Tag Archives: downtown Blacksburg

Virginia Tech Foundation- DBI Non-profit Member of the Month

8 Jul

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for June -July 2015
Virginia Tech Foundation
Located at 902 Prices Fork Road, Suite 145 in Downtown Blacksburg

The foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit nonstock corporation established in 1948, and provides private financial support to enable the forward progress of Virginia Tech.

 

North End is a newly renovated 227,000 square foot mixed-use development that offers retail, restaurant, and office space in a pedestrian friendly setting with outdoor seating areas that will draw you in and make you want to visit again.  North End provides convenient parking for customers in the surface lot or the newly constructed 800-car parking garage and offers some of the finest businesses in Blacksburg including:

Five Guys                                            Tivon Salon & Spa

Buffalo Wild Wings                            New Image Barber Shop

Starbucks                                            Velocity Care/Carilion Clinic

Next Door Bake Shop                        Hokie Centric

Wicked Taco                                      Palm Beach Tan

NuSpark                                              Kaplan

Center of Dance                                P. Buckley Moss Gallery

Carilion Clinic Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

North End is located on the edge of campus at the intersection of Prices Fork Road and Turner Street in beautiful downtown Blacksburg, Virginia; one of the top ranked best performing small cities in the country.

If you haven’t been to North End, come shop, dine and enjoy…

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Palm Beach Tan, Next door Bake Shop, The Center of Dance, Wicked Taco and the P Buckley Moss Gallery are also members of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

She-Sha Cafe & Hookah Lounge-DBI Business Member of the Month

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for June -July 2015
She- Sha Cafe & Hookah Lounge
Located at 211 Draper Rd NW in the heart of Downtown Blacksburg

“I think one of the coolest things about She-Sha is the versatility of the space. While She-Sha is a great place to sit and get work done, it’s also where lots of people love to meet up with friends and hang out. We’ve had many customers say they’ve literally gotten their Masters Degree in She-Sha. That’s so cool! At the same time, though, we have lots of events like touring singer/songwriters, international DJ’s, local bands, open mic nights, poetry readings, and even small theatrical performances. Throughout the years, we have been totally open-minded to whatever the people of the town want this space to become. It’s been very organic. The business is run by people who love saying “yes”, and I think it shows on a regular basis. ss11

Speaking of organic, we have delicious organic fair-trade coffee and tea. We’ve got lots of great food from our kitchen like our Mojo Wrap which is like nothing else around. We’ve got some customers who say this is the single best food item they have ever had in Blacksburg. You can check out the fabulous menu right here! MENU

Another nice thing about She-Sha is the lack of TV’s and huge beer advertisements which are nearly impossible to avoid nowadays. Yes, you will find a lot of people in here at any given time with their laptops open, but it’s their choice. That’s really the key: giving people a choice and not shoving huge TV’s in everyone’s face.”

Upcoming events are as follows (but please note many more will be posted soon!):

July 17: “Funk 45 Friday” All Vinyl Night with the finest funk & soul, Latin funk, Afro-funk, and tropical flavors selected by Boogieburg’s vinyl collector Spark Arrester

Aug 7 & 8: “Global Dance Music Showcase” in celebration of downtown Blacksburg’s Steppin’ Out Festival featuring dance music from around the world selected by regional DJ’s

Aug 20: The WeatherVanes (touring four piece folk/rock band from Washington DC)

Look out this Fall for WUVT’s “Green Eggs & Jam” jam session night open to any local musician every other week.

John Gaskins, Manager of She-Sha

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. presents A summer full of fun- the ultimate “staycation”!

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Join us downtown for a variety of family fun filled events throughout the summer.

Updated: June 6, 2015

And here’s a little sweetener from the Town of Blacksburg!
During these events, metered parking will be FREE in the downtown area:
Saturday, June 20 – Summer Solstice Fest
Saturday, July 11 – Summertime Small Business Saturday
July 11-18 – Blacksburg Restaurant Week
Saturday, July 18 – Art at the Market
August 7 & 8 – Steppin’ Out

AW

Saturday, June 20, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest. Free and open to all. Featuring live music, Dog Parade, Petting Zoo, Beer & Wine Garden, Water Wars, festival foods, craft vendors, games and activities for the whole family.

