FOREST CITY | Area residents looking to get a head start on holiday shopping can do so on Friday, Nov. 17, in Forest City.
From 3 to 8 p.m. Serenity Spa, 117 S. Fourth St., will host its seventh annual Jump Start Friday featuring “deep, deep discounts” on products and services, vendors, gift-basket giveaways and opportunities to give back.
“We’re providing the community the opportunity to shop local and partake in big deals we don’t offer throughout the year,” said Kate Rogers, owner of Serenity Spa in Forest City and Clear Lake. “It’s like Black Friday shopping except at night and the week before.”
The event was started seven years ago with Serenity Spa, and other local businesses, offering expanded hours and sales ahead of the holidays, but as businesses closed, participation in Jump Start Friday dwindled each year.
Four years ago, Rogers encouraged “brick-and-mortar” stores to house in-home businesses during holiday shopping season, so local vendors could gain exposure within the community and shoppers could try something new.
“But with dwindling businesses, it was hard to get that going, so three years ago, (Serenity Spa) moved into a new building that could house all the vendors who were willing to participate,” she said.
This year, 13 vendors — some returning and some new — are participating in Jump Start Friday. They are: Lularoe, Sseko Designs, Thirty-One, Rainbow, Cocoa Exchange, Damsel in Defense, Thompson’s Treats, Sweet Serenity Bath and Body Solutions, It Works, Tips and Toes, Rodan + Fields, Sugar Lily Accessories and doTerra.
There will also be a drawing for a $400 gift basket and a $200 gift basket during the event.
New this year is the opportunity to give to two different causes, Rogers said.
The first is the Neighborhood Food Bank. There will be a donation box at Serenity Spa for people to drop off non-perishable food items, and in return, they will receive an additional discount on sale items.
The second is the Good Samaritan Society. It’s seeking donations, like new or gently-used like towels and blankets and hygiene, household cleaning products and items, for veterans who were displaced from a related nursing home earlier this year.
“We would appreciate it if people came out and took a look, met the vendors and checked out other businesses open in town,” Rogers said. “When you support local businesses, your dollars stay local and go back into the community.”