When several small businesses who have a similar clientele in mind exist in a relatively small area, competition seems natural.
Cooperation, however, would better describe the five businesses involved in Friday night's Shoppin' and Sippin' event in Springfield and Louisville.
Springfield's Artworks and Robin's Nest joined with Louisville's Coop de Ville, Feathers and ReJoyceAbles to stay open until 8 p.m., with Blake's Lot 177 serving wine, cheese and desserts from 3 to 8 p.m.
“The owner of Coop de Ville in Louisville came up here and asked if we'd like to be part of it,” said Robin Nielsen, owner of Robin's Nest. “We thought we could get more people out if we all had events on the same night and had more things for people to do.”
Both the Artworks and Robin's Nest had free food available for guests, and the Artworks also had vintage hats for women to try on and be photographed wearing.
“We had quite a few people come out, including people who live in Springfield but didn't know anything was here on Main Street,” said Margie Trembley, co-owner of the Artworks.
There were also the out-of-towners, including Mary Pat Guerrier of Bellevue, herself a small business owner. (She owns Drizzles Bakery in Bellevue.) Guerrier said she saw the event on Facebook and wanted to come out.
“I think there's starting to be more of an awareness about buying local and supporting community businesses,” Trembley said. “People are realizing they should spend their money at home.”
Both Nielsen and Trembley said that a collaborative event like this would probably be organized again soon.
“We all have nice shops, so it's about trying to get people who like those types of things to come to all of us and spread the wealth,” Trembley said. “We're trying to develop an art community.”