Visit Tyler hosts small business pop-up shop

A total of 17 vendors from local small businesses within Tyler participated in the pop-up shop, displaying unique handmade items.
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 5:07 PM CST

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In 2010, American Express started a nationwide campaign called Small Business Saturday in order to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season.

The Visit Tyler Visitor Center and Boutique Shop hosted a special Small Business Saturday Pop-Up Shop inside the downtown Plaza Tower.

“When you shop local, and you shop specifically in Tyler, you’re getting something that you can’t really get anywhere else. It’s only found here,” said Shari Lee, the president of Visit Tyler.

Lee said this national event brings value to the community by offering unique, local handcrafted items.

“It brings about 23 billion dollars into the small business economy,” said Lee.

Americans all around the nation celebrate Small Business Saturday every year, the day after Black Friday.

A total of 17 vendors from local small businesses within Tyler participated in the pop-up shop that Lee said will continue to take place annually.

“We’re hoping that this can build from year to year, that people look forward to coming out on Saturday, coming to the downtown area and finding something unique for their family for Christmas,” said Lee.

Many vendors displayed unique items they created themselves, such as spices, dry rubs, homemade pet snacks, photography, apparel and other unique finds.

“We’re a very unique city; we’re not like everyone else, and so what you come in and what you find is different than what you find anywhere else. It’s really special and unique. We get to do that here,” Lee said.

Among the vendors is Brendon Johnson, the owner of Piney Woods Pets, along with his wife.

They started off purchasing treats from a woman who formerly owned the business until she decided to hand it over and move to Corpus Christi.

“Since then, it’s been a fun, real fun journey, and we’ve increased our treats and added bandanas,” said Johnson.

The owners of Piney Woods Pets currently make treats at their home and are hoping to eventually move into a shop.

The vendor fees earned by Visit Tyler will be used towards hosting next year’s small business Saturday pop-up shop.