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Saturday July 4, 5-10pm- Dr. Elvis on the Roof. Featuring live music with Dr. Elvis & The Pink Caddy Daddies, and Guilty Pleasures, beer and wine, festival foods and the best view of the fabulous Town of Blacksburg fireworks. Bring your own chair. No pets allowed. Donations to the Special Olympics of the New River Valley.

 

Saturday, July 11 Summertime Small Business Saturday- featuring special deals at participating downtown stores. PLUS the chance to win $500 in gift cards and gift certificates when you shop at local stores in partnership with Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Buy. Eat. Live. Local.

July 11- July 18Blacksburg Restaurant Week. One Town. Seven Days. 20+ Delicious Deals.4

Saturday, July 18, 9am-2pm- Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market. A juried art show and sidewalk sale, with a fabulous breakfast at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

August 7-8, 10am-10pm- 35th annual Steppin’ Out Festival. Three stages of live entertainment, more than 200 craft vendors, merchant’s sidewalk sales and your favorite restaurants providing great festival foods.

Monday, September 7, 3-6pm- Party on the Promenade. A pre-game tailgate open to all ages on College Avenue.

2Downtown Blacksburg. It’s not on your way, it’s where you are going!

For more information visit our website:DowntownBlacksburg.com

Modern + Idea = Modea

6 May Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Written by Taylor Martin & Emily Pote

Modea has been in the Blacksburg’s community for almost nine years after two Virginia Tech graduates named David Catalano and Aaron Herrington decided to use their entrepreneurial spirit to start the company in 2006. The company has been in several locations throughout Blacksburg and currently has its headquarters in Kent Square.

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Modea, which is a combination of the words modern + ideas, was originally started as an advertising agency, but over the past few years has transformed into a digital consultancy and product studio. On the consultancy side, the company does website strategy and redesign for various clients, including nTelos and Duke Medicine. On the digital product side, Modea creates simulators and emulators for cell phone companies including Verizon and Telus, a Canadian company.

The office space is very modern, but also very inviting. It consists of two floors separated by a spiral staircase. The top floor, where the consultancy sits, is where website design happens, while the bottom floor is where the digital simulators and emulators are made. Both floors have their own distinct features, but everything still ties together. Whiteboard paint is on just about every wall of the office space, and sticky notes cover many the regular walls left. There are two big kitchens in the facility, each packed with complimentary drinks and snacks for the employees to munch on while getting work done. On Fridays, employees enjoy what’s known as FLF, Free Lunch Friday, where the company caters lunch for everyone in the office. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty popular day at Modea and it’s all to show employee appreciation.

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

One of the most popular spaces in the office is the two game rooms. These rooms were designed with the employees in mind. While on lunch or when they need a break, several employees can join together for a game of foosball or to battle on every game system imaginable from Xbox One to PS4.

The company has several uniquely named conference rooms throughout the office. Upstairs, room names range from THIS ROOM and THAT ROOM, while downstairs, the rooms boast names such as CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET.

Downtown Blacksburg was chosen as Modea’s home for several reasons according to Emily Pote, the company’s Office Manager. “Blacksburg offers a great quality of life and has been rated one of the best places to raise a family.” Emily’s favorite thing about living and working in Blacksburg is “the view of the mountains every day. I’ve been here about seven months and I love that I haven’t gotten used to the gorgeous views yet.”

Employees of Modea, known as Modeans, have a relaxed environment allowing them to get work done in a non-stressful atmosphere. You often find employees sitting in plush chairs throughout the office instead of at their desk. The dress code is casual and varied with folks wearing everything from t-shirts and jeans to dresses and button up shirts. Educationally, Modea hires candidates from the “techy” fields, such as computer science, arts and design, and software engineering. Virginia Tech is a great recruiting source that Modea uses often as seen by the fact that several of their part-time employees are students there.

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modea and its 90 employees love being a part of the Downtown Blacksburg Community. “People are always asking me what Modea does and I’m happy to answer their questions,” Emily said. Modea also enjoys giving back to its home community in various ways including hosting and maintaining the Lyric Theatre’s website. As a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Modea supports the towns’ businesses by shopping and buying locally. In 2014, during Downtown Blacksburg Inc.’s annual Steppin’ Out, Modea made it a point to give each employee $10, of the company’s money, to spend at the festival. Modea loves to be a part of this community and strongly encourages every person and business to support each other.

