Category Archives: Shop Local

Bella

Shop Local Day Profile: Bella Fine Lingerie & Loungewear

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Bella Fine Lingerie & Loungewear is located on historic Duke of Gloucester Street in Merchants Square, adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg. The shop offers a beautiful selection of distinguished brands from around the world!  Bella was even named a “Best of Intima” shop in 2012.

 

In addition to fine lingerie, sleepwear and loungewear, Bella also carries appealing fragrances and fashionable jewelry and hair accessories.  Bella specializes in professional fittings from bras to sleepwear and even bridal trousseau.  Fittings are available daily without an appointment.

 

To learn more about Bella Fine Lingerie & Loungewear, continue reading the profile below.

 

Business Name:  Bella Fine Lingerie & Loungewear
Contact: Sheri Squires
Contact information: Facebook or by phone at (757) 220-8440.
Shop Local Day Deal: With every purchase, receive a free 4 oz. Ovacion Liquid Forever New Fabric Care Wash.
Store information:  Bella Fine Lingerie & Loungewear is located at 427 West Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg. Visit the boutique from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday –Saturday and 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Tell us about your business story.

I opened Bella in 2002, but I’ve been in Williamsburg for much longer. Except for a short stint working in the purchasing department at CW, I’ve always worked at small businesses. I know this was a big advantage for me when I opened my own business. If I had to choose a single “most important” thing I learned at the other small businesses where I worked before opening Bella, it would be listening. I don’t think I can overstate the importance of  good listening skills, I feel it’s had a significant impact on the success of Bella — listening to what she wants or needs, listening to what we’re doing wrong and correcting, listening to what we’re getting right and expanding. Such a small thing–listening, however I know I wouldn’t still be here 12 years later without having learned that skill.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

I’ve always shopped local. One of the main reasons I live in Williamsburg is because I love the charming small-town feel this place has always had. Shopping locaI is a part of that charm. I like that I know the shopkeepers when I walk in and like that I know the guy who owns the company I contract to paint Bella or install my carpet. But I also like that I get to choose to support my community. It’s not about any single small business but the effect that a lot of healthy small businesses have on a community. The local taxes generated and the local charities that are beneficiaries of small business success are both reasons I shopped local before I ever even imagined I would have a small business of my own.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

I have several favorite charities, last year in terms of dollar amount, FISH and Latisha’s House Foundation for women and girls in negative circumstances were at the top of my list. In addition, Bella responds to many requests for charity auctions. Please look for one of our gift certificates at your next event and bid it up!

 

If you could highlight any one product in your store, what would it be?

Speciality sizing! Bra fitting is only one of our specialties, amazing cotton or silk sleepwear and bridal trousseau being a few of the others, but it’s the bra fitting that drives the day to day business at Bella.

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Shop Local Day Profile: Willaby’s on the Rappahannock

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Open since 1992, Willaby’s on the Rappahannock is a café located in White Stone overlooking the Rappahannock River.  A recent online review of Williaby’s reads, “Willaby’s is an iconic favorite on the scenic Rappahannock River.” It sounds like the perfect place to enjoy this warmer weather, doesn’t it?

 

Owner William Barnhardt gives back to the community year-round in a number of ways, and he is always glad to show his support. He also had a hard time picking just one item to highlight from the Willaby’s menu!

 

Read more about Willaby’s in the profile below.

 

Business Name: Willaby’s on the Rappahannock
Contact: William Barnhardt
Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at (804) 435-0000
Shop Local Day Deal: Willaby’s will be offering half-priced desserts on Shop Local Day.
Store information:  Willaby’s is located at 327 Old Ferry Road in White Stone, Virginia. Visit Willaby’s for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and brunch on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Tell us about your business story.

Willaby’s started off as a catering business back in 1987. The next natural progression from catering was a full-service café, which opened in 1992. Opening the café has been a great next step for us.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

Shopping local is so important because it supports the people in your local community – your neighbors – by keeping trade in the community.

 

For example, I go to the grocery store to pick up my ground beef and cuts of steak. They take great care of us. Then, people from the grocery store come into the restaurant because they know where the food came from – it’s a full circle. The same thing with our oysters – we pick up oysters from W.E. Kellum Oyster Company in Weems, and Mr. Kellum is sure to come in and eat our oysters at the restaurant. He knows where they come from, and they take care of us like we take care of them.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

We show support to the community in a number of ways throughout the year. We do teacher appreciation dinners at the local school and events with the local fire department. I also participate in the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show put on by the local fire department as a fundraiser. We donate to a variety of different organizations – things from dinners for the on-duty doctors at the free health clinic, to various other needs that arise in the community.

