Julia Staniszewski, owner of Julia’s Treasures from the Earth in Roseville, shows some of the handcrafted jewelry that she makes and sells in her store.

Julia Staniszewski, owner of Julia’s Treasures from the Earth in Roseville, shows some of the handcrafted jewelry that she makes and sells in her store.

Photo by Sean Work


Roseville, Eastpointe businesses encourage customers to shop small

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 14, 2018

 Shopping at local businesses means having access to locally made and unique items, such as carved soapstone ornaments, pictured, at Julia’s Treasures from the Earth.

Shopping at local businesses means having access to locally made and unique items, such as carved soapstone ornaments, pictured, at Julia’s Treasures from the Earth.

Photo by Sean Work

 A Petoskey stone necklace carved in the shape of a heart is among the handcrafted jewelry sold at Julia’s Treasures from the Earth in Roseville.

A Petoskey stone necklace carved in the shape of a heart is among the handcrafted jewelry sold at Julia’s Treasures from the Earth in Roseville.

Photo by Sean Work

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ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — With the Christmas season steadily approaching, many people are starting to get into the shopping mood.

Local businesses in the Eastpointe and Roseville areas want to get the word out that the best options people might have for holiday shopping might not be online, but just down the street.

“We have a wide variety of unique, small shops — where you can pick up a gift or something you need for the holidays you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else — to make the holidays more special,” said Linda Weishaupt, the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce executive director. “We have a Toy Mansion in Eastpointe on Gratiot that just opened up, which is a local toy store; we have the National Popcorn Co. in Eastpointe, which has a great variety of popcorn flavors; there is the entire small business shop at Gratiot and Utica, which is made up of several small business all grouped together; and other businesses, like Just Delicious Scones and Julia’s Treasures from the Earth, all in this community.”

As the holiday season approaches, the Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce is taking proactive steps to encourage people to take advantage of local businesses by participating in Small Business Saturday, which consists of small businesses across the country opening their doors the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“This is the first year the chamber has participated in the Small Business Saturday, and we’re excited about that,” said Weishaupt. “We have 29 small businesses that we are working with to promote the Small Business Saturday, which is Nov. 24. We are going out of our way to advertise that day and show people in Eastpointe, Roseville and Fraser what their local shopping options are.”

Julia Staniszewski is the owner of Julia’s Treasures from the Earth, a Roseville shop that sells rocks, fossils and crystals and makes custom jewelry. She said shopping locally is a great alternative to shopping at big chain stores or online because local stores allow people to actually see what they are buying, to have what they are buying be unique, and to actually be able to speak with a knowledgeable person about their purchase.

“Customers are a part of your business, and you should treat them as such, instead of a group you are trying to lure in,” she said. “When you are spending money in my store, it is putting money on my table and it is staying in this community. It isn’t getting shipped overseas somewhere.”

Marcia Connelly, the owner of Cook’s The Lamp Shader’s Co. in Roseville, said supporting a local business is not only good for the business, but it’s also good for the local community as a whole.

“We donate to a lot of small causes that wouldn’t get support without small businesses,” said Connelly. “Businesses don’t get a lot of (public relations) for that, but these causes rely on local businesses, and local businesses rely on local customers.”

Staniszewski added that shopping locally also means employing local residents, more money going into the local economy, and having an institution in the community that can better the quality of life for residents.

“We do educational classes for learning about jewels and geology and how to polish and smooth stones as well,” she said. “We are now reaching out to schools to get kids in to teach them about geology and fossils. The kids can look at them and touch them, learn what the differences are between them, what the fossils were when they were alive.”

Many local business owners say that shopping at small businesses can provide a customer experience that just isn’t possible when going to large chain stores or shopping online.

“I’ve had a lot of people come in who bought stuff online and say they didn’t like something because they feel stuck, because something is too tall or too short or the wrong color, whereas a local business can bring people in and show them the item they are buying,” Connelly said. “I like getting the personal touch where I can come in and physically make a purchase. You not only get what you want, but you get a fun buying experience.”

“It’s way more personable and more of a one-on-one experience,” added Staniszewski. “Local business owners are more focused on the needs of their customers, whereas chains are more about getting as many people in and out. I will sit with my clients and work with them on what they want. I even form some friendships because of it.”

Both store owners said that they hope people see local businesses as a resource and not a sort of last option. Small businesses rely on local customers to survive.

“If you want the business to be there for something like a lamp repair, they can’t be there for just that,” said Connelly. “They need to have the opportunity to earn your business for bigger purchases in order to stay open and continue to employ your neighbors.”

Weishaupt said such businesses are one of the pillars that hold up each community and are more than just a place to buy things.

“Small businesses make up a community. You need this business community for any successful, well-rounded community, just like you need local schools and local government,” said Weishaupt. “They support the community through programs that work with the schools and give back through area nonprofits.”

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