Thursday, September 10, 2015

A trend we hope will go viral: the Shop Hop!

Nineteen antique stores and boutiques in Central California, from Ripon to Turlock, are sponsoring an Antiques and Boutiques Shop Hop Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3, to encourage shoppers to come out and support locally-owned stores.

First you pick up a "passport" and then you get a "stamp" at each of the stores you visit. Snacks and beverages will be available to keep up your stamina. If you get all 19 stamps and turn in your passport at your last stop, you get a chance to win a gift basket. It's the first time the group has tried this scheme, and I'm eager to see  how it turns out. Organizing it required a lot of creativity, effort and cooperation.

Shop Hops, wine walks, holiday open house events, and other festive occasions encourage store owners to work together, create a little excitement in the neighborhood and remind people how lucky they are to still have locally-owned businesses to support. We are surrounded with strip malls, big box stores and chain stores that reflect nothing of local color and character. And when we patronize them, our money only enriches the Waltons and their ilk, it does nothing to support our own communities.

Several of these 19 stores appear in Cochran's Guide, so you can use our maps to help you find them. Click Contents in the menu above and select each town from our Table of Contents.
• Magpie Antiques and All Things Inspiring in Ripon,
• Antique Avenue in Manteca,
• Antique Warehouse in Salida,
• Antique Emporium and Crow Trading in Modesto,
• Main Street Antiques and Trinkets to Treasures in Turlock.

Bravo to the individuals who put these events together —I wish you great success!

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