Modea is a great business to have in our community. It is the type of company you expect to find in Silicon Valley, but instead it is right where it belongs, in the heart of Virginia, in Downtown Blacksburg.

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery's son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery’s son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Modea is a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Taylor Martin is a Junior at Virginia Tech. She is Public Relations Major. Taylor is currently working as a part time work study Intern for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Valentine’s Day in Downtown Blacksburg

6 Feb The_350_Project_LocalsLoveYouMore_VALENTINE_Email

With just a week to go until Valentine’s Day we thought you might enjoy a round-up of some of the great deals downtown to make the day extra sweet for your special someone! And don’t forget to Love your Community by shopping small for Valentine’s Day this year!

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Gifts Galore

Valentines-Day-background_mainAureus Jewelry
Stop by Aureus Jewelry and register to win a heart shaped garnet pendant necklace to be given away on Valentine’s Day! We are offering 60% off all in stock jewelry from now until Valentine’s Day

Fringe Benefit
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Come in to see our beautiful jewelry just in from Brighton! There is a wonderful selection to choose from!

Heirloom Originals
First 10 customers on February 14th receive free gift
Vintage Valentine displays and beautiful costume jewelry
Free Valentines day gift wrap
20% off any red or pink item in store…

Mad Dog
Serving Hershey’s kisses and a 14% discount on selected items. Beautiful heart necklaces and earrings in stock for that special day

Matrix Gallery
American made pottery, glass, jewelry, wood, leather goods, and more. Offering you the very best in Valentine’s Day treats!

P Buckley Moss Gallery
The gallery has released a new print especially for Valentine’s Day. They also have a collection of many other subjects suitable for valentine gifts.

Polished by Claire v.
Send your heart this Valentine’s day with a polished gift basket. Call us at 904-6868 to order your baskets by February 12th!

Uncommonly Gifted
Valentine’s Day is nearly here so stop in to browse the very best selection of cards and unique & unusual gifts for your sweetie! Blacksburg is for Lovers t’s, hoodies and totes make the perfect Valentine Gift!

Special Experiences

Clay Corner Inn
Great Valentine’s special and any weekend stay at the Clay Corner Inn.dsa
Weekend Healing Retreat Package- 2 nights, 2 people plus a Reiki Session each- $447 plus tax

Eucalyptus Massage Therapy
Free Olive Oil & Aloe Vera foot massage with any service purchased in February!

Isn’t it Romantic? A Dinner Concert
Saturday, February 14
Dinner Buffet & Musical Revue with Catherine Breske & Quartet
The Village Center, Warm Hearth Drive
Reservations- contact mbaker@warmhearth.org

Lyric Theatre
February 14- The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies invites you to a free screening of Young Mr. Lincoln 1:00–4:30 p.m. The afternoon will include a post-screening Q & A with VT Department of History professors Kimberly Kutz and Paul Quigley.

 Regular Movie for Saturday Night- showing- The Imitation Game at 7pm & 9:15pm 

Main Street Inn
Make A Night Of It- 10% discount on room rate for Valentine’s Day
Enjoy a complimentary bottle of Wine!
Call 540-552-6246 to reserve your room today

NRV Pilates, Personal Training & Massage
Valentines special – buy 1 hot stone massage for $55 and get a free Pilates Personal Training session.

Say it with Food

Beliveau Estate Winery
February 14- Chocolate inspired “Wine and Dinner Pairing”, 6:30pm. $65 per person, reservations required: 540-315-5674

Ceritano’s
Valentines Day dinner special
Appetizer or salad
Grupper al limone or
Assagini di pasta
Dessert
Bottle Motepulciano or Trebbiano
$65 plus tax and gratuity

Café de Bangkok
February 14 features a Thai style Valentine special menu.

Gobble Cakes
Cupcakes with flowers for Valentine’s Day! $4 each

Gourmet Pantry
Saturday Feb. 14: A special Valentine’s Wine tasting from 12 – 4pm.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Gourmet Pantry with an evening of romance in the kitchen, featuring a menu of decadent recipes you’re both sure to enjoy! We select the highest quality meats available and the freshest ingredients, with a different wine specially paired to perfectly compliment each dish. Join us for this exquisite evening of sumptuous food, fine wine, and romance! $110 per person. Limited space, so book your reservation early! Saturday February 14, 6:00pm.

