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
LocalShops1.com never was about the money, anyway.
So when it was time for our 1-year birthday, we wanted to do
something big. We 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 wayHere are some more pictures from our first Birthday Bash!100 swag bags ready to go to the first 100 guests. Yes, they went fast!Shoppers and business owners packed the room!Dr. Nate, right, got there early and snagged a swag bag. Dr. Nate has attended all three LocalShops1 birthday bashes!Ruth Lauro, left, of New Port Richey, hangs out with LocalShops1 Girl.