- Leslie Flint, owner of Indigo Boutique and Botanica
These three words were written on a sign that Leslie Flint put in the window when she opened Indigo Boutique and Botanica in Meadville two years ago. Folks entering the store on Chestnut Street have been taking her up on that positivity ever since.
If so inclined to get some encouragement next week when shops are allowed to open again, you can rest assured that you will receive it in abundance. And while there, ask her about the one dude who came in on his way to a job interview soon after she opened. Looking for that encouragement, he was surprised when he was given it gladly by Flint. He then got the job and has been a friend ever since.
Her generous spirit appears to be her guide. "I've always been a longer table, not a taller wall sort of person," she said.
Friday she celebrated her second anniversary by shining that uplifting attitude outward with a big giveaway.
One lucky person won nearly $700 in gift certificates, not only for her shop, but in over 20 other businesses downtown.
An ongoing trend to use social media to connect to customers has really been taking off during this COVID-19 stay at home order. Offers are springing up in communities all over to support local shop owners especially during this time where their livelihoods are being threatened. #likecommentshare contests or drawings on social media are helping communities stay connected.
Flint employed in this strategy to engage with nearly 400 people from all over the country.
A year ago things were different, she had more of celebration with friends in the shop and she knew exactly what she wanted to give away - a giant salt lamp.
This year with the onset of this pandemic and social distancing an idea wasn't jumping out at her as readily.
"I struggled to find a giveaway that seemed meaningful," she said.
When she saw people struggling with the anxiety from this troubling time, a place to be calm and quiet in ones own thoughts came to mind. A $200 zen space shopping spree #likecommentshare idea for her shop was born.
Being a small business owner in a small town, she was also seeing her fellow business owners unable to open. She thought she would sweeten the pot by supporting those businesses with buying their gift certificates to add to her giveaway.
Once business owners heard she was doing this, some began donating even more. "It was awesome," she said.
In total $485 worth of gift certificates to over 20 downtown businesses were added to hers.
One lucky winner was announced during a live-stream concert by 50 Miles to Empty, friends of Flint.
More information: Visit Indigo Boutique and Botanica.