 

If you could highlight any one product in your restaurant, what would it be?

If I had to highlight just one thing, it would be the fried oysters. But, I can’t not mention the steaks, or the hamburgers, or the crab cakes.

Split Enz Salon

Shop Local Day Profile: Split Enz Salon

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Split Enz Salon is a full service hair salon located in Gloucester, Virginia. Split Enz offers a variety of services ranging from custom cuts and colors, smoothing systems, hair extensions, to natural and gel nail services.  The salon has three designers on staff, each skilled in different areas.

 

Split Enz’s philosophy is the “Total Look” concept – which examines individual personalities, hair characteristics, body types and everyday lifestyles to get just the right look.  The salon even offers complimentary consultations!

 

Learn more about Split Enz Salon in their profile below.

 

Business Name:  Split Enz Salon
Contact: Samantha Wills
Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at (804) 693-5343
Shop Local Day Deal: On Shop Local Day, come and receive 20% off a regular product or service.
Store information:

Split Enz Salon is located at 6616 Main Street in Gloucester, Va. Visit the salon Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Tell us about your business story.

I’ve been in the industry for 21 years as a hair stylist, operations manager and educator. I went to Gloucester High School and got my cosmetology license. I loved the idea of living in the town of Gloucester. When the property the salon is in became available, it got the wheels turning for my husband and me, and we knew we really wanted to be a part of this community, not just live here. We decided we wanted to bring something fresh into Gloucester, so people could get great quality and customer service at a local salon.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

Shopping locally not only supports the local families that you know on a more personal level, it also supports the education system around here. It’s important to keep our circles small and see the community thrive; then we are less affected as a whole if there are highs and lows in the economy.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

We do a lot of work with other merchants on Main Street to support them. Recently, Silver Box had a release of all their spring dresses, so we did all the hair and makeup for their fashion show. We also support local organizations like the Walter Reed Tree of Life Program, the Humane Society and the Gloucester-Mathews Clinic. We also give complimentary haircuts to the women and children at the Laurel Shelter once a month.

 

If you could highlight any one product or service in your salon, what would it be?

It would have to be hair color – we’re very good with hair coloring.

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Shop Local Day Profile: Mathews County Visitor &
Information Center

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

The Mathews County Visitor & Information Center is an everyday resource to visitors of Mathews County. The staff provides directions, information on local events and recommendations to visitors, as well as answering any questions they might have about Mathews.

 

To learn more about the Mathews County Visitor & Information Center, continue reading the profile below.

 

Business Name: Mathews County Visitor & Information Center

Contact: Ann Miller

Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at 804-725-4BAY.
Shop Local Day Deal: Come by on Shop Local Day!  We’ll have a variety of discounted items and can direct you to more participating stores and restaurants featuring special offers.
Store information:  The Mathews County Visitor & Information Center is located at 239 Main Street in Mathews.  Visit the center from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Saturday.

 

Tell us more about what the Mathews Visitor & Information Center does.

Our main goal is to welcome visitors to the county and explain what events are happening, give them maps and answer any questions they have about Mathews County. Since we are very active with Virginia Tourism, another part of our job is being aware of the surrounding communities and what’s happening there.

 

Mathews has a large number of local artists, so we also have local artwork showcased and available for sale within the Visitor & Information Center.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for the community?

Shopping local is very important. We just want to keep people in the county as much as we can. Unlike some of our surrounding communities, we have no set industry in our county,  so it’s even more important to keep people local.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

We have a community calendar that tells all of the events that are happening throughout the year. People throughout the community can check on what is going on and plan events accordingly. We always try to be supportive of all of the local merchants and restaurants and recommend visitors to local places with every opportunity.

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Shop Local Day Profile: Parlett’s Paper Expressions

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Parlett’s Paper Expressions is a stationery, invitation and gift boutique located in Williamsburg. The third generation and family-run business has been operation since 1963, helping customers create their own custom invitations and find thoughtful and memorable gifts. They’ve also recently brought in vinyl records as another option for customers.

 

Learn more about Parlett’s Paper Expressions in the profile below.

 

Business Name:  Parlett’s Paper Expressions
Contact: Aaron Jones
Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at (757) 561-0231
Shop Local Day Deal: When you mention Shop Local Day you will receive $20 off a purchase over $100 (excludes vinyl records & personalized orders) and/or buy any 4 greeting cards and get the 5th FREE!
Store information:  Parlett’s Paper Expressions is located at 4309 New Town Avenue in Williamsburg. Visit the shop Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Tell us about your business story.

