OSHKOSH — Headlines about inflation have dominated the news for months and while inflation rates have reached near-record highs lately, small businesses in Oshkosh seem to be doing just fine.
Sonia Ochowicz—who runs The Turquoise Door Fashion Boutique and Consignment along with her parents—-says her business is "busting at the seems" with clientele and thinks the current economic state has encouraged more customers to do business with her shop.
“Right now we have over 700 consigners," she said. "...I think women are looking at this as an opportunity to get extra income with the cost of living going up.”
Just up the street, Jennifer Ziemer works in sales at Britton's Walk-Over, a shoe store she says has been in business close to 100 years. Ziemer says the store has made little change to their prices, and customers have understood when small increases have occurred.
“We have a very faithful clientele," she said. "...the customers are used to the price points that we have here, because we have better quality shoes and they know that so they’re willing to pay a little more.”
Ziemer said she is feeling the squeeze from inflation in her personal life, however.
“I think everyone’s having to tighten their wallets a little bit," she said. "...I actually had to buy generic toilet paper the other day, cause it was so much cheaper than the regular stuff. I thought ‘I can’t do this.'"
Further up Main Street, 2 Blondes—which sells and "blings" out clothing— is doing better than ever, according to owners Tammy Russell and Deanna Qualley.
“This is our best year ever so I can’t complain. Thank you everybody for coming in!” said Qualley. “It’s been good,” added Russell.
Qualley chalks their success up to the support of local shoppers and urges people to check out small stores in their communities this holiday season.
“There is a lot of small businesses and people don’t even know about it downtown," she said. "We’re always continually trying to get people to come down here, and once they come down here, a lot of times they come back."