Published August 6, 2009
Merchants get creative to bring
loves to throw a party. And Hinsdale Furriers is a
“Somebody said, ‘Oh my god — your floor is the perfect floor to
dance on,’ ” Duboe-Bryant said. So she started Ladies
Who Dance, a monthly party where she cleared away the
furs and invited female friends to boogie to tunes of
the 1950s through the ’80s.
“There was no alcohol,” Duboe-Bryant clarified with a laugh.
“Afterward we went to the Chinese restaurant (Jade
Dragon) for dinner. It was just for fun.”
Duboe-Bryant didn’t try to sell any furs during the five dance
nights, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t help her
“Customers come out for anything you do where you can build
relationships with somebody, because business is based
on relationships and trust,” she said. “Anything I do is
marketing in some way, but the marketing I chose to do
is because it’s fun.”
A Christmas in July party offered customers a chance to buy two
furs for the price of one and gave Duboe-Bryant another
opportunity to enjoy herself.
“It’s because we want to do something different and fun,” she said
of the July 24-25 event.
Several merchants in Hinsdale are offering special events to help
bring customers into their stores.
At Hinsdale Wine Shop, owner Sean Chaudhry and manager Craig Larsen
came up with a new twist for a sale.
“We had a bunch of stuff that was end of bin that we were saving to
do on clearance,” Larsen said. People love garage sales,
so Chaudhry suggested turning the clearance sale into
just that. They posted garage sale signs outside the
store and invited people in for deep discounts.
“They’ve been going great,” Larsen said. “We got such a strong
response for it that we decided to keep looking for
quality wines that were on closeout from our vendors.”
Barbara Budicak and Dina Peso, two of three owners of Twisted
Between, also are taking advantage of a theme to promote
in-store sales. Every Thursday night they offer drinks,
snacks, and a chance to cool off in an air conditioned
store to attendees at the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce
Uniquely Thursday party in Burlington Park. Reduced
prices also are part of the draw.
“We all have children, so they go across (to the park) and hand out
the fliers,” Budicak said.
Every Saturday next door at Munchkin Land, owner Graceann Martin
offers complimentary manicures and face painting for
kids. She remembers one little girl who was so impressed
with her freshly painted fingernails that she wanted to
get her toes done as well.
“I’ll never forget it,” Martin said. “She was so cute.”
Trunk shows, a wine and cheese shopping night and other special
promotions are scheduled at the store throughout the
“I think it makes a difference,” she said. “People come in and say,
‘What do you have going on?’ ”
Even offering the kids a cold drink on a hot day is a nice gesture,
“You’re a specialty store and you want people to know you
appreciate them. It’s just what you do,” Martin said.
“I treat the store as my family, so therefore I treat my customers
as my family and friends,” she said. “If you stay loyal
to your customer base and you’re fair and honest, it’s
reciprocated most of the time.”
“The economy is going to turn around,” she added. “You’re seeing
little signs of it now. It’s just a matter of people not
panicking. Support your local stores — and merchants,
support your local stores and give customers a reason to
shop by you.”