HOUSTON – It’s been a decade since Small Business Saturday got its start and its become an important time for sales in small businesses around the country. About 67 million people are expected to explore mom and pop shops nationwide. In Houston, 19th Street is a treasure trove of local shops with unique items for sale and for owners each shopper makes a big difference.
AG Antiques owner Debbie Greenbaum said her business carries items from over 50 dealers. Her shop was passed down to her from her grandfather and Greenbaum feels she is carrying the spirit of small business ownership by helping local artists, craftsmen and enthusiasts tell their story. Some pieces are totally unique and others are from across the country.
“19th Street is the coolest,” Greenbaum said. “It’s like stepping out of time and out of a big city and walking into our wonderful neighborhood,” Greenbaum.
One of the dealers Greenbaum carries in her store is Craig Fellows. He crafts light fixtures out of “found items," a hobby he started after his wife retired five years ago.
“I make them out of just anything I can get my hands on,” Fellows said.
Karen Fast, vendor and owner of Ollie Art, said she loves to support global artists from places like Lybia, Germany, and Peru. She also has a section for Houston-based artists like her husband, David, who has a series of landscape and animal paintings.
“You can interact with the customer… I think passing things on to the customer and to be able to do that with a personal touch is my favorite,” Karen said.
Without Small Business Saturday, places that hold a whole world of goods would not exist, Greenbaum said. It’s a time when owners can treat the community like family and shoppers can find stand-out pieces for their collections, she said.
Ilonita Kupscze, an Humble native who traveled to 19th Street to shop Saturday, told KPRC 2 why shopping local is something she is passionate about.
“Sometimes everything is made by hand, everything is their own personality so why not support such creativity? That’s my goal to see what’s different. Small businesses always have something different,” Kupscze said.