By Brandon HENSLEY
Mom and pop stores unite! A new organization has emerged in order to help local merchants come together for better pricing and visibility around town.
The La Cañada Merchants Association was formed earlier this year, bringing together merchants in part to fight against larger corporations, and on Saturday they will be holding a sidewalk sale along Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada.
“It’s just nice to keep the mom and pop shops going. It’s that kind of a story. It’s like, stay with your grassroots,” said Susan Stranger, chair of the organization. “Don’t always just shop online.”
The sale will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will include sellers in construction and the environment, as well as gift store merchants.
“It’s just a place to meet and greet your merchants and take advantage of all the great deals,” Stranger added.
Stranger owns Adobe Designs, a retail and gift shop store she started in 1994. She has an extensive background in retail and advertising, including working for clients such as Sarah Lee and Nestle.
The association meets every month. They run ads in local papers, sometimes offering group buys, and hold events together such as the Valentines Day sale this past February and Mothers and Fathers Day. They will be doing an event with young trick-or-treaters on Foothill Boulevard this Halloween.
“We try to stimulate sales and actually have a big event out on the street. This will be the first of hopefully many,” Stranger said of the sidewalk sale. The association hopes to hold the event every August, a month that Stranger calls a “dark period” economically, because summer school is out and many families are on vacation.
The association, along with Adobe Designs, is a “Partnership In Excellence” with the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, which supports the area’s public schools and the La Cañada School District. On the 15th of every month, which is when “Shop La Cañada Days” is held, many local merchants donate a portion of their proceeds go to the foundation. In June, 33 local businesses donated money.
“Besides the economy being bad, this town is historically that way,” she said. “If it proves highly successful maybe we’ll do it twice a year, but we’ll definitely do it every August.”