With the holiday season approaching, Olivera Bratich had an idea.
Bratich, the owner of Wild Cat Gift & Party, 3515 N. High St., thought it would be good to contact other brick-and-mortar retailers in Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood about getting together this holiday season and donating a percentage of their sales to charity.
“We just called up other businesses in the neighborhood. We just started to roll from it,” Bratich said.
So from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 1, there will be 15 retailers donating 10% of their sales that night to the group of their choice.
“We’re lucky to be in Clintonville where residents here are always looking to support causes they believe in,” Bratich said. “We’ve been here 17 years. We’d never go anywhere else.”
Other retailers feel the same.
“It’s inspiring to see a group of retailers get together informally benefiting everybody,” said Josh Quinn, owner of Tigertree, 3284 N. High St., who opened in Clintonville in May 2021 after operating for years in the Short North.
Beyond that, retailers along North High Street south of East North Broadway have formed a collective dubbed SoBro that will get together for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, building off of group efforts this past year.
“This section of High Street is experiencing a revival,” said Heather McCloud, who owns The Brass Hand at 3327 N. High St., which sells gifts, plant and home decor with a Southwestern U.S. theme.
“We’re kind of on an island. The 3000 block is such a shopping destination,” said McCloud, an Arizona native.
“It’s such a special collection of businesses, about 15 of us,” she said.
Karen Dilgard of Boomerang Room Vintage, 3274 N. High St., said it seemed like the natural thing to do after summer was over.
“I like to see shops with newer or younger leadership and ownership,” said Dilgard, who has operated her store for 15 years. “We want to see our area thrive.”
“Clintonville is very pro-local and shop local,” Dilgard said.
Quinn pointed out that Brass Hand opened in 2021 about the same time his Clintonville business did, calling it a retail renaissance.
Even in 2021, when COVID still kept many away from stores, Clintonville businesses did fine through the holiday season.
“Last holiday was great,” Quinn said. “We would have had our most financially lucrative holiday if we just bought properly for it.”
McCloud said business has exceeded expectations since she opened in August 2021. “Actually, it’s been pretty amazing,” she said. “I just felt like this location is a dream location.”
John Robinson, who owns Johnny Velo Bikes, 4231 N. High St., said he got involved in the charity effort because he wanted to help the community.
“Clintonville is a very much a ‘buy local’ community,” he said. “We want to help support that as much as we can, to give back to our community members as well.”
Melanie Ash, board president of Experience Clintonville, said retailers are highly important to the neighborhood.
“Part of our mission is to support locally owned businesses in Clintonville,” Ash said. “Our community embraces that. It’s been really wonderful to see so many weather the COVID storm.
“I think what’s most important is to regain some level or normalcy,” she said. “I think this is a really good effort.”
Ash also mentioned the Sunday, Dec. 4 HolidayVille event her group helps sponsor where visitors can ride a trolley around the neighborhood to shop small businesses. Mozart’s Cafe & Bakery at 4784 N. Hugh St. will have cookie decorating and Santa, while an elves’ workshop will be set up near Wild Cat, Ash said.
The HolidayVille event had been virtual in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
“In 2021 everyone had a fairly good season,” Kuhel said. “It definitely seems like things are looking up.”
Here are the Clintonville businesses participating in the Dec. 1 event donating a percentage of their sales along with the benefiting charities:
– Boomerang Room; Cat Welfare,- Brass Hand; Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio- City Folks Farm Shop; Sunbury Urban Farm- Eclectiques Antique Mall; Huckleberry House- Elm & Iron; Open Door Art Studio- Global Gallery; Refugio Raphael Bolivia- Jewelweed; Star House- Johnny Velo Bikes; Charity Newsies- Koko; Linden All People’s Fresh Market- Little Light Collective; CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence- Natterdoodle; Kaleidoscope Youth Center- Rock Candy Healing Stones; Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center- Small Talk; Planned Parenthood of Ohio- Wild Cat Gift & Party; Community Refugee and Immigration Services- World Peaces; Refugio Raphael Bolivia