Next Door Bake Shop
Make your Valentine’s Day Gifts count twice! Order from us on February 9th and 10% of sales will be donated to the Price’s Fork Elementary School!
What’s that? You’ve got it covered?! Don’t need help making your valentine feel special? That’s okay!
Come in and join us for lunch, dinner, coffee, or your choice of treat and we’ll donate 10% of our daily sales!

Social House
Busy on Valentine’s Day? Join us at Social House, on February 10th, for lunch or an early Valentine’s Day Dinner and 10% of sales will go to Price’s Fork Elementary School.

Travel in Style  

Take the Hooptie Ride!

To schedule a pick-up, call:
(540) 449-DRIV(3748)
Our drivers are on-call daily morning to late night. Other times are available by appointment.
Call ahead for best service!

Happy-Valentines-Day-Photos

A student’s eye view…

20 Jan

By: Abigail Rausch

Being a Virginia Tech student, I’m not as creative as I tend to think when it comes to some things. When I want to shop, I look online; when I want a cup of coffee, I go to Starbucks; and when I’m hungry, I eat Chipotle or Panera Bread. I’m sure a lot of students can agree with me, we get caught up in the rush of life and stick with what we know, what we’re used to. So what’s wrong with shopping on the same websites and eating the same foods if we know that 9 times out of 10, we’ll like our results? I never used to think there was anything “wrong” with that, and I think most students feel the same as I did. Truthfully, this is only because most people don’t know the many possibilities and options Downtown Blacksburg has to offer, and I am just now recognizing them.

In the Downtown Blacksburg area, there are tons of options for shopping and dining that a lot of students seem to overlook, at least, I know I did. We all know that Blacksburg isn’t the most “eventful” place, so in our leisure time we might stay in, order a pizza, and surf the web. We do all this while a lively and exciting downtown sits less than a mile away, perfectly stocked with the means to fulfill all of our wants and needs.

One day last semester I was put in a situation where I had to enter each and every business in the downtown area, and it was then that I realized I was missing out on so many wonderful aspects of downtown Blacksburg. Since that eye opening experience, whenever I want to hang out with friends or family, I love to spend the evening downtown. Throughout my many recent adventures downtown, I was surprised by the diverse food options a lot of restaurants offered, as well as the fun, interactive environments.

The restaurants aren’t the only great things about the downtown area, and with one walk down Main Street, anyone would agree. The local shops downtown carry unique items that you couldn’t find just anywhere else. Remarkably, they carry practically anything a college student or any other customer could want for all occasions. Exploring each and every store in the downtown area was a great experience and left me stunned with what I found, and happy I took the time to do it.

My new go to place for shopping and dining is downtown Blacksburg. Why don’t you join me? I think you’ll be surprised and excited at what you find.

 

Abigail Rausch is a Sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is double majoring in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising & Design. Abigail is currently working as a part time work study Intern for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

 

Home for the Holidays

13 Dec Downtown Blacksburg, Inc Christmas Tree!
FREE FAMILY FILM FEST

Stop…..then Shop!POLAR
A great way to spend a Saturday with the family enjoy a free movie on us and then stop in for lunch at one of our wonderful downtown restaurants or do some shopping in one of our fabulous downtown stores! Or stop by Blacksburg Farmers Market for some wonderful local fresh produce, meats, baked goods and more! Open 10am-2pm

FREE FAMILY FILM FEST dates:
December 20- “Polar Express”

January 10, 2015- TBA
February 7, 2015- TBA
March 7, 2015- TBA

Brought to you by:
Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. & The Lyric Theatre

TREEGENTS LATE NIGHT HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Thursday Dec 18, 4-7pm

Including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.

Mad Dog- store wide SALE along with Hot Cider and refreshments.

Beliveau Estate Wineries Store- “Buy Two Bottles, get 3rd Bottle at 50% off”

Uncommonly Gifted- Join us for a fun evening of holiday shopping! Wish Lists,Light refreshments, door prizes, Holiday Raffle!

