Small Businesses Prepare For the Holidays

Artfully Paper is one of the many small retailers in the D.C. metro area that is looking forward to holiday cheer, but is also pragmatic about the not-so-stellar state of the economy.

In this first in a series of video interviews with the owners of small shops in the region, I asked store owner Eric Nelson and buyer Edward Hart about their outlook for the end of the year.

"I think people are still willing to buy," Nelson said, "they just are looking for things that are worth what they're spending."

The duo have come up with various strategies to gain repeat customers - such as offering a free gift card for patrons who visit the store at least three times and spend a certain amount of money during the holiday season.

They also have worked closely with their business community to help boost business by making their neighborhood a destination point by helping with local festivals and other activities.

Nelson also owns Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections in Alexandria and ACKC, a cocoa gallery that sells both art and drink in D.C.

By Sharon McLoone |  December 1, 2008; 9:00 AM ET Profiles in Entrepreneurship
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