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Washington Voices

Girls Day Out encourages shopping in neighborhood stores

Thu., Nov. 11, 2010

On Saturday four Spokane neighborhoods are getting together to celebrate local businesses.

This year’s Girls Day Out – a neighborhood shopping event supported by the city of Spokane – has a pink theme, and its goal is to introduce local shoppers to their neighborhood businesses. Instead of driving through the shopping areas on East Sprague Avenue or North Hillyard, Girls Day Out wants to get you out of your car and into the neighborhood shops.

“We will have a pink scone and cup of coffee for $1.75 as our special,” said Erin Rauth, who owns the Flying Pig Café in the International District together with her mom, Marsha Loiacono. “We are brand-new here, but we believe that events like this get people into our neighborhood – it’s a really positive event and we are all about that.”

Shop owners can go as far out as they like with the pink color and the giveaways, yet every official neighborhood headquarter has swag bags for the first shoppers. Some bags have product samples, others have coupons and special deals.

“We have swag bags for the first 50 shoppers at our store,” said Cruz Nicavio, owner of Cruz’N Back in Time on North Monroe Street. Nicavio, who describes his shop “as a fun collectables store that is guaranteed to take you back in time,” also plans an in-store 25-percent-off special. But he’s a little uncertain about the pink.

“My store is Kermit-the-Frog green, so doing pink is really out of my comfort zone,” said Nicavio. “But since I’m the headquarters I really have to go all out in pink. I think I’m going to dress up, but I’m not sure how far I’m going take it.”

Businesses all the way from the Monroe Street Bridge and north to Euclid Avenue are part of Girls Day Out said Nicavio, whose store is participating for the second year in a row.

“It’s the one day to go out and support your local businesses,” said Nicavio.

A newcomer to Girls Day Out is Trish Comrie, who owns Corner Cottage, 3928 N. Post St., together with her mom, Christina Ryan.

“We have had the business for about a year, in the Garland District but it’s a little back, and we don’t get as much traffic as the shops on the main stretch,” said Comrie, who was planning her own scavenger hunt when she heard about Girls Day Out. “I went to the meeting and volunteered to help out in Garland, and now we have 16 or 18 stores participating.”

The Garland headquarters is the Garland Sandwich Shoppe, which usually isn’t open on Saturdays, but is open for Girls Day Out and serving bagels with pink cream cheese among other treats.

Comrie’s Corner Cottage will be decorated inside and out with pink, and featuring a special deal on pink hair extensions among many other specials.

“I’m in a house with a white picket fence so I can decorate more out front than some of the stores can,” said Comrie. “It’s a win-win situation: people get to go shopping and we get new people to come in.”

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