Holiday Shoppers Flock to Home-Based Business Bazaar
COLUMBIA - Holiday shopping was in full swing at Stephens Lake Park's Riechmann Indoor Pavilion Sunday.
Columbia Parks and Recreation hosted the first "Home-Based Business Bazaar" for local vendors. Eighteen home business owners put their products on display for crowds of holiday shoppers.
The National Retail Federation tracks these shoppers' spending between November and December. The organization predicts nationwide holiday sales to be 3.9 percent higher than last year's, bringing total sales to about $602.1 billion.
The National Retail Federation's digital shopping division, Shop.org, forecasts online sales will also grow. Shop.org predicts sales to increase 13 to 15 percent from last year's, bringing total digital sales to $82 billion.
Despite this growth in online purchases, Ambiaka Maupin, owner of Ambiaka's Art Studio, is not worried.
"No, I'm not competing with online people," she said.
Maupin added it's because painting is her passion.
"Regardless of whether anyone chooses to purchase whatever I paint, I had a really good time doing it, and I continue to have a really good time painting, and I've been doing it for years," she said. "So, it's about having fun and possibly making some money on the side."
Courtney Deters, life enrichment recreation specialist for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said she thinks a bazaar like this one gives home businesses an edge over online retailers.
"They (shoppers) can come and shop right here and take it home with them that day, they don't have to wait for it to ship or anything like that and they don't have to place an order," she said. "So, I think that would help with some of the local sales."
Deters said today's event was a success.