The 8th annual Shop La Plata celebration is coming up this weekend in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. New Moon Bodywork and Botanicals, a well-established business along the Charles Street corridor, and one of the original event planners, will open their doors to old and new customers alike.
“I like the spirit of the event,” said New Moon owner and founder Holly Dunbar, “and I want to be a part of it. I think it’s getting bigger and better, even despite the pandemic.” La Plata is one of Southern Maryland’s most festive small-town shopping and dining destinations for the holidays, with unique boutiques, authentic restaurants that serve locally sourced food, wine and craft beer, and outdoor concerts and musicals.
Shop La Plata is the perfect place and time to purchase unique holiday gifts. Dunbar is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Registered Herbalist, and she combines the best of her knowledge in both fields in her one-of-a-kind aromatherapy product line. The practice also includes six other Licensed Health Care and Cosmetology Professionals and offers a range of massage and body work techniques, facials, and herbal medicine consultations.
During the Christmas season, “I do have holiday blends that I only make this time of year,” said Dunbar. “One is Fresh Cut Tree spray. I have a Sugar and Spice line that includes body spray, scrubs, and shower gels.” She also puts together pre-packaged deals that make good gifts for teachers or other special people in our lives—one being three things from the Sugar and Spice line in a cute little bag festively decorated with a cinnamon stick and reasonably priced.
Charles Street is lined with many little shops that are hard to notice driving by every day, but this Saturday, shoppers will be given a “Shop La Plata Passport,” where they need to visit a minimum of five participating small merchants that are listed on the Passport and have them stamp it. Once shoppers have five stamps, they can drop the Passport off at any participating business to be entered into a Small Business Saturday Holiday Shopping Spree Giveaway for a chance to win big.
Dunbar’s sister, Brianna Bowling, helps on the day of the event, and she added, “One thing I notice about that day and the passports, is that it encourages people to go into shops that they normally wouldn’t go to, and they discover a new shop and a person, too. They get to know these people and become their customers long term. Discovery is a big deal with Shop Small. Even if they don’t buy something that day, they’re discovering new shops and owners.”
“Shop Small isn’t just about small business,” said Dunbar. “It’s about the community. It’s really a community event. The community comes together and supports each other. It just has a great feeling to it. It’s a lot of work, but you know, it’s really worth it. You really get a sense that La Plata is a great place to live and work.”
And, the Shop La Plata event is a great introduction to Christmas. We hope you can make it this Saturday! And while you’re there, make sure you visit enough shops to enter the Small Business Saturday Holiday Shopping Spree Giveaway. We’ll be talking to a past winner in a blog coming soon.