BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Holiday shoppers who decide to opt out of the traditional Black Friday experience don’t have to go far for a bargain or to find unique products.
Several small, locally owned businesses offer discounts on merchandise before and/or on the traditional shopping holiday.
The Holiday Shop on Old Rocky Ridge Road in Hoover has been in the Christmas business for 48 years. You can find ornaments for around $3 or splurge on collectible, one-of-a-kind products you likely won’t find anywhere else.
The store is located inside a furnished barn that was originally part of the Acton Dairy Farm. The owner, Joyce Anne Jackson, curates both local and international handmade merchandise.
During a recent visit, CBS 42 found handmade German nutcrackers, glass ornaments from Egypt and soy candles imbedded with fresh pine needles from a local farm.
“We have Fontanini nativity scenes which is a gorgeous set from Italy,” Jackson said. “They’re non-breakable so they’re open stock and people come and pick them up, grandmothers and mothers and dads with their children and grandchildren, pick out one a year so they can add to the children’s little collection.”
Jackson said her store hasn’t felt the impact of competition from online sales from retail giants like Amazon because most of her advertising is accomplished via word-of-mouth.
“The owners are just so kind and sweet and always very, very helpful,” Fran Smith, a regular customer, said. “I’ve come here every year since 1982.”
Jackson said her store offers an experience, not just a sale.
“Up at the front of the shop, we have a cash register, an old one that actually does ‘cha-ching!’ when we open it up,”: Jackson said. “And we tell the children, this is what it used to sound like when I was a little girl.”
The Holiday Shop is open every day except Sunday until Christmas Eve. Outside of the Christmas shopping season, you can visit The Holiday Shop by appointment. The store will have two Christmas in July events.
Jess’s Dresses, based out of McCalla, does most of its business online or at trade shows and will feature Black Friday deals online including $10 cardigans and tops.
“I do a little happy dance every time someone buys something from me,” Jessica Rooker said. “It’s just been a dream so when someone shops with us it really helps, It’s very encouraging.”
If you’re curious about Black Friday deals at your favorite local store, check their Facebook page and website for any advertisements.