Parlett’s Paper Expressions has been in business since 1963, and in its current location for about four years. Over the past year, we’ve started to switch ownership of the shop from Jackie, my wife’s mom, to my wife and me. We recognized a need in Williamsburg for party invitations, wedding invitations and other stationery to cater to local customers. We’re truly a local, family-run business that helps families with important life events. We have customers coming to us whose birth announcements we did, and now we’re doing their wedding invitations!

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

We definitely have a personal connection with the customer. Sometimes when we’re picking out cards, we’re truly saying, “Oh, Tina is going to love this card.” You’re not going to get a national chain that can do that. We keep those local customers in mind with every choice.

 

With so many online options, it can be tough to stay in business sometimes. We are greatly appreciative of anyone who chooses to come to our shop.

 

Customers are receiving personal attention here and we can offer them suggestions that don’t exist online. We represent a bygone era, which I think the Shop Local movement is doing too. It’s beckoning back to the days of the local mom and pop shop.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

Parlett’s has been a part of the Child Development Resources auction for years now, and we also donate to schools and other groups in need in the area.

 

If you could highlight any one product in your store, what would it be?

It’s hard to choose between the stationery and the invitations! Both of those are things that make us unique. We’re the only true stationery store here in Williamsburg.

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Shop Local Day Profile: Crazy J’s Home Furnishings

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Crazy J’s Home Furnishings is a store in Hayes, VA that offers new furniture – bedroom furniture, dining room furniture, mattresses and more. The store offers free delivery within 20 miles of the store at the best prices available.

 

To learn more about Crazy J’s Home Furnishings, continue reading the profile below.

 

Business Name: Crazy J’s Home Furnishings

Owner: Joel Canepa

Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at 804-684-5601.

Shop Local Day Deal: Shop May 3rd-9th, 2014. Say “Shop Local” and Crazy J’s will give you a 5% discount and donate 5% of your purchase to the Gloucester Boys and Girls Club.

Store information:  Crazy J’s Home Furnishings is located at Hayes Plaza Shopping Center, 2352 George Washington Memorial Hwy in Hayes. You can visit the store Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Tell us about your business story.

Crazy J’s Home Furnishings opened in January 2012 as a consignment furniture store, but this January, the store changed directions and began selling only new furniture. Selling new furniture is a change for the store, but it’s been a positive one leading to increased business.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

Keeping funds and business in the community is what makes a community thrive.  Communities literally wither away when people don’t support local merchants – the cost of shopping goes up and you  end up having to go further away to buy everything you need.

If you don’t have people shopping locally, you don’t have jobs locally. People walk in here sometimes looking for jobs, and I always explain to them, if you don’t shop with local merchants you won’t be able to find a job in the community. You need to support the local community.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

We support the community in a number of different ways. We have a donation box each year for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots, and we’ve made donations to the local Boys & Girls Club. We do what we can, when we can. There was a local family recently and their house had burned down, so we donated a mattress so they would have a place to sleep. In addition to all of those things, we feel like we give back to the community everyday – by always giving the best everyday price and customer service.

 

If you could highlight any one product in your store, what would it be?

Most of our products are made in America, and the products are high-quality and a fair price. There’s not just one thing to choose from. If a customer finds something anywhere else in this region and they show a sale, I’ll meet or beat that price.

 

Anything else?

Go Crazy at Crazy J’s in Hayes!

Cathy's Unique Pursuits

Shop Local Day Profile: Cathy’s Unique Pursuits

Leading up to our Spring Shop Local Day event on Saturday, May 3, 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.

 

Cathy’s Unique Pursuits is a women’s fashion shop located in Kilmarnock. The store inventory includes clothing, handbags, jewelry, and hand-painted silk scarves, t-shirts, and sarongs. Cathy’s first day of business was actually on our Spring Shop Local Day in 2013, and Cathy said the traffic was good and the turnout positive!

 

To learn more about Cathy’s Unique Pursuits, continue reading the profile below.

 

Business Name: Cathy’s Unique Pursuits

Owner: Cathy Hemans

Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at 804-435-1388.

Shop Local Day Deal: Pick a 5% to 20% discount number from the bag and receive that amount off your purchase on Shop Local Day. Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Shop Local Day.

Store information:  Cathy’s Unique Pursuits is located at the Shops on Irvington Road, 44 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock.  Visit the shop Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Tell us about your business story.

I started doing handmade bags several years ago and it just evolved. I’ve always been interested in fashion and designing.  I started doing an online purse website about five or six years ago, and then I decided to open a retail store last spring.

 

Why do you think shopping local is so important for small businesses?

