Shop Small Power Hour Held Nov. 15
November 23, 2022 | View PDF
The Sidney Chamber of Commerce continues to host Community Power Hours on the third Tuesday of each month. November featured a special Shop Small message from local business owners Marci Cundiff, Montana Bare Cave; Megan Garza, The Rush; and Marissa Eberling, Badlands Clothing Company. Forty-five community members showed up at the Richland County Extension Office to hear the stories of the presenters, find out about the current challenges and new opportunities and to support these local businesses.
Cundiff spoke on the expansion of Montana Bare Cave and expressed her gratitude to Don and Roger Byer for choosing her business to rent her current location. "They felt that retail was important for downtown Sidney and the location has been perfect for us," stated Cundiff. Cundiff went on to explain the challenges of expanding post-pandemic and trying to grow her inventory amidst several shipping crisises. Cundiff also spoke on the toll of Amazon stigma – "people assume that Amazon is going to guarantee them the best price on products when in reality, I can sell it at a cheaper price. If people would look local first, they would be surprised at the affordability." Despite the challenges, Montana Bare Cave is thriving in their new location on Main Street. "Sales have been up 30% in November" Cundiff reported. A growing inventory of baby and children's products have hit the shelves just in time for the holidays but a huge variety of gifts suitable for anyone in your family can be found at the Montana Bare Cave. Cundiff ended her presentation by announcing that Montana Bare Cave will be permanently expanding their business hours to be open on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Cundiff added that High Caliber Sports is one of her favorite local stores to shop for the holidays.
Megan Garza, co-owner of The Rush announced that Nov.16 would be the 24th anniversary of The Rush and told the story of her family-owned business. Garza is the third generation to run the popular coffee stop and spoke on her favorite aspect of owning the small business – working with her best friends and family. While The Rush does have some products available for holiday shopping, the bulk of their holiday sales is in gift cards. While gift cards might seem like a quick gain in profits, Garza's grandmother taught her that those are the dollars that sustain the business in the first months of the new year. The Rush also offers The Rush on Wheels for holiday parties as well as treat trays and coffee travelers for celebrations. Garza explained that spending money locally is a revolving door that continuously benefits the community. The Rush is very integrated into the community and prioritizes giving back with a special concentration on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Montana Chapter, the Foundation for Community Care and Boys and Girls Club of the MonDak. Garza closed her presentation by plugging one of her favorite local stops for Christmas Shopping – Merge. "I like to keep an active lifestyle and Merge carries several name brand clothing lines of activewear. These are clothing lines you'll find at bigger stores such as Scheels, but you will not find them cheaper than the Merge's prices, in fact you might pay a higher price if you end up shopping in North Dakota."
Marissa Eberling concluded the Shop Small Power Hour explaining how she started her business mid-pandemic. Eberling owns Badlands Clothing Company - a mobile shop specializing in affordable clothing for both men and women in a wide range of sizes. Eberling sets up "pop-up shops" next to The Coffee Stop almost every Saturday and Sunday during the summer months (for more details, events are posted on http://www.badlandsclothingco.com.) You can also find her all around Montana at vendor shows and pop-up shops with other businesses. Eberling expressed frustration in recent inflation stating she was able to buy a wholesale sweater for $10 in 2020 but it has since inflated to $27 per item. Eberling discussed her experiences owning and operating her own business. "Sometimes you start working when your feet hit the floor. Time management is key while not only managing Badlands Clothing Company, but also working full time at Sidney Sugars." When asked what her favorite local shop to do Christmas shopping was, Eberling answered that she enjoys shopping for the little ones in her family at the Montana Bare Cave.