Small Business Saturday…Shop Small, Support Big at Home and in Nature’s Mountain Playground
With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving and Christmas well on the way (I can almost smell the turkey and Christmas cookies), it can mean only one thing; it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping. Now, holiday gift buyers can usually be divided into one of two camps. Early shoppers who feel compelled to get all gifts purchased and neatly wrapped weeks or even months before Christmas. If you find yourself in this camp, your shopping was probably completed back when most of us were unpacking summer shorts and checking for an expiration date on our sunscreen. And if you’re in the second camp, you’re more than likely scratching your head and murmuring something to the effect of, “Gifts? What gifts could he possibly be talking about in November?” This is the group usually gifting last minute stocking stuffers of AAA batteries and Life Savers purchased from the local gas station convenience store (something I may or may not have done myself). But whenever you decide to do your holiday shopping, there’s one idea I hope we can all agree on – supporting our local small businesses during Small Business Saturday this November 26, 2022.
Established in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is all about supporting and celebrating small businesses throughout the United States. Set aside each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday), this special day was conceived to inspire holiday shoppers to “shop small” and support their local retail stores, shops, restaurants, or whatever other kinds of small businesses are a part of their community. Supporting small businesses is something that hits close to home with me. As a kid, I grew up working in my family business and I know first-hand the long, hard hours that go into running your own business. Small businesses are the backbone of our country. People pour their lives into these businesses, and they should be celebrated and supported. And when we support our local businesses, we’re also helping to support our community – everyone wins.
Now of course we encourage you to shop local wherever home is for you, but we would also love to share our shops, restaurants, and galleries with you the next time you find yourself in Nature’s Mountain Playground. And while there is a lot of hard work put in to promoting Pocahontas County as a year-long, outdoor recreation destination, we don’t want to forget the great selection of locally-owned shops, galleries, and restaurants available – just waiting to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. What could be better this holiday gift-buying season than taking in the sights of Nature’s Mountain Playground while picking up some unique Christmas gifts for family and friends? If you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind, made-in-West Virginia item, be sure to check out the Pocahontas County Artisan Co-op. With galleries in Marlinton, Cass and Durbin, the Co-op is made up of member artists and craftspeople working in multiple mediums. From woodworking, jewelry, paintings, to locally sourced jams and jellies, the Co-op is a West Virginia small business that always promises something truly unique. Check out Green Bank’s farm-to-table store, Homegrown Harvest or The Mountain Shop in Green Bank, which offers everything from home decor to ladies fashions and accessories. And if you’re shopping for something uniquely West Virginia, you’ll not want to miss Handmade West Virginia in Hillsboro. Featuring woodworking and country crafts, a gift from Handmade West Virginia will be a distinctive and treasured gift for years to come. Stop by Level’s Depot in Hillsboro for more West Virginia products such as jellies, jams, meats and wine.
Combining your holiday shopping while visiting the sites and attractions of Pocahontas County couldn’t be easier. Many of our popular destinations like Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, and Watoga State Park, feature small gift shops, offering that special memento of a visit to Nature’s Mountain Playground. Be sure to pay a visit to the shops in The Village at Snowshoe, the Cass Company Store and Shops at Leatherbark Ford in Cass, or the gift shop at Watoga State Park to find those unique gifts and keepsakes. And if you’ve got a hunter or angler to buy for this holiday season, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to visit Appalachian Sport and The Men’s Shop. If you’re looking for hunting or fishing supplies, Appalachian Sport has just about everything you could need for the outdoor enthusiast on your shopping list. And to make sure those loved ones weathering the elements are suited up with the best rugged outdoor clothing and footwear, be sure to check out The Men’s Shop. Both businesses are conveniently located in Marlinton and will be happy to help you with your holiday shopping ideas. For those looking to purchase top of the line bikes or bicycling gear, be sure to stop in Greenbrier Bikes or Dirt Bean Cafe & Bike Shop, both located in Marlinton.
For those of you that enjoy a treasure hunting vibe to your shopping and are buying for antique buffs and nick-knack lovers, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the 4th Avenue Mason Jar Trading Post and The Cackling Hens, both located in Marlinton. The Mason Jar offers handmade furniture, antiques, and rustic décor items, while The Cackling Hens is a resale/consignment shop, featuring a variety of gems such as household goods and furnishings, furniture, jewelry, and collectibles. Both locally owned businesses are full of charm and promise the hunt will be as rewarding as the purchase. Be sure to add them both to your “gift guide 2022” list.
For the ladies on your list, try shopping at Tattered Rose Boutique or Glitzy Cactus Boutique in Marlinton for trendy fashion and accessories. Or head to Hodge Podgery just outside of Marlinton on Route 219 South, for clothing items and accessories, antiques and more!
And don’t forget while you’re out and about supporting these locally owned businesses to take some time to refuel at a locally owned restaurant. We sometimes overlook, as we rush around in a frantic search for that perfect gift, our local restaurants are just as vital as our retail shops and need our support as well. Here in Pocahontas County, there is no shortage of great places to find great food. Dean’s Den in Frost, The Dirt Bean in Marlinton, and Station 2 Restaurant in Durbin are just three examples of great, locally owned eateries in Nature’s Mountain Playground that offer great food for hungry holiday shoppers. And there’s plenty of other delicious options throughout the county (too many to list here). So, whether you’re looking for a quick bite while in the midst of shopping or a four-star meal at the end of a long day of finding just the right gifts, a good meal and good company is never hard to find in Pocahontas County.
There’s no way to list all our local businesses in Pocahontas County in the space of one blog. Instead, I’ve tried to give you a sampling of what Pocahontas County has to offer and invite you to pay us a visit and discover these and other small businesses for yourself. After all, the most rewarding part of travel is discovering something new and unexpected on your own. Due to the impact of Covid, we all know the last couple of years have been very difficult for small businesses everywhere. And while most of us seem to be getting back to some semblance of normal, I’d venture to say West Virginia businesses, and small businesses everywhere for that matter, are still feeling the impact of the pandemic. Let’s do all we can this Small Business Saturday (and every day for that matter) to support small businesses. And wherever you call home and whenever you do your holiday shopping this year, we encourage you to shop local first. Then, if you would do us the honor, we invite you to shop in Nature’s Mountain Playground. We believe there are treasures to be found here and we can’t wait to share them with you.