When you’re a store that is open year round, customers get to know you and become dependent on your being there. They grow to depend on you and what you have to offer. Shopping local is also very important to the local community and economy.

 

How do you show support to the community throughout the year?

I did sewing lessons to the local Boys & Girls Clubs during their summer camp in 2013, providing some basic exposure of sewing skills. It was informative for the kids and interesting for me. They had a lot of excitement for learning something new! It’s probably something I’ll do again this year.

 

If you could highlight any one product in your store, what would it be?

The handbags are handmade by me, so I love to highlight them. When people come into the shop, they seem to enjoy talking about them and how they are made.  Also, I’m getting ready to start some new silk products – silk paint and dying things like sarongs.

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Local Businesses Make Communities a Great Place to Live – and Also Visit

In previous posts we have documented multiple reasons why supporting locally owned and operated businesses is essential for a community to flourish and be a vibrant place to live and work – but these businesses are also what make communities a great place to visit.

 

In our increasingly homogenous society where the same big box retailers, large discount chains, and franchise restaurants exist from one town to the next, more and more travelers are seeking destinations that embrace their unique locally owned and operated businesses, offering visitors a one-of-a -kind experience that includes a diverse blend of shops and eateries spanning every price point.

 

Recognizing this tourism trend, many cities and towns seeking to improve their economies are having success capitalizing on marketing their business district’s unique culture, charm, hospitality, and diversified product lines as an alternative to today’s cookie cutter shopping malls.

 

Also, unique destinations that embrace their locally owned and operated businesses not only attract visitors, but often get them to come back – sometimes even for good as talented residents or entrepreneurs ready to invest in a community willing to invest in them.

 

Has your most memorable vacation ever included…

 

  • Finding that unexpected treasure at the little corner boutique where the owner personally helped you?
  • Eating breakfast at the locals’ favorite greasy spoon and getting helpful recommendations for the rest of your visit along with your eggs and bacon?
  • Tasting a new variety of wine at the local winery or craft beer at the local microbrewery?
  • Purchasing artwork from the local art gallery where you got to meet the artist in person?
  • Enjoying a sunset kayak tour with your family at the local park?
  • Devouring a dinner complete with locally grown fresh produce and seafood caught that very morning?
  • Sleeping like a baby under a plush down comforter at the quaint B&B owned by the same family for three generations?

Do any of these experiences sound like something offered in your hometown?

 

So, the next time you’re showing support to a locally owned and operated business, remember that you’re not only making your town a great place to live, but a great one to visit, and helping it grow and prosper!

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Save The Date: The Next Shop Local Day Will Be May 3!

Warmer weather can often bring a shopping list for the season ahead. Think about it – with Mother’s Day, graduations, wedding season,  wardrobes shifting and landscape sprucing to be done, spring is a great time to get some shopping done and most of what you need can be found right in your hometown. Every day is a great day to support local retailers, though we’ll admit our favorite day to do so is Shop Local Day – which is why we couldn’t be more excited to announce that the fourth installment of Shop Local Day is coming up on May 3, 2014.

 

If our fall Shop Local Day is a sign of what’s ahead, there will be plenty of local places to shop and bargains to be had – over 300 merchants participated in the fall from areas across the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg.  Merchants will be able to start registering beginning in early March, so stay tuned for a merchant offer list in the coming weeks.

 

The Shop Local Day initiative was developed in 2012 in partnership with local merchants and Chambers of Commerce in our markets.  One of our blog posts from last year, “Need a Reason to Shop Local? We Have Five” highlights some of the reasons why shopping local is such a good idea – and so important to the community. Also, Local businesses support the community all year long, whether it’s sponsoring a charity event or helping with a fundraiser for a church group or an athletic team. Shop Local Day, along with every other day of the year, is a good time to support the local businesses that have supported you.

 

Check back often to see what will be available this next Shop Local Day. In the meantime – save the date on your calendar!

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Looking Back: How did you Shop Local this Holiday Season?

The holiday season has come and gone. Here at Chesapeake Bank, we celebrated with delicious food, time with family and friends and gifts from local retailers. Speaking of presents, The National Retail Federation  has reported that holiday sales increased by 3.8 percent this year.

 

This TIME.com article discusses 10 consumer trends from this 2013 shopping season,  including everything from shopping kicking off even earlier than normal this year and there being no “it” toy that made it on every child’s list.

 

The article doesn’t discuss one thing we want to hear about, though. How did you Shop Local this holiday season? What was the best local item you gave or received, and where did you find it?

 

We’d love to hear about your experiences from this holiday season in the comments below.