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We're One! (August 2009)

Posted By LocalShops1, Sunday, August 14, 2011

signup table

LocalShops1 is a family affair! Founder Ester Venouziou's mom, Tzeni, came in from New Jersey and she went straight to work at the registration table.

Starting a business in the recession, some people told us, was crazy. Starting a business that relied on advertising from small businesses — in a recession — was even crazier, they told us.  But we didn’t listen. We knew it would be tough … and it was. Tougher, even. But the support we received from small businesses was amazing, and kept us going. No, they didn’t always have money to support us financially. But never was about the money, anyway.

So when it was time for our 1-year birthday, we wanted to do something big. LS1 Girl nailWe had tons to celebrate: We had recently won a $250,000 advertising campaign in a marketing competition at Raymond James; we had gotten tons of media coverage; we had a brand new custom Web site coming; we had a new quarterly magazine, LS1; most of all, we had tons of community support, from local businesses, local shoppers.

What we still didn’t have: a big budget. But that was ok. We were still going to have a huge party. Our friends at the Table restaurant in downtown St. Pete offered to host our party, and even pitched in for drinks; dozens of business friends offered prizes for raffles; still others offered goodies to fill party bags.

Noah Pransky of 10Connects came out to cover the party. We were thrilled to have him. It was a story of small businesses coming together, to celebrate the success of another small business. We still get chills thinking of everyone who helped us along the way

Here are some more pictures from our first Birthday Bash!

100 party bags!

100 swag bags ready to go to the first 100 guests. Yes, they went fast!


Shoppers and business owners packed the room!

Dr. Nate

Dr. Nate, right, got there early and snagged a swag bag. Dr. Nate has attended all three LocalShops1 birthday bashes!

Pat Largo's mom, Ruthie.

Ruth Lauro, left, of New Port Richey, hangs out with LocalShops1 Girl.

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