'Plaid Friday' events planned across Granite State
Plaid Friday is really the kickoff event for the Shift Your Shopping movement that runs from Thanksgiving to the end of December, according to Serena Galleshaw, membership coordinator for Seacoast Local.
Last year more than 150 local business alliances representing over 38,000 locally owned businesses participated in the national effort that encourages holiday shoppers to dedicate a percentage of their holiday shopping to locally made and sold products.
Plaid Friday was born on the West Coast five years ago when gallery owner Kerri Johnson of Oakland, Calif., was brainstorming with friends and other business owners about what small retailers could do on Black Friday, other than close for the day.
"This is kind of a coming back to what the holiday season stands for," Galleshaw said.
There are special offers and discounts for shoppers wearing plaid, she said.
"Nearly every business is giving away a small gift or giving away a certain discount throughout the day," Galleshaw said.
This year, shoppers are also being asked to participate using social media, posting photos and stories online telling their Plaid Friday experiences.
"In nearly every town that is part of Seacoast Local, we are having a Plaid Friday Hub," Galleshaw said.
Oxbow Farm owner Kim Graham in Dublin had not heard of Plaid Friday when she recently joined the Keene-based business group Monadnock Buy Local.
She said she quickly got on board when Monadnock Buy Local asked her to be a Plaid Friday Hub.
She is prepping her 388 Page Road farm to be a Hub with a Plaid Friday open house tonight from 5:30 to 8 p.m. including hay bale seating, a toasty bonfire and crafts for children.
Graham wanted to offer holiday shoppers more than her eggs, whole chickens and sausage, so she decided to invite local business owners that don't have store fronts, she said.
For lists of businesses participating in Plaid Friday or Plaid Friday Hub locations go online to www.monadnocklocal.org and www.seacoastlocal.com.
"I hear more people saying they want to shop locally this year for their gifts, so that's definitely encouraging," Graham said.
"I would love to hear in a couple of years people saying, 'Black Friday, what is that? I'm going to Plaid Friday.'"