Connect with us

Local News

The First Small Business Saturday shopping event held at Maker’s Market in Billings



Billings, Montana – Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been held annually after Black Friday.

It was a day of celebration at The Maker’s Market on the South Side of Billings, as the establishment held its inaugural Small Business Saturday shopping event.

“There is such a hunger to support local,” said Victoria Eichel, the owner of The Maker’s Market, on Saturday. “No matter what you’re doing.”

Purchasing locally and lending help to neighbors.

“I’d rather spend money on homemade local gifts than I would on Amazon,” said Courtney James, a shopper, on Saturday.

Purchasing small-scale locally That’s what you should do on Saturday.

“I got a birdhouse, some handmade turtles, and the bottom of the stroller is full,” James said.

The Small Business Administration has cosponsored the day since 2011, which was established in 2010 by American Express to honor small, neighborhood businesses.

“We give back to where we live, which is huge,” James said.

According to American Express, the predicted spending of US consumers who participated in Small Business Saturday countrywide shopping in 2022 was $17.9 billion.

“These makers, it helps them financially, it helps them emotionally,” Eichel said. “Each and every sale, these makers feel.”

Small company start-ups have increased nationwide since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When compared to previous years, the overall number of applications for small firms was highest in 2020.

A White House news release states that under President Biden, record numbers of Americans have applied to launch businesses, totaling 14.6 million.

406 Wood Designs is one of those new companies; it was founded close to the end of 2020.

“You really have to find a groove and cater because if you don’t you’re going to die among all the other people that can do things just as good or better,” said Austyn Pankratz, who owns 406 Wood Designs with his wife, on Saturday. “(Our business has) just taken off.”

Days like Saturday, according to Pankratz, are extremely important to small company owners.

“It means a lot,” Pankratz said. “I mean, we’ll do stuff online and stuff, but it makes us feel a lot better about what we’re putting out into the community because we’re seeing the reaction firsthand instead of putting something in a box and shipping it.”

The best aspect of running a small business, according to Ashley, Austyn’s wife and co-owner, is witnessing the responses of clients.

“Creating things that we both enjoy and seeing the excitement on people’s faces,” Ashley Pankratz said. “The smile on people’s faces when they see our stuff.”

Their goods are sold inside The Maker’s Market, which is situated in Billings at 4220 State Ave.

“Seeing the community come in (to the store) is amazing,” Eichel said. “Feeling the support that the community gives to the makers is an absolute achievement of what we are trying to accomplish out here.”

Since its July opening, the store has had tremendous success. It enables a range of small enterprises to set up shop and sell their goods there.

“It has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, as every new business kind of goes in its ups and downs. But the rollercoaster has been awesome and I would definitely buy a ticket to it again,” Eichel said about running the business. “I always say we are a community of makers making a difference in our community. We take everyone, no matter what level of skill they’re at. No matter how many other similar makers we have to them. Everyone is welcome, and we’re still taking new vendors.”

The market hosted its inaugural Small Business Saturday event on Saturday. It gave consumers the chance to get to know the creators and put a face to their names.

“There’s just so much to choose from. It’s so nice to support all the local makers. I feel like The Maker’s Market is a really big plus for the Billings community and we want to support it,” said Marilyn Gervais, a shopper, on Saturday. “I mean, people work hard on their things and it’s nice to be recognized.”

Supporting our neighbors’ businesses while giving them a glimpse of the joy their products bring.

“Seeing the smile on people’s faces when they actually take something out of your hands that you just spent time creating,” Austyn Pankratz said. “You might think that it’s okay and then someone else thinks that it’s so great.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *