CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Some small businesses in the Richmond metro area saw record sales during the busiest holiday shopping weekend of the year following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Sassy Bee, a locally-owned gift shop in Midlothian, broke records over the shopping weekend between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday, selling more than 2,500 items to more than 560 customers.
Deb Dudley has worked at Sassy Bee for about six years. She said she’s never seen it as busy as it was over the weekend.
The day before Cyber Monday, an 8News crew was inside the store and saw it packed with customers.
Dudley said the business has grown over the years thanks to its owner, Kimberly Baker, growing their social media base, partnering with community organizations and giving specialized treatment to customers.
Even with online shopping on the rise, Dudley believes it’s also a new age for shopping local, especially after what businesses like Sassy Bee went through because of COVID-19.
During the height of the pandemic, the store was closed for 80 days.
“Even when things were partially closed down and people had to drive up and do curbside, [Kimberly] modified our business cycle to something we’ve never been before and she created a website,” Dudley explained.
Dudley said Sassy Bee employees would deliver items to people’s homes and some customers who still wanted to support them were calling in or window shopping.
“Whatever it took to make sure we could still reach our customers,” she said.
Baker told 8News Sunday that she’s seen a lot of customers making an effort to come in to her business, making it a point to shop local this holiday season instead of shopping at the big box stores or online.