(This column originally appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer)
While flowers and brunch remain among the most popular items this Mother’s Day, almost a third of respondents in a recent survey of more than 8,100 consumers found that a significant number of shoppers plan to purchase gifts from a specialty store such as a greeting card shop or jewelry store, and a quarter of them specifically said they would be frequenting small businesses.
Shoppers plan to spend almost $36 billion on Mother’s Day this year, up from about $32 billion last year — and many local businesses are responding.
“Mother’s Day is massively important to us, especially as a woman-owned business,” said Topia Tessema, the owner of Abiyah Naturals, an Ardmore-based shop that sells handmade and eco-friendly plant-based body care products. This Mother’s Day, Tessema is selling personalized “for her” gift sets of her products.
“The best advice I could give to other businesses looking to capitalize on Mother’s Day, as well as other holidays, is to listen to what your customers are requesting,” said Tessema. “People often seek small businesses out when giving gifts because it gives them a voice. This differs largely from larger box stores that do not know their specific desires and needs.”
If you haven’t planned for your business to leverage Mother’s Day this year, you’ve still got time, and doing so can not only create more sales now but bring customers back in the future. Creating specially designed products, offering discounts and deals, holding contests, doing giveaways, and hosting events can be a good way to make your small business stand apart from others.
Here’s how some other small businesses in the Philadelphia area are tweaking their usual models to make the most out of Mother’s Day shoppers.
Mother’s Day brunch may be the standard offering for many eateries, but for Tria Cafe — which has two locations in Center City — it’s also about toasting the occasion. That’s why the cafes are opening early to accommodate larger crowds.
“Tria is not a brunch destination and never will be,” said owner Jon Myerow, who has looked for other ways to use the holiday to maximize profits. Myerow says that any business looking to capitalize on Mother’s Day — or any other holiday — should always be true to their brand.
“We can enjoy a busy Mother’s Day doing things our way,” he said.
Danuta Mieloch, owner of Rescue Spa, agrees. Her business will sell specialized “Beauty Bag” gifts created specifically for Mother’s Day.
“Mother’s Day is the perfect moment to show gratitude with acts of care, and beautiful objects,” said a Rescue Spa spokesperson. That’s consistent with the “little luxuries, services, and products of indulgence” that the business typically provides.
Collene Hamm, owner of Collene’s Crafts & Flowers in Kutztown, has had to double her employees to keep up with this year’s Mother’s Day demand.
“It’s our largest holiday of the year,” she said. “We prep vases and flowers up to four days before the holiday, and we only try to make our orders one to two days ahead of time so they’re the freshest arrangements that people can receive. We usually have five delivery vehicles out that week per day, and we hope to make everybody’s Mother’s Day a very special holiday.”