By Kassidy McDonald | [email protected]
Shoppers who seek to jump-start their holiday gift buying will have the opportunity this week with Plaid Friday, Alexandria’s own twist on Black Friday. This “holiday” happens the Friday after Thanksgiving. Its appeal lies in the many bargains to be found as many businesses offer special deals and prices. It’s a day for those who want to emerge from their Thanksgiving Day food comas, get on their feet and do something productive – and fun – rather than spend another day as couch potatoes.
If you’re shopping for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for your family and friends, there are alternatives to sterile big box stores or online shopping right here in Alexandria. The local shopping event is officially called Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday.
According to Visit Alexandria, more than 50 small businesses throughout Old Town, Del Ray and the West End will be participating in Plaid Friday.
“On November 25, 2022 peruse more than 50 independent shops touting one-of-a-kind deals on designer and coveted merchandise, including home décor, chic fashion, gourmet food, classic toys and gifts for pets,” Visit Alexandria’s website reads.
The website also provides information about parking in the city for residents as well as visitors who may be traveling to Alexandria for the holidays.
“Find $5 garage parking in Old Town on Saturdays and Sundays, and after 5 p.m. on weekdays, at the Courthouse Square Garage, 111 S. Pitt Street, and the Market Square Garage, 108 N. Fairfax Street,” the website states.
If you can’t shop on Friday, many of the same businesses will be having sales on Saturday as well, for Small Business Saturday the following day.
Below are snippets from a few small businesses in Alexandria that are participating in Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday and a sampling of the types of special discounts on merchandise that will be available in stores throughout the city.
Bloomers, located on 924 King St., is an underwear, sleepwear and loungewear boutique that is participating in Plaid Friday. Nicole White bought Bloomers in 2018 with the idea of “focusing on underwear, sleepwear, loungewear, and not lingerie” and making the store “a place where customers feel comfortable shopping and where bra shopping isn’t a chore.”
Bloomers carries popular brands like Spanx, HUE, Command, Hanky Panky, Wacoal and Natori. On Friday, Bloomers will open at 6 a.m. White said that deals will include 30% off merchandise in the entire store from 6 to 8 a.m. and 20% off the entire store from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store will also have a discounted sale rack that includes bras up to 40% off.
The rest of the weekend, including for Small Business Saturday, Bloomers will operate at their regular hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Another small business that is participating in Plaid Friday is Fiscus Glassworks. Located at 2141 Jamieson Ave., Fiscus Glassworks will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Their deals will include up to 20% off on supplies and jewelry featured in the store. There will also be 15% off art from Fiscus Glassworks.
According to Visit Alexandria, Fiscus Glassworks is a store owned by Brad Fiscus that specializes in custom stained glass art and restoration, as well as jewelry and art. “Fiscus Glassworks designs and creates custom stained glass pieces of all sizes, as well as glass jewelry, made by Brad’s wife, Shelley, and their daughter, Mare,” the website reads.
Fiscus Glassworks will be taking custom orders for the holidays and selling gift cards. During the holiday break for students, Fiscus Glassworks will offer Christmas Art Camp for children 10 to 15 years old. On Dec. 19 and 20, the camp will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cost $50 per child. Campers will create a stained glass project and a glass beading project.
A second camp will be held both days in the afternoon, from 2 to 5 p.m. This offering is a two-day session that costs $80 per child and will include a fusing project, a stained glass project and a glass beading project. Registration closes when classes are full, or on Dec. 12.
If older kids or adults are interested in classes, Fiscus Glassworks has a two-day basic stained-glass course on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Bellacara Boutique is also participating in Plaid Friday. Located at 1000 King St., the boutique’s opening hours will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Plaid Friday. Discounts are tiered, with 20% off from 6 to 8 a.m., 15% off from 8 to 10 a.m. and 10% off merchandise from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Product availability is limited to what we have on the shelves the day of Plaid Friday – meaning that when it’s gone, it’s gone! We will be implementing a purchase limit of two for any same item,” according to the store’s promotion. The boutique encourages shoppers to put their lists together before Plaid Friday so when they shop in the store they have the best and easiest shopping experience.
Instead of hitting department stores on Black Friday this year, or even staying home and scrolling through Amazon, go check out some local small businesses and support your community. Make a family outing on Plaid Friday this year. Check out a restaurant you’ve never tried in Del Ray or Old Town, stroll the streets for the best deals and discounts and start to welcome holiday cheer by visiting the Christmas tree in front of city hall.