparation in Lightfoot

“I love our Shop Local Day initiative.  It gives us the opportunity to personally meet so many wonderful small business owners in our community and support them with a value added service beyond banking,” says Taryn Haden, bank manager of Chesapeake Bank’s Lightfoot branch. “I’m proud to be a part of this grassroots effort to help strengthen our local economy.  The buck stops here! Come out and SHOP LOCAL on April 27!”

 

Pictured are Taryn Haden, branch manager and Cameo Moore, customer service representative.

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Shop Local Profile: Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, Gloucester

From now through our spring Shop Local event, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.

If you’re not paying attention driving through Gloucester on Route 14, you may miss the blue sign directing you to the gardener’s mecca that is Brent & Becky’s Bulbs.  Established in 1900, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs has continued its flower bulb business through the generations.

Amsonia, Bellevalia, Corydalis, Daffodils/Narcissus, Tulips/Tulipa; you name it, Brent & Becky’s has it.  Do you know what you’re looking for?  Check out their online catalog.  Not sure what you’re looking for? Brent & Becky have a BulbFinder tool to aid your search.

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To learn more about Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, continue reading its profile below.

Business Name: Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, “Plant Bulbs and Harvest Smiles”

Owner: Brent & Rebecca Heath

Contact information: Web, Facebook, Twitter or by phone at 804-693-3966

Shop Local Day Deal: Come by on April 27 for great in-store deals

Store information: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Brent & Becky’s Bulbs is located at 7900 Daffodil Lane, Gloucester.

Fun Fact: Martha Stewart is a fan of Brent and Becky’s, so much so, Brent took a trip out to Martha’s garden back in 2011.

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Shop Local Profile: The Carousel, Williamsburg

The Buck Stays Here.  This motto is the driving force for the Chesapeake Bank Shop Local initiative and what better way to keep your bucks in the community than supporting local businesses and organizations right outside your front door.

From now through our spring Shop Local event, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.

If you’ve recently walked through Merchant’s Square in Colonial Williamsburg, you may have seen our first merchant’s window display of Easter outfits and warm weather styles, just in time for spring. The Carousel Children’s Boutique is home to dozens of children’s product lines, for infants to preteens.  Whether you’re looking for a casual weekend outfit or something special for a family photo, baby shower or religious ceremony, store owner Martha “Marty” Wilson has what you’re looking for.

Celebrating its 22nd year in business, The Carousel, started by Marty and her mother Margaret, is elated to be joining the other local merchants participating in Shop Local this month.  To learn more about Marty, her business and Shop Local, continue reading her profile below.

Business Name: The Carousel Children’s Boutique

Owner: Martha “Marty” Wilson

Contact information: Web, Facebook or by phone at 757-229-1710.

Shop Local Day Deal: Come by on April 27 for great in-store deals

Store information: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.  The Carousel is located at 420 Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square.

What does “shop local” mean to you?

“I prefer to shop at locally-owned businesses.  I know by doing so I am supporting my friends and neighbors; people I go to church with, people I sit on community boards with and people I volunteer with,” says Marty Wilson.  “I know my money stays here and benefits the community.”

As a business owner, what does “shop local” mean to you?

“Shopping local is pure enjoyment.  Most of the time, the owners themselves are the ones that wait on you.  With my business, my local customers become my friends and I genuinely care about all of them.  Not only do I know them, I know their children.  I know their grandchildren.  I make certain their shopping experience is pleasurable and they get the best service possible.”

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It’s All About Community

Welcome to Chesapeake Bank’s blog, It’s All About CommunitySM. We’re a business that prides itself on community values, so we decided to further our reach and create an online presence that would speak to not only our friends and families on Main Street, but to our virtual community, as well.

One of the main drivers for starting a blog was our Shop Local event last November. What began as a day to encourage locals to spend their dollars within their community, turned into something that well-exceeded our expectations. The success was so great, our Shop Local initiative has turned into a regional movement, prompting us to continue our Shop Local efforts.

During the weeks leading up to and following Chesapeake Bank’s Shop Local events (every April and November), we will be highlighting participating merchants and showcasing other shop local initiatives, whether it be in the eastern Virginia region, or elsewhere. Continuing the community theme throughout the year, we will share stories from our community members and our local branches.

Stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates for this month’s Shop Local event on Saturday, April 27. We encourage our readers to share our stories, your stories, within your networks, online through social media or in-person. It’s All About CommunitySM; and our success is your success.