Think small this holiday season
Small Business Saturday coming up next week

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

Nov. 24, 2014

 Jackie Schoenholtz, owner of Silly Willyz in Pewaukee, rearranges some of the toys and games in the store Friday. Silly Willyz opened in July and is going into its first Christmas season.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - Next weekend, the day after all the madness of Black Friday, many local businesses are hoping you’ll observe a different shopping-related holiday: Small Business Saturday.

Founded in 2010 by American Express and officially celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday aims to highlight smaller local businesses rather than the big-box stores.

Sabrina Hildebrant, owner of Moxie Beauty Lounge at 443 W. Main St. in Waukesha, said owning a small business has taught her the importance of shopping local. 

“Big box stores might be more convenient, but they can't offer the personalized service of a small business, which has a stronger focus on customer service,” Hildebrant said. “Their futures depend upon you, having you return and share your shopping experience with your friends and family. You are really supporting the community, your neighbors, and making a significant impact on our economy.”

“Small retailers are your neighbors and your friends and we’re just out there trying to make a good living for our families,” said Jackie Schoenholtz, owner of Silly Willyz toy store at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Pewaukee.

 Trains and trucks fill shelves at Silly Willyz in Pewaukee.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Schoenholtz opened her shop in July and specializes in educational, wooden and classic toys.

“We have different, unique specialty toys you won’t find at Target or Walmart,” Schoenholtz said. “Small businesses are there to give you another option for shopping, and we have to support each other or that option won’t be there anymore.”

Next Saturday, Silly Willyz will be open extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Schoenholtz will be handing out coupon books for other businesses in the area so people can continue shopping locally.

According to a 2010 advocacy article by the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses represent 98 percent of all businesses in the United States and they generate nearly 64 percent of all net new jobs in this country.

 A Goldie Blox, Girl Inventor zipline toy is stretched across part of Silly Willyz in Pewaukee. This is a building and engineering focused series of toys aimed at girls.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Paul Roberts, owner of Roberts’ Specialty Meats at 135 E. Sunset Drive in Waukesha, said his business is getting better all the time.

“A lot of small business owners complain about the economy, but when you have movies doing $50 million in a weekend, there is nothing wrong with the economy in these United States,” Roberts said.

“You have to do things that set yourself apart as a destination. Be aggressive. Don’t ask ‘How can I compete with Pick ‘n Save,’ ask ‘How can Pick ‘n Save compete with me?”

Roberts’ is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.