Forget Black Friday…Shop Small Business Saturday

Small business Saturday is this weekend, just after the insane rush of Black Friday. Skip fighting the crowds and buy local.

Why? Because it puts your money back into your community. It supports your neighborly entrepreneurs. And because you can only find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts from small shops.

Our area is full of interesting places to browse and buy. In fact, 90% or more of West Virginia’s businesses are small and locally-managed.

Southern WV has a smorgasbord of specialty shops to support this Small Business Saturday, here are just a few from our list:


Gauley River Pottery

One of many designs by Gauley River Pottery.

Not only does Gauley River Pottery have a full range of ceramic gifts on the shelves, Mary Bethune and John Ackison, the owners and artists, create more pieces daily in the shop. Visitors can

watch the process.

“They can see it go from a lump of clay to art,” Bethune said. “Not a lot of people get to see pottery ring made anymore. The traditional arts are becoming lost arts.”

The pair have been molding mugs, serveware and dishes, ornamental fish and birds, wave bowls and more for 30 years at the shop and studio.

“They’re all decorative, but everything we do is functional as well,” she said. “We use a lot of greens, and a sort of runny blue-green. But we have a lot of solid colors to go with anything.”

In addition to an array of great gifts that grows each day,  Gauley River Pottery creates custom works.


The Cheese N More Store in Monroe

Grab a basket and shop at the Cheese ‘N More Store

From food to furniture, the Cheese N More Store is full of  homemade treasures.

The shelves are stocked with top-quality spices, savory lunch meats and an assortment of fine cheeses. You can stop in for a fresh sandwich, or take home

jams, relishes and candy. You can even try a handmade pepperoni roll, a WV favorite.

After  you’re full, there’s more to explore in the shop. Handcrafted lawn furniture and gazebos are among the artisan works.

The drive in, scenic and beautiful, is part of the experience, as is the friendly, attentive staff, who will help you find the perfect gifts.


Quality gifts in a cool small town. Shop Wisteria’s!

Wisteria’s Gifts in Fayetteville, WV

Find the gifts you seek with a Southern twist. Wisteria carries internationally renowned brands like  Vera Bradley, Nora Fleming, and Candy alongside locally-made crafts.

From limited edition brand names to one-of-a-kind local works, Wisteria’s Gifts is packed with unique items to browse.

You can also look through a hand-selected offering of antiques, prized pieces of the past, handed through generations, with stories to tell and more memories to share.

Dazzle someone with specialty jewelry, or surprise them with a lovely local work from Wisteria’s.

While in Fayetteville stop at the Shop Small Saturday Station and grab a map and to really amp up the fun join the Gnomevember Scavenger Hunt!


The Otter & Oak General Store & Art Gallery in Hinton, WV

In a renovated building standing since 1906, the self proclaimed Otter and Oak, Hinton, WV “not-so-general store” at Otter & Oak has a full local art

So many unique gifts to choose from at Otter and Oak.

gallery upstairs, which overlooks the little-bit-of-everything shopping selections below.

You can find boldly flavored local foods, artisan pottery,  durable outdoor gear, handmade soaps, Snoozies slippers and apparel… a sampling of quality finds of all sorts.

The shop caters to local crafters, with soaps, eyewear, cards, clothing and more from artists nearby.

“If people support these smaller businesses in town, the town itself will prosper and grow,” said Linda Seldomidge. “People will want to move in and visit, and it will make Hinton a better place to live.”

Seldomidge noted that some of her favorite holiday gifts at the shop were the ones that keep you cozy for winter: the locally-made texting gloves that allow people to use their phones while keeping their hands warm, and the Snoozies slippers. She also said the all-natural soy and beeswax candles were popular around the holidays.

& more

Support local artisans at the Beckley Art Center

There are hundreds more unique, small shops to support this Saturday. The Beckley Art Center will be bringing together over 100 independent local artisans for the annual Holiday Gift Show that opens at 11am on Shop Small Saturday.  This event will continue on Tuesdays – Saturdays through December 17th from 11am to 7pm with special Holiday happenings on Saturdays.

Don’t forget while you’re out shopping small, you can also eat and drink local by visiting our local coffee shops, dining facilities, wineries and breweries.

Stop in somewhere local, and tell us about your unique finds.

Who are you supporting this Small Business Saturday?

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