Mayor Gaylor Baird and local business leaders urge residents to shop local
Sales at Lincoln's two HobbyTown stores are up about 10% this year, and owner Daniel Schmidt said that's a trend he expects to continue through the end of the year.
"I think the pandemic really brought into focus some people's priorities, and they found value in shopping locally," Schmidt said.
Lincoln business owners and civic and business officials are hoping that's true this year after two years of pandemic-fueled increases in online shopping.
Anecdotal evidence shows it is.
A JLL survey released last month found that 63% of consumers plan to do at least some of their shopping in stores this year, up from 58% last year.
Alicia Reisinger, owner of Wax Buffalo Pure Soy Candle Co., said she thinks people are more interested in experiences this year.
The company, which has two store locations in Lincoln, has a candle-making lab "and we have seen it boom in the last few months just because I think people want to be together, and I think the pandemic showed us what was important and where we want to place our time and our money and our hearts.
"I think we're excited to see what this season's going to bring and I think it's going to be a good one," Reisinger added.
Local shopping opportunities
There are a number of events coming up in the next month that focus on local shops.
* Small Business Saturday is Saturday.
* The sixth-annual Haymarket Unwrapped is Dec. 2-4. The free event will include prizes, refreshments and discounts in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket. Information at
* Wax Buffalo's Winter Market on O Street is noon-6 p.m. Dec. 4 under the Harris Overpass at 727 O St. The event includes more than 60 vendors offering food, drinks and handmade gifts. Purchase tickets at
* Santa’s Wonder-Full Woods at Tower Square, 13th and P streets, will be from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 10. Hosted by the Arbor Day Foundation, this free event will feature Santa, a holiday tree display, hot chocolate, ornament making and more.
Lincoln residents will have multiple opportunities this year to hit up their favorite stores, whether it's on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or during another event such as Wax Buffalo’s Winter Market on O Street on Dec. 4.
The Downtown Lincoln Association held its Shop the Blocks event last week, and DLA president and CEO Todd Ogden said it was the second-best one ever when measured by the amount of money spent at retailers.
"Downtown and our city would be nothing without our unique local businesses," Ogden said.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird agreed that small businesses are the lifeblood of the city.
“Making Lincoln a fun place to live and attractive destination for visitors is just a part of what small businesses do,” Gaylor Baird said. “Small businesses provide excellent customer service, create meaningful jobs and relationships, help circulate dollars within our local economy, and give back to our community in many ways.”
Sisters run their own coffee shop in an old corn crib in Elkhorn.
12 Nebraska shops to check out
Suite Child at 2304 Central Ave. in downtown Kearney has the latest baby and toddler fashions as well as helpful products for families with new babies. There is also a store in Elkhorn.
York Boot 'N Repair
Tammy and Randy Obermier own York Boot 'N Repair on the east side of the town square for 100 years. The business is a full-service leather repair store that also builds custom orthotics and sells boots and shoes.
Platte River Outdoors
Platte River Outdoors in Loup City sells a variety of hunting, fishing and archery gear and accessories. The store is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Marah's Treasures is at 304 Broadway St. in Taylor in Loup County. The shop carries gift items and fragrances, plus life-sized plywood figures made to order, and is open Thursday and Friday afternoons.
The Most Unlikely Place
The Most Unlikely Place, 205 Main St. in Lewellen, is just a short drive from Lake McConaughy and is open Wednesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It closes for the season from mid-November to mid-March.
The combination bistro/gallery serves breakfast and lunch as well as offering a wide variety of fine art. Sculptures, jewelry, paintings and more are available.
Fort Cody Trading Post
The Fort Cody Trading Post, 221 Halligan Drive in North Platte, has a variety of merchandise. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. "
We have one of the best selection of western books anywhere, handmade Native American jewelry and arts, T-shirts, toys, Minnetonka Moccasins, retro soda pop, candy, hot sauces, cook books, Nebraska-made items and food, stuffed animals, souvenirs, cards and much, much more," the store's Facebook page boasts.
Hollywood Candy is in Omaha's Old Market at 1209 Jackson St. The store specializes in "hard-to-find retro and nostalgic candies of the past" and has modern-era candy as well. It has a large collection of PEZ dispensers and retro toys and novelties.
Brown Sheep Co. Mill Store
The Brown Sheep Co. Mill Store, located at 100662 County Road 16 in Mitchell, is attached to the mill and sells the company's yarn "seconds" and other crocheting/knitting supplies. The company's yarn is known and sold worldwide. One benefit of the mill store is "seeing all the wonderful handpaints that our handpainter tries out when developing new color ways. Because these hanks are one of a kind and generally not reproduced, they are not offered to our retail customers for purchase," according to the company's website.
Master's Hand Candle Co.
Master's Hand Candle Co. in Tekamah, 3599 County Road F, has more than candles --
delectable chocolates, flowers, home decor, shopping, gifts, jewelry, purses and diva wear. The shop's website declares it "every woman's dream store." The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
North Platte Art And Gift Gallery
The North Platte Art and Gift Gallery, 516 N. Dewey, is open Tuesday through Saturday and has local contemporary art in a variety of mediums. The enterprise began in 1987 when a group of local artists rented a vintage downtown storefront. One of the five galleries hosts monthly competitive art shows.
Park Avenue Antiques
Park Avenue Antiques, 515 N. Park Ave. in Fremont, has furniture, dishes, linens, home decor and books, as well as a multitude of signs. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Keeping Room
Its website describes The Keeping Room as "a
fusion of stylish antiques, unique holiday and home decor, unique fashion, food and drink and a friendly atmosphere." The Nebraska City store is at 717 Central Ave. and is open Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 10-7 and Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Marshall Custom Hats
Marshall Custom Hats, 214 Staples St., in Arthur features handmade hats made by James Marshall.
“It’s amazing that about 42 percent of my customers are repeat customers," Marshall told Tri-State Livestock News last year. "Once I get them in once, they’re usually back for another one."