Pink Friday set to drive downtown shopping Nov. 19-20
Downtown Detroit Lakes businesses are eager to bring in shoppers for their first Pink Friday event this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19-20. Sixteen businesses have agreed to participate in the sales event, which will include a shopping passport that shoppers get stamped during their visit to each retailer, for a chance to win one of four, $400 worth of gift certificates to participating businesses.
Ambitious, energetic and inspired describe the retailers of downtown Detroit Lakes as they launch the city’s first Pink Friday shopping weekend, Nov. 19-20.
When Detroit Lakes native Alicia (Foltz) Bowers, owner of Beautiful Junque, learned about the Pink Friday concept through her membership in the national organization Boutique Hub, she knew it had to be incorporated here as a way to engage shoppers the weekend before Black Friday.
From there, she reached out to local proprietors Barb Zahasky of Mainstream Boutique, Taylor Jo “TJ” Roney of JQ Boutique, and Tracy Erb of Vintage & Vogue. Together, along with Alicia’s mother, Carol Foltz, the “CEO of GSD — Getting Stuff Done” at Beautiful Junque, they have joined forces.
They have enlisted a total of 16 businesses to participate in Pink Friday, which will include a shopping passport that shoppers get stamped during their visit to each retailer. No purchase is necessary to receive a stamp.
Once a shopper has 12 of the 16 stops completed and stamped as proof of visit, they turn in the passport at the last destination and it is entered into a drawing that the event promoters will do the evening of Monday, Nov. 22. They will select four winners and each will win $400 in gift certificates, $100 from each of four retailers in the prize bundle. In addition to those already mentioned, other participants include Ambience Salon, Cinemagic 7, Design2Sell, Glik’s, La Barista, Leela & Lavender, Manna Food Co-Op, Northbound Girl, Red Pine Quilt Shop, Red Willow, Skirting the Rules, and Turn North Salon & Spa. All are located in downtown Detroit Lakes, along Washington Avenue.
Participating businesses will have specials, promotional giveaways, door prizes, and extended hours Friday and Saturday.
Taylor Jo Roney of JQ Boutique explained that Pink Friday, launched last year by Boutique Hub in other markets, echoes what is happening nationwide in terms of a shift in buyer behavior and shopping habits.
“Nationwide, people are becoming more passionate about shopping local and supporting small businesses,” she said.
Taylor opened JQ Boutique in May 2021 with JQ founder, Jessica Quandt (the store’s name reflects Jessica’s initials). Jessica opened her first store in Taylor’s hometown of Oakes, N.D. The store’s motto is, “an eclectic gathering of style for you and your home.” It is located in the Norby Flats building on Washington Avenue.
Tracy Erb, of Vintage & Vogue, agreed.
“I feel a small business must have steady support from the local community as well as visitors," said Erb. "During the pandemic, we saw many people stay close to home and once they ventured out, they stayed local; they shopped differently and got better acquainted with the local shops. It was a rewarding experience to meet many new customers."
Her two-floor consignment store, opened in 2016, offers a curated selection of antiques, women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture and home decor.
Alicia Bowers, owner of Beautiful Junque, stated, "People started to realize during COVID-19 the importance of small businesses and how they are the backbone of a community."
For her, she said, reciprocating support to other businesses as well as local artisans is key to her shop’s success. Beautiful Junque carries several items from local makers and offers a mix of unique finds, along with commercial items.
The store opened on Washington Avenue in 2018 and, during the pandemic, ramped up its social media presence, including launching regular livestream videos on Facebook and reels on Instagram to showcase its wares.
Carol Foltz, a retired elementary school teacher, happily works what she calls “more than full time” at the store, mainly behind the scenes, keeping the operation running and providing assistance in all aspects of merchandising, buying, and management.
While raising her children, Foltz said she frequently brought them to stores that were local in the lakes region as well as when the family would travel.
Her daughter, Alicia, remarked: "I remember going into local shops as a kid and I loved it. It was special and unlike being in a department or ‘big box’ store. The smell, feel, people; everything was really meaningful and I always looked forward to those experiences."
Foltz added, "We are working hard to bring the best customer service to shoppers and also give an experience to them where everybody knows their name."
Barb Zahasky, of Mainstream Boutique, is an eight year veteran of retail and has her store prominently situated on the corner of Washington Avenue and Holmes Street downtown.
As a franchisee of Mainstream Boutique, Zahasky said she has been able to learn of special promotions done throughout her franchise, as well as harken to her Twin Cities roots, recalling many interesting shopping events.
"Pink Friday is a way to promote the motto of ‘community over competition’ and work as a united front to encourage more local shopping in Detroit Lakes," she said.
Like her counterparts, Zahasky has worked to engage customers through online presence during the nine week shop closure last year, and has continued to grow through social media since. By airing daily videos, a regular Wednesday night livestream, and offering flat rate or free shipping, she has grown her business.
Her store is described as a multi-generational, women’s apparel and accessories shop and also features a selection of Minnesota-made artisan goods.
For more information on Pink Friday Detroit Lakes, visit their Facebook event webpage .
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