Every year, eager shoppers look forward to the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and the infamous Black Friday, when swarms of people gather around the entrances of large department stores looking to score on some of the best discounts of the year. However, with all that commotion it’s easy to overlook the independently owned and authentic small business shops that celebrate the beginning of the shopping season in a different way. That’s why Small Business Saturday was created.
The American shopping holiday was first observed in 2010. The intent was to encourage holiday shoppers to favor brick and mortar business’ that are small and local. Each year Small Business Saturday is held on the Saturday after US Thanksgiving. This year the holiday will be celebrated on Larimer Square on Saturday, November 25th, 2017.
A Small Business Story…
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we’re shedding some light on one of our most popular small business stores, Hailee Grace. The store was first started four and a half years ago by college roommates and best friends, Hailee Satterfield and Grace Buttorff. The dynamic duo had a love for fashion and an entrepreneurial spirit. It drove them to create the wildly successful, contemporary women’s boutique.
What began as a casual conversation eventually led to a thriving business on Larimer Square and a four-time 5280 Top of the Town award winner. The concept first came to Buttorff and Satterfield as they were discussing their desire to shop somewhere other than the local malls. Buttorff, an east coast native grew up with an abundance of clothing boutiques. She saw the market for a fashion forward boutique with an obtainable price point in Denver. Satterfield, a Colorado local, recognized that there weren’t any women’s boutiques in Denver that offered quality pieces without breaking the bank. Now, nearly five years later the girls have what they call a “dream storefront location on Larimer Square” and a business that’s excelling.
Owning Hailee Grace
When asked about the experience of owning a small business, both Satterfield and Buttorff mentioned how surprised they were with how challenging it could be. “No one told us that owning your own business is a 24/7, 365 days a year job”. At times, the girls mention it can feel overwhelming. However, they also note the tremendous feeling of pride that comes along with it. “What we like best about being small business owners is that it’s our own. To know that we built Hailee Grace from the ground up all on our own is the craziest feeling in the world. We are so proud of how we have grown and what we’ve been able to do together.”
Growing Hailee Grace on Larimer Square
Satterfield and Buttorff also acknowledged how much Larimer Square has done to help their business grow. “Larimer Square has contributed so much more to our success than we could have ever dreamed of”. The storefront gets most of their attention during the lunch break hour. At first, this came as a surprise to both Satterfield and Buttorff. “We had no idea how many people would come shop with us during their lunch hour. It is a really cool feeling to know people are choosing to spend their time off work with us”. They also said that they’ve gotten a lot more recognition simply by being located on such a well-known block. “We get a huge amount of out of town traffic being close to the Convention Center and hotels. We’ve been blown away the last 5 years”. Satterfield and Buttorff feel very fortunate to have such a large support from not just the Denver community, but from out of towners as well.
In honor of Small Business Saturday, Hailee Grace has decided to offer 15% off to all of their shoppers to celebrate their stylish boutique. Both Satterfield and Buttorff know how important it is to honor the small business community and are excited to be participating this year. And while the Hailee Grace girls have their hands full with their thriving small business, they see so much ahead for their store. “We just launched online which was a huge goal of ours. And in 5 to 10 years we would love to have two or more brick and mortar stores… one in Boulder and maybe our third in another state”! For more information about Hailee Grace, visit their website. And don’t forget to visit them on Small Business Saturday on November 25th.