Community comes together for tomorrow’s ‘Cash Mob’ - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Community comes together for tomorrow’s ‘Cash Mob’

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Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 7:49 am | Updated: 3:40 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

Thought the “shop local” movement was over? Think again.

More than a dozen Ahwatukee Foothills businesses are preparing to get “mobbed” this Saturday as the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce hosts a community Cash Mob.

Stemming the idea from popular flash mobs, the Cash Mob will be an all-day event where shoppers can support local businesses. In lieu of the event, also serving as an incentive, discounts and specials to most of the participating stores will be offered.

“It’s a good thing and it helps,” said Kathy Hanchette, a local jewelry distributor for Premier Designs.

“Especially when you realize how much out of a dollar stays in Arizona when you buy local,” she added.

For every $100 a shopper spends at a locally owned business, $73 stays in the local economy, according to a study by Local First Arizona. The study also showed only $43 out of every $100 will stay in the local economy when spending at non-local businesses.

Hanchette’s Premier Designs location is located near 15th Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. But for the Cash Mob, she will be hosting her jewelry from her Ahwatukee home on Saturday.

Hanchette will showcase most of her store’s designs as well as offer some specials on jewelry.

When customers do their shopping in a more one-on-one environment, explained Hanchette, they “spend as much time as they want. I don’t know if they can’t get that kind of customer service at Macy’s or Dillard’s.”

In previous years, most “at-home” or private shopping was thought to be reserved for more affluent shoppers or those with some serious connections.

Now the local-shopping trend has extended to some nicer jewelry options from its beginnings at downtown farmers markets and small, quirky boutiques with handmade items.

The resurgence of this trend with a whole day devoted to local shopping, however, should be kept in mind all year.

“One day’s sales won’t cover the financial strain many small businesses are facing in today’s economy,” said Anne Gill, president and CEO of the chamber, in a previous AFN report.

As a community known to take care of its business owners, it seems Ahwatukee won’t have a problem devoting a whole day to local shopping.

Leader of a kids care club at Kyrene de los Cerritos Elementary, Deanna Shah, said she is rallying a group of moms and kids to local store, Chris’ Water and Ice, 1334 E. Chandler Blvd. The owner’s of the ice store have two children who are also students at Ahwatukee schools.

“We are really hoping to support our friends who do own businesses within the community this weekend,” Shah said in an email.

Residents helping business owners, and business owners helping other owners; the cash mob knows how to bring local shopping full circle.

“But if people make it a habit to shop local first, they can make a difference,” Gill said.

The Cash Mob will be an all-day event Saturday with specials and discounts from about 25 local businesses.

For a complete list on all businesses offering specials, visit ahwatukeechamber.com.

To make a shopping RSVP for Hanchette’s line of jewelry from Premiere Designs, call (480) 460-4238 or email beyond-diva@cox.net.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4902 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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