Cenla small businesses see profitable holiday season

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With November and December all about giving, small businesses in Cenla count on seasonal sales to meet their end of the year goals.

John Ward Interiors and gifts Manager Kellie Christy said locals did not disappoint.

"Crowds were great, we were very busy," Christy said. "We had a huge turn out."

When people are feeling extra jolly, jewelry stores like Schnack's Fine Jewelry benefit too.

"We just got through one of the best Christmases that we have ever had in our 152 year existence," said Schanck's owner Bill Carsten.

Carsten and his daughter Sloane Carsten said they strive to bring Cenla perfection.

"We are gemologists, so we are out there all year looking for the perfect color, the perfect garnet, the perfect tourmaline, the perfect diamond the perfect everything," