BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The shopping season is here! Instead of shopping on Amazon or at the big department stores, you may want to check out the small businesses in your hometown for everyone on your Christmas list.
For the next month, 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Rebecca Thornburg will be highlighting the small businesses helping keep Main Street's across Western New York thriving.
The first stop: Main Street East Aurora.
With hundreds of shops throughout the entire town, you can pretty much find anything you are looking for.
To start the strip: Beulah's General Store. Walking in and you instantly smell pine candles that remind you of the Holidays. The gift store has been open for three years. Owner Heather Sparague wanted to open this spot because she says she felt Main Street needed a store focused on trendy, corky gifts. With a sock wall, lots of secret Santa gifts, and some comfy clothes-- Beulah's is a great stop.
"In a world of Amazon, that's probably Main Street's biggest competition, we are trying to bring more of an experience and have some things you really can't get online," Sparague said.
Sparague says the next two months are the most important months for small businesses.
"It makes or breaks what we can do throughout the year," Sparague said.
Walking past the iconic Vidler's 5 and 10 toy store, some cafe's, and across the street from the Aurora Theater-- you can find Head Over Heels Boutique. Owner Rachel Pfister has created a successful women's clothing store filled with shoes, jewelry and sweaters for the season. Over the last 11 years, she has opened two home goods stores: Bella Casa and Two Doors Down to add to the shops on Main Street.
"When you shop small boutiques, you're finding something you only have six of and once they are gone, they are gone. So you have a one of a kind piece," Pfister said.
Pfister says she tries to add extra elements to a customer's experience when they shop at her stores, she offer free gift wrapping at the Head Over Heels boutique.
From Mud Sweat n' Gears Snow and Ski shop, to Prima Oliva Olive Oils & Vinegars, to Kickstand Culture Bike Shop -- Executive Director of East Aurora Chamber of Commerce Gary Grote says the hundreds of shops and restaurants in East Aurora help make this place so special.
"There's a lot of unique gifts here you can come down, shop, eat, and visit some of the historic sites and bring the whole family," Grote said.
It's not all about the shopping, there are many different events also planned for the season. To find a list of events click here.
Happy Shopping! Follow @WKBW on Instagram and Twitter to see more Main Street Mondays.