Small Business Saturday displays the ‘American Dream’

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After Black Friday is over, it’s time for Small Business Saturday — a day when shoppers can support their favorite local business.

This year, the day hit a little closer to home for locally-owned businesses, after the pandemic threatened their livelihood back in March and April.

Courtney Dickerson, Board & Brush Creative Studio owner said the shut down was nerve-racking.

“Being a new business, we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but we really came up with a lot of fun ideas for take-home kits and things like that,” Dickerson said. “We did a lot of front-door deliveries and stuff and our customers have been so supportive through it all.”

Board & Brush Creative Studio, is more than just a place to pick out pretty signs — it’s a place to socialize while you create your own works of art.

Dickerson said they are primarily a workshop.

“You come in and you are making it yourself,” Dickerson said. “So it’s extra special, especially when you are giving it as a gift that this is something that you made with your hands.”

Leitz Music has been around since 1970 and even with online shopping evolving since then, they’ve managed to keep locals coming back.

Brady Hughes, store salesman said their customer base is still strong after so many years.

“There are so many people that have been shopping here for so long that they can come in we know who they are,” Hughes said. “You know we know at this point, what strings they like, everything like that.”

Hughes said, especially in music, the one-on-one service is key.

“So you can come in here, play on a guitar, really hear and feel it for yourself other than just seeing pictures of it online,” Hughes said. “It’s something like that that’s such a personal connection between you and an instrument.”

Unlike Leitz, Board & Brush Creative Studio is quite new to the area, but Dickerson said they have been embraced with open arms.

“We just opened a year ago, we actually opened on the one year anniversary of Hurricane Michael,” Dickerson said. “And so this was our one year anniversary just this last October.”

Dickerson said the December calendar is booking up quickly, and book a studio session soon.

“We serve beer and wine and it’s just a lot of fun,” Dickerson said. “It’s a great girls’ night out or date night.”

Leitz hopes you’ll think of them first this coming Christmas, before rushing off to a large retailer or online store to purchase an instrument.

“We have a new company called Savannah, where for $200 you’re getting what Fender would charge $400,” Hughes said. “And I think being, like a music store…..we can find out deals and new companies that most people wouldn’t hear about, you know Walmart wouldn’t have it because they don’t make enough of their units for Walmart to be able to buy what they normally would buy.”

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