Finishing Touches

Karen Rose, owner of Prairie Rose Emporium, is readying her store for the holiday season shoppers. She, like most merchants, is hoping for a steady crowd on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Black Friday is notorious for less than civilized shopper behavior, but for some El Campoans, it is a treasured tradition and for others it is a nightmare worth avoiding.

“It’s never what we get but who we are with,” Jenna Zabodyn said. “Some of my favorite memories are Black Friday memories with my mom. I can’t wait until my own daughter is old enough to experience it with us.”

Jennifer Vasquez of Wharton prepares for the Black Friday journey by skimming through advertisements, searching for deals on Christmas gifts for her children.

“This has been my system for a very long time,” Vasquez said. “I just start by what store opens first, and I have gone through the sales ads on Thanksgiving Day, and I know exactly what I want from the store.”

Others in El Campo are not so fond of Black Friday shopping.

“Even if they offered a $2 television, I would not go out to the stores on Black Friday,” Clara Merecka said. “I just think it’s crazy.” 

The unsung heroes of this event, store employees endure the brunt of Black Friday chaos. 

“After working in retail for two years and it being required for me to work a 12-hours shift, I refuse to shop Black Friday,” Kristi Konarik Breithaupt said via the Leader-News Facebook page.

The deals are worth enduring the chaos of Black Friday, according to Vasquez, who has seen her fair share of it.

“I have seen a lot of fights,” Vasquez said. “It has gotten pretty wild over the last few years.”

Zabodyn does not feel the sales are worth the crowds, but participates in Black Friday each year regardless.

“We sit in those long crazy lines and watch all the craziness commence and just laugh,” Zabodyn said. “If you’re in it for the thrill of it, your experience will be so much more enjoyable and rewarding.”

Businesses around El Campo are readying their stores for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and the El Campo Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Hop event on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Millhouse Furniture Owner Travis Nichols said Small Business Saturday is the biggest day of the weekend for his store. Around Christmas, they usually sell outdoor furniture.

Christmas greenery is a big seller this time of year, according to Flowers Etc. & Gifts owner Lisa Bubela. Bubela’s business usually sees the most traffic on Tuesday for the Shop Hop event.

Beginning at bigger stores in Rosenberg and Sugar Land, Vasquez shops at local stores later.

“Any of the little stores that are going to open, but I think that they aren’t going to be so packed with people, I’ll hit those in between,” Vasquez said.

To prepare for Black Friday, check out the sales circulation in today’s ECLN. The newspaper also offers a chance to win cash prizes via the Gingerbread Run in today’s Holiday Moments and Memories special section.

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