The Gallery Store-Come shop with us and enjoy coffee and treats, free gift wrap and more!

polished by claire v- complimentary refreshments and an extra $10 for every $50 gift card.

Main Street Inn-  “Calling all Shoppers to enjoys fresh-baked cookies and hot cider by with fireplace”& Make a Night of It with 10% off your stay tonight!

P.Buckley Moss Gallery-a small black-and-white print valued at $40 with every purchase of $100 one per customer

Fringe Benefit- Special discounts and more

FREE PARKING DOWNTOWN!

Enjoy a gift from the Town of Blacksburg……..freeparking

FREE PARKING beginning Saturday, December 20 and ending Sunday, January 4.

HOLIDAY TREES & GINGERBREAD HOUSES AT KENT SQUARE

Kent Square lobby has been transformed to a Winter Wonderland with decorated trees provided by downtown merchants and non-profit groups.Nest Realty is hosting their 3rd annual Gingerbread House Contest to benefit Micah’s Backpack at this location. Park in Kent Square Parking Garage and bring the family to enjoy this spectacular new addition to the holidays in Downtown Blacksburg.
Voting for your favorite tree and Gingerbread House takes place from December 5-20HTREE

To vote for your Favorite Tree
• Collect your FREE ballot from participating stores or Kent Jewelers, & Uncommonly Gifted.(Only 1 ballot per person)
• Visit the trees in Kent Square and choose your favorite
• Return your completed ballot to Kent Jewelers of Uncommonly Gifted & be entered to win PRIZES
• The winning tree will be announced Saturday Dec 20 at 2:30pm at a special reception with Santa and Mrs. Claus in Kent Square. “Cookies, Candy Canes & Cocoa” provided.
Prize Drawing will take place – random voters will win Downtown Gift Certificates!

 

HOUSETo vote for your favorite Gingerbread House
Purchase a ticket from Kent Jewelers for $1 or a food donation (Chicken Noodle Soup or Pasta)
Put your ticket in the tin in front of your favorite house
All proceeds go to Micah’s Backpack

Here comes the sun…here comes the FUN!!!

7 Apr 19

April showers bring May flowers, spring has truly arrived!! And with spring our thoughts turn to sunshine, to social time to FUN!! Summer is a fun-filled busy time in downtown Blacksburg so we think you need to mark your calendars now and SAVE THE DATES!

Saturday, May 3, 5-10pm- 2nd annual Horseshoes & Hats: A Kentucky Derby Casino Night
In Kent Square
Tickets available NOW online only at: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx
The event will include viewing the Kentucky Derby, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a Fancy Hat contest and Casino games- Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold ’em, and River City Horse Racing. Must be 21 or older to attend.

 
Tuesday May 27, 6:02pm- CASH MOB for Mental Health America
Meeting place To Be Announced

We meet, the secret locally owned businesses to target are announced and off we go!
Rules:
1) Spend up to $20
2) Meet 3 new people
3) HAVE FUN!

Tuesday June 17, 5:48pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

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Saturday, June 21, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest
Main Street and Lee Street
Featuring Burnt Creative Craft & Vintage Market, Downtown Sundown 5k® Race, carnival, sand beach, live music, dog parade, petting zoo, and so much more.

Tuesday July 15, 6:12pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

Saturday July 19, 8am-2pm Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market
Juried Art show and sidewalk sale featuring at least 30 local artists.
Take in a little breakfast with your art, as well as enjoying a bustling day at the Farmers Market. Live music included!

Friday-Saturday August 1-2, 10am-10pm STEPPIN’ OUT!
Crafters, art, sidewalk sales, live music and entertainment, family, food FUN!!!

Monday, August 18, 6:06pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

We have a few more activities and events up our sleeves so keep watching our website: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/events.aspxor our facebook https://www.facebook.com/DowntownBlacksburg

Top 5 reasons for attending Horseshoes & Hats

14 Mar HH-logo-w-tag

With the 2nd Annual Horseshoes & Hats, Kentucky Derby Casino Night fast approaching we thought it would be fun to give you our Top Five reasons why you should attend. So in true David Letterman style here we go…..

