Small Business Saturday DOES Matter

Small Business Saturday DOES Matter

The past couple of years, I've grown pretty fond of Small Business Saturday, the somewhat increasingly popular shopping day following Black Friday after Thanksgiving

120
views

My hometown, Berwyn, and neighboring communities, Oak Park, Forest Park, LaGrange Park, etc. have lots of smaller mom and pop shops, coffee stores, and all the more which tend to thrive on this specific day. This year I made the decision to journey to the south side of Chicago, in the Pilsen neighborhood. Don't worry, this area was not decided by random chance. This was a deliberate decision to visit a very close family friend, who owns a shoe store with much success over the last 40 years.

The last time I visited the store was right around my 22nd birthday (6 years ago)! And after timeless chances of failing to make the trip, what a time more fitting than to support a Chicagoland small business. To my biggest surprise, the trek down to Pilsen was smooth as butter on bread – with practically zero traffic. I parked and made my way across the street to find the very great yellow awning with the store's name dead center, Burdeen's Shoes.

The store didn't have any customers in it, but a few workers in the back chatting, and I was immediately greeted to a very happy, smiling, and recognizable face, one of my best friends' fathers, Frank. We shook hands, greeted each other, and began to catch up and converse on a variety of topics, while I was incredibly impressed by not just the presentation of the shoes, but the variety and selection. There was ZERO question I would leave this store with a purchase - it was happening.

I do have many pairs of shoes, but you can't ever have enough Nike classics, such as the Jordan Retros. In fact, the shoes I wore that day, were the last pair I purchased at Burdeen's, a Chicago Bulls/Blackhawks-themed red, white, and black style mid-top. From this, you can probably assume I have a set form of colors I prefer in shoes, red white and black. The options for today's visit were heavy and plentiful, to the point where I remember saying "I'm just trying to decide what I want to try on!"

After a couple of passes, back and forth, finding the Kevin Durant's, Kyrie's, LeBron's, and other various Nike styles, I found one that struck my eye, the LeBron James Witness 3. This is a sleek, all black, cloth shoe, with a red sole and Nike symbol. There are some slightly other detailed marks, LeBron's signature logo, and the imprinted tongue of the lion symbol as well. When I put the shoe on, I knew it was the first winner.

There we were, one pair down and another to go. Now, I was really struggling. However, Frank's company and conversation helped me in what would become my next decision – an almost identical, yet slightly different, version of the Jordan Retro 1 High OG. As I tried on the Kevin Durant's, I wasn't completely sold on them – and I expressed my appreciation for the Blackhawks and Bulls color scheme on shoes. Then, the lightbulb went off for Frank, he said, "You know what? I forgot I had these, but since you're a size 12, they should work – I'll be right back."

As he returned, he had an all-black box with a golden 23 and Jordan symbol on it…and then the thought occurred to me, this could be very similar to the pair I have now, and it indeed was, except this pair was even better. The Jordan Retro 1 Mid is a fantastic shoe, one that emulated the style of a Chicagoan, dedicated to his or her hometown teams, but can also be presented in fashionable style.

After trying on both pairs, looking at them in the mirror, and walking around in them – I had myself two new pairs of shoes. "But that's not all." The store also had a sports-filled variety of hats, to no surprise again! Winter hat options were great for the Bears and Bulls. There was a variety of New Era football, baseball, basketball, and Blackhawks hats. If there's one team I do not have a cap for, it's the Bulls. I decided on the New Era 3930 all Red, curved lid style-hat. In fact, I have it on as we speak.

This trip was an hour most certainly deserved to be spent, in extraordinary company. A visit like this brings back a lot of memories of growing up with one of your best friends. And now years later, here I was with his father, having a conversation and reflection on a variety of topics from sports to professional careers, the history of Burdeen's, living in the city, and many more.

Small Business Saturday matters because of people like Frank and Burdeen Shoes. These individuals spend their life working very hard, six to seven days a week of countless hours, providing for their family, while bringing an exceptional experience to a consumer. Without these smaller establishments, the "in person" valuable shopping experience ceases to exist! Congratulations to Frank and Burdeen's for 40 successful years – it's an honor to be a fan and customer after all of these years.

Popular Right Now

13 Style Mistakes Every Girl Made In The 2000s

Hide your selfies.
66534
views

1. Crimped Hair

2. Straightened Side Bangs With Curly Hair

3. Jeans under skirts

4. A "poof" with two braids

...thanks Lizzie Mcguire

5. The solo "poof" with straight hair

Lauren Conrad made this acceptable, right?

6. All silver or light blue eye shadow

7. Too Much Eyeliner

8. "Emo" hair

9. Ponchos

10. Tank Tops Over T-Shirts

11. Those "shrug" Half Sweaters that tied in the middle *cringe*

12. The uggs, graphic t, jean skirt, and leggings combo.

13. Stretching our tank tops way down under a tight T-shirt... Layers are trendy, right?

Cover Image Credit: College Fashion

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Stores You Should Never Take Your Girlfriend To, Because You'll NEVER Get Out

You've heard the jokes about Target... they're real. It's a real problem.

166
views

There are some stores that really are money suckers... everything is cheap and cute, and you just want to buy everything. Guys, here are the seven stores you should NEVER, EVER, under ANY circumstances, shop at with your girlfriend!

1. Target

Kelsey Oseto / Instagram

Never EVER take your girlfriend here! She'll find an irresistable pair of booties she HAS to buy, or a cute new top, or some comfy sweats that would look super cute with that hoodie of yours. Don't do it.... just don't.

2. T.J.Maxx

T.J.Maxx / Instagram

This is another trap. Everything is cute and name-brand, and there will be something she wants, I promise. Last time I was there they had Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirts on sale... really had to demonstrate self-control there.

3. Bath and Body Works

Bath & Body Works / Instagram

This one is especially dangerous because there's ALWAYS a sale, and you normally get a bunch of free products, so trying to not buy something is really REALLY hard. I always cave, I can't help it.

4. Yankee Candle, or any candle store.

Yankee Candle / Instagram

Candles are like a thing I buy and never use but can't talk myself out of buying. I love the way they smell, but I always forget about them. It's a slippery slope, and once you get started it's hard to stop buying them.

5. Forever 21

Forever21 / Instagram

Want a new outfit for the weekend? $20 and you're set. Girls LOVE Forever21, and it's so hard to say no when you find something you love for $10...

Well, fellas, I hope this list helped if you want to save money and/or time! Girlies, what are your favorite stores I forgot to mention?

Related Content

Facebook Comments