Businesses encourage county to shop locally

Published 3:40 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

Zane Sexton tops off the 61 on Main Christmas tree with a personalized monogram cut and made in-house. JOURNAL PHOTO | MONA MOORE

Zane Sexton tops off the 61 on Main Christmas tree with a personalized monogram cut and made in-house.

A slow summer had Martha Dickey a little worried. It was the slowest she had seen since opening 61 on Main in downtown Luverne.

This year, she is counting on holiday shopping to dig her out of the slump.

“[Sales] are going up for Christmas. I’m actually proud,” Dickey said.

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Dickey said shopping locally affects everyone in the county.

“You don’t find as much, but I would rather change what I want to buy or pay a little bit more than not shop local,” she said. “Because the tax money stays within the county and goes to the schools and city works. If people don’t start shopping more at home, small towns are going to die.”

Helping the county and the local business owner are not the only reasons she would recommend shopping downtown. Unique gifts are another draw.

At 61 on Main, Dickey specializes in personalized gifts. Since buying a laser engraver and cutter last Christmas, she has started personalizing everything from tree toppers to jewelry.

The machine can cut wood and acrylic and engrave metal, tile, glass, rubber and leather.

Some of her favorite items have sports themes. She has family legacy trees that she adds names of college graduates to and wine glasses with engraved school logos.

“You can’t get that anywhere other than here,” she said.

Sandra Atkinson did just about all of her holiday shopping at The General Store.

“My sister owns it,” she laughed.

Since her sister, Patty Bees, bought the downtown staple, Atkinson has seen the advantages of shopping locally firsthand.

“If nothing fits, you can come back here and swap it instead of spending $30 in gas to return something to stores in bigger towns,” she said.

This holiday season was better than Sherry Prevett could have predicted for her antique shop, 13 on Fifth.

“It was just amazing,” she said. “I’m humbled by it.”

Prevett said downtown events like the tree lighting and parade have had a great impact. Another great addition was the Chow Down for the Hounds, an event Prevett sponsored that raised money for the Crenshaw County Animal Society.

Prevett said the key to a prosperous downtown is teamwork.

“What one can’t do, another can and that’s why we have people working together,” she said. “Luverne has so much to offer and I think we’re coming together.”

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