#5- Fabulous Prizes
We have a fantastic variety of prizes ready for you to win including hotel packages, beautiful jewelry, massages, wine baskets and so much more.Holly

 

#4- Fancy Hat Contest
Dust off your best hat, buy a new one or create your own. Entry in the Fancy Hat Contest is included in the incredible reasonable ticket price ($35 single or $60 couple). For the men there is also a Best Dressed Gent contest. You will have your work cut out to beat last year’s winners who intend to make it a double!hh1

 

#3- Casino Games
Casino Games provided by Massino’s Casinos including Black Jack, Texas Hold ’em, Roulette, and the ever popular Craps. A fun favorite of the evening is the River City Horse Racing.

 

#2- Watching the Kentucky Derby on the big screen
While dhh2rinking a Mint Julip with 200 of the most fun people in Blacksburg…..what more do we need to say?!!!

 

 

And the #1 reason to attend the event….An AWESOME great time!!!
HH

Did we miss anything? Tell us your Top Reason for coming to Horseshoes & Hats. We’ll even give away a FREE ticket to the event for the best answer!

For more information about the event please visit

http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx

Christmas shopping on a budget revisited

13 Dec And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....
Post written by Laureen Blakemore
Revisted 11/27/13
Last year I confessed to you a startling fact: I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING! and I am VERY IMPATIENT!  Hard to believe, I know, but it remains true.  And though I actually am mellowing to the potential joy of shopping I still foresee a fair amount of retail therapy in my future before I can truly embrace the joy!
christmas-shopping
And so, once again, I believe it remains relevant to share with you my very slightly revised post about Christmas Shopping on a Budget.
I used to find Christmas  shopping to be a pain in the……. well you know what. Standing in line in crowded shops combined with the pressure to find exactly the right gift for each person on my list was not only frustrating to me, but was actually rather annoying.  Over the years Christmas shopping became an  exercise in frantically grabbing whatever I could find, as fast as I could find it and getting out of the door and back home as quickly as was humanly possible. Not much thought went into anyone’s gift. Friends or family members, who were unfortunate enough to come shopping with me, were usually left re-evaluating our relationship as they watched me turn into an impatient, obnoxious lunatic as I desperately tried to navigate my way through crowds and badly laid out aisles to find my way to the nearest cashier or doorway.
Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

And now…….well I shop downtown, right here in Blacksburg.While I would certainly not pretend  that I suddenly find shopping to be my most favorite activity in the whole wide world ever, I have found that I can tolerate it a lot better and sometimes I actually even enjoy myself!
I hear a lot of people saying that it is too expensive to shop locally so today I set myself a challenge- to find out if it was possible to shop downtown for Christmas gifts that cost less than $20 each. Turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected because there was just so much available to choose from. In many instances I found delightful gifts which cost less than $10 so now I am spoiled for choice! Shopping for the holidays is made even easier by our downtown merchants who offer a whole variety of special shopping events throughout late November and December leading up to the big day. Starting with Small Business Saturday on November 30, the merchants offer late night shopping hours, special sales, Sunday hours, and themed night such as Ladies Night (Dec 12) and Gents Night (Dec 19). These themed nights feature  free gift wrapping, Wish Lists,  personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more. Yes- they even give us refreshments while we shop!
Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

So what brought about this change of heart in my shopping attitude I hear you asking?  Well really it’s probably down to 5 simple reasons and I  want to share those with you.
1) I now know our downtown store owners, and they know me. They are used to my “shopping phobia” and are quick to offer shopping advice if needed and equally quick to know when I just want to be left alone! I have never had to waste my time searching for a sales assistant to tell me the price of an item, or to find out if they have the size I need in stock. Downtown the sales assistants, or in many cases, the owners, are on hand almost immediately if a customer has a question. And there is certainly something to be said for shopping in the places where “everybody knows your name” (to quote from one of my favorite old shows “Cheers”)!
2)  Every time I go and shop downtown I can absolutely guarantee that I will bump into somebody I know in at least one store. So now in addition to purchasing items I can catch up with friends and acquaintances, swap ideas about gifts for you know who, whom they just happen to know too! Suddenly shopping is a much less daunting task, it’s a social experience and I truly do love to be sociable! Often the shopping trip becomes much more than that- how fun it is to catch up with others and maybe move on from the store to one of the great restaurants or to The Lyric to catch a movie, or on a sunny day to hang out together at Market Square Park.

