We have Black Friday, we have Cyber Monday, but what I am most interested in is Shop Small Saturday in Mankato and North Mankato, Minnesota!

Shop Small is a nationwide event happening on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is geared towards shopping local and supporting the community. It was originally started in 2010 by American Express as a way to encourage people to shop small and promote holiday shopping at local businesses.

It’s amazing how it’s grown and our small businesses depend on a successful holiday season to help get us through our long cold winters in Minnesota!

Shop Small started in Mankato over six years ago at an independent store, owned by Heather Clark Fisher, known as Salvage Sisters. The following year Fisher asked her Old Town business neighbors to join in and just four short years ago she was able to involve the City Center. Today, Mankato officially has “Small Business Saturday” through the City Center.

Fisher said, “It’s amazing how it’s grown and our small businesses depend on a successful holiday season to help get us through our long cold winters in Minnesota!”

How does Shop Small in Mankato and North Mankato work?

First, pick up a passport at any participating store.

What does the Shop Small Passport do?

If you get 10 stamps on your passport and then drop the entry form off at any participating business, you are entered to win a City Center prize package worth more than $100! Note that you need to get a stamp from all three zones to be eligible for the drawing. Four winners will be chosen.

What stores are participating and where are the zones?

Let the City Center website be your guide! Quite the list of participating stores! What a great opportunity to check out a business that you haven’t yet visited!

Here are a few of my participating favorites.

From the Blue Zone

  • Bluebird Cakery — I had them make my daughters first birthday cake and I think I ended up eating the whole thing.
  • WYSIWYG — I walk into their store and automatically feel like I’ve made a good decision for my health.
  • Twin Rivers Council for the Arts — They’re having a pop up sale for artists who don’t have a space to sell their art and it is just an awesome space! Kato Music Lessons is having their Holiday Recital there this year!

From the Green Zone

  • Neutral Groundz — Super cute baby shop in the back!
  • Raydiance Salon — They have a nice special going on. Spend $100 on a gift certificate, you get $20 for yourself. I always buy my mom a gift certificate for Xmas from this salon. Can you say, “win-win?”
  • Vivian Rose — Always a spot for me to stop and shop to look a little bit more girly.

From the Red Zone

  • Encore Consignment & Riverfront Bridal — I was just gifted this amazing fur coat from Encore and I am in love!
  • Bella Nova — There’s a nice pair of jeans from this store I’ve had my eye on. What’s nice is I won’t break the bank over it.
  • Gallery 512 Boutique — I really want to pick up one of their Minnesota sweatshirts, they’re really cozy!
  • Giddie Skin Medspa — I have been meaning to stop here and do a little “treat yo-self.”
  • Salvage Sisters Mercantile — This store is amazing! It carries a lot of unique local and Minnesota made items and has been my go-to for gifts. I recently stopped in looking for my girlfriend’s baby shower and walked out with a super cute baby swaddler, a heat up or chill rice bag for muscle therapy, and a yummy smelling Illume candle — I ended up buying one for myself too! Salvage Sisters just added lines from the Minnesota companies Duluth Pack and Cannon Soap as well!
  • Tune Town — This place is awesomely dangerous for me as I work directly behind this store. I recently bought We’re Going To Be Friends, which is a song turned into an illustrated book by the White Stripes. Obviously, Tune Town is filled with a wide range of music from well-known to underground but the store also has DVDs, cassette tapes, posters and more.
  • Vagabond Village — This is a wonderful place for the eclectic soul. If you’re looking to add unique flare to your wardrobe, home, or life in general, Vagabond Village is the place to go.

Of course there are so many more incredible shops involved in Shop Small so hit the link and see what the participating stores have to offer.

Shopping small is a great way to add one-of-a-kind gifts for this holiday season while helping your community at the same time. Another win-win!

Happy Shop Small Saturday!