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Thursday, November 29, 2018

By Chris Frost


Oxnard— As shoppers crowded the big box retailers on Black Friday, the astute buyer took advantage of Small Business Saturday celebrated across downtown Oxnard Nov. 24.

The event, sponsored by American Express, celebrates the holiday season and encourages people to shop small and take advantage of the treats that are available from local merchants.

One such place that most people won’t think to shop is the Oxnard Public Library, where the gift shop, operated by the friends of the library offer unique treasures for every family member and is a hidden treasure.

“It’s very cool to be part of Small Business Saturday at the Oxnard Public Library,” Friends of the Library Volunteer Pam said. “There are no crowds; everybody is in a good mood, we’ve got jewelry, scarves and all the things you can get at a department store.”

The store is filled with items supplied by vendors, she said, and the friends occasionally travel to Los Angeles to take advantage of small gift shop sales.

“We get our toys for the children at a special place,” she said. “Everything is unique, and you are not going to find them in the stores.”

Pam said jewelry and purses are always the most popular items at the shop.

“People like earrings, sterling silver, watches, bracelets, and necklaces,” she said. “We have all kinds of things, whether it’s gold, silver, dress up or everyday things.”

She loves the clientele that visits.

“We’re laid-back, congenial and we don’t follow people around trying to push them into something,” she said. “The money we make, after we pay for our costs, goes directly to the library and that’s why I do this.”

The friends' fund children and adult programs, she said, and teach English to non-English-patrons.

“It funds anything the library needs, but mostly programs for the children,” Pam said.

Clerk Dominic Novoa from Henson’s Music Center loves small business Saturday.

“It’s a great way for the community to come together and see the businesses in their local area,” he said. “We have a lot of sheet music; we offer instruments for sale, instrument lessons and a lot of musical instrument repair. We have instructors working here in our store.”

He said the store also offers plenty of customer service.

“We pride ourselves on our customer service,” he said.

Rose Luna, the daughter of the owner, takes care of the day-to-day business at Gordon’s Western Wear and loves what she does.

"It’s not as crowded as the mall, but for our community, we are doing fine,” she said. “It’s a slow and steady pace.”

Customers that come in start with a browse through the store, she said, where they discover things they haven’t seen for a while.

“For the most part, people look at the traditional shirts, pants and the hats,” she said. “We do a lot of hat sales.”

She enjoys when people come in attracted to the merchandise.

“We offer them the best service we can,” she said.