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

3) Our downtown stores have more one-of-a-kind gifts, unique and unusual pieces as opposed to the mass-produced items that are found elsewhere. Our stores offer a more low-pressure shopping experience and so many different options, so I am able to spend more time finding gifts that really suit members of  my family and my friends.
4) In our downtown stores the staff  are more familiar with their merchandise, and offer personalized assistance  in a low stress environment. And if they do not carry something I am looking for they let me know where I can find it elsewhere!
All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in  Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

5) Smaller stores = shorter lines= less waiting time. Enough said!
We all know by now, I hope, that supporting local business is beneficial to the local economy as well. According to a Nov. 22, 2011, Forbes article by Deborah Sweeney, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 gets returned to the community, either in employee paychecks, or through taxes. An Oct. 21, 2011, U.S. News article by Rachel Koning Beals corroborates this claim, adding that, in comparison, one Chicago-based study found that only $43 of every $100 spent at chain stores remains in the local economy. Sweeney describes local businesses as “the backbone of the community”. When you spend your money locally, you are supporting the people who live next door, the people who know your name!
Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

And so with all of this in mind back to my challenge- Christmas shopping on a budget downtown. I found so very many items for $20 or less that I finally stopped looking. I have provided some pictures and ideas here for you as well as a list of most of  our downtown stores. I encourage you to take this challenge and come down and see how much is available- from $3 stocking stuffers in The Clothes Rack to $10 gloves in Fringe Benefit or Disappearing Tardis Mugs in Uncommonly Gifted: from a selection of art projects and coloring books in Mish Mish to all of your Hokie needs in High Peak Sportswear, Tech Bookstore,  or Bookholders: from beautiful works of arts and crafts in Matrix Gallery, The Gallery Store or Eucalyptus Massage Studio to cell phone accessories in Wireless Zone: from cool Kitchen accessories in Gourmet Pantry to all your gardening needs in Heavener Hardware. So many great gifts under $20 each, and in many cases, under $10 available in downtown Blacksburg! And if you are still not sure what would be the absolute best gift for your teacher/ boss/wife/friend/co-worker you can always get Downtown Gift Certificates  sold in $5 or $20 denominations at the National Bank of Blacksburg on Roanoke Street. They can be redeemed in more than 60 downtown businesses allowing the recipient to choose exactly where they want to spend their $$’s!
So come on downtown and take the challenge- get your Christmas gifts for $20 or less, you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have during your shopping local experience!
Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

310 Rosemont
208 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-5326
Alligator Alley
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4287
Beliveau Estate Winery
104 W. Roanoke St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-0505
Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Bike Barn
424 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-443-3323
Blacksburg Pipe & Tobacco
408 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-8457
Bookholders.com
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-808-4481

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Capone’s Fine Jewelry
101 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1000

Clothes Rack
105 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-8147

Eats Natural Foods
708A N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2279

Eucalyptus Massage Therapy
201 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552- CALM

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Friends of the Farmers Market
P.O. Box 568
Blacksburg, VA 24063
540-239-8290

Fringe Benefit
117 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-9777

Gourmet Pantry
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1995

Greenhouse Boardshop
203 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3872

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Heavener Hardware & Lumber
801 Kabrich St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1221

Heirloom Originals
609 North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
552-9241

High Peak Sportswear
209 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1293

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

John’s Camera Corner & Gentry Studio
213 Draper Rd.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2319

Kent Jewelers
210 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3241

Mad Dog
109 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4038

Matrix Gallery
115 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-3566

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Mish Mish
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1020

Nice Dreams
115-B North Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4733

polished by claire v.
101 South Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
1540-342-5895

Sandra Eileen Designs
106 Faculty Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Tech Bookstore
118 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-6444

The Artful Lawyer Gallery Store
320 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540- 443.9350 ext. 707

Uncommonly Gifted
208 S. Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1818

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Vintage Touch
208A North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1901

Wireless Zone
304 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4200

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping…..

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping.....

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping…..

Okay, not really. Just checking to see who read to the end! Share your favorite downtown place to shop for the holidays here and be entered in a draw to win Downtown Gift Certificates. Draw will take place on December 23.

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