Small retailer's outlook on Black Friday - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Small retailer's outlook on Black Friday

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For fifteen years, Gerry Larabee has been stocking the shelves of her 'Heart of Texas Gift Gallery. She caters to tourists and locals selling Texana items from her prime downtown location. Larabee's success is related to her involvement in the store, saying, "It's very much a hands on. I know what's going on in this store."

You won't find Black Friday hype in this store. Instead, shoppers find a friendly pup and the ability to browse with ease. Nacogdoches tea towels are her big sellers. Larabee says the secret for a small retailer is to offer something the bigger stores don't. "I stay pretty close to that theme of Texas and western gifts and souvenirs. So we're pretty specialized."

Up main street you'll find Dragonfly Nursery and Garden still celebrating their grand opening last week. You'll find a pup there too. Kimberly Wright is running on lots of faith that her unique business will be a success. The lot next to her downtown home came available. Wright saw it as an opportunity. "So it just evolved. It just seemed like it was ordained and we really didn't have a grand scheme." Sure it's scary opening up during stressed economic times, but anxiety isn't in Wright's vocabulary. Wright shared, "The Lord has blessed us and taken care of us. I don't intend to get fearful now."

The Small Business Administration recently surveyed independent business owners. More than 75% of those who responded say their work gives them a feeling of personal accomplishment.

The two shop owners have a lot in common. Both are partners with their spouses. Both love the charm of downtown Nacogdoches. And customers at both shops are greeted by canines.  

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