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Shopping with a Purpose-Shabby Chic Shoppers Cash Mob

Shoppers stand in front of Washington Street Antiques. Photo by Mandy Hathcock

Shoppers stand in front of Washington Street Antiques.
Photo by Mandy Hathcock

Get Ready. Get Set. SHOP! The Shabby Chic Shoppers Cash Mob is out on a mission. Not even dreary weather is a match for this crew. As the shoppers gathered on the corner of Washington St. and Lucas, Kathy Phelps-Stieglitz and Heather Whitten made the introductions of new members and the day began. Fifteen shoppers gathered to shop one local business. By the luck of the draw, a local business was drawn and Washington Street Antiques was mobbed with shoppers.

With the idea of helping locally owned businesses, Stieglitz and Whitten began the Shabby Chic Shoppers Cash Mob in March of this year. What is a cash mob? It’s simple: with $10 in hand, members of a community come together to shop in a locally-owned establishment to support their favorite local businesses and support the area economy. These shoppers are on a mission to breathe new life into the Mom-and-Pop businesses and give them support in their competition with the big chain operations. “Just think about it”, said Whitten. “If we had a group of 30 people spending $10 each in a local business on a given Saturday, that’s $300. That’s a pretty big impact on a small business.”

When the group entered Washington Street Antiques located at 324 Washington Street, a joyful welcome was received and the shopping began. Chatter was heard throughout the store as shoppers talked about all the wonderful items they were finding. Every nook and cranny of this store was filled with interesting items.

Not only are these shoppers helping a local business, they are giving publicity to the community. They are going out and telling friends about the items they saw and taking the idea to shop locally- owned businesses to their family and friends; Facebook statuses are updated, and the word begins to spread like wildfire.

After purchases were made, the group decided on a locally-owned restaurant to have some lunch and talk about the items they bought. New friends are made, old friends catch up, and the feel of a community coming together is in the air.

Which business will be mobbed next? Check out the Shabby Chic Shoppers Facebook page and become a member. The group meets on the third Saturday of each month. When all the shops in the Downtown area have taken their turn, the shoppers will begin to find other locally-owned businesses in Colleton County to mob. Join them. Maybe your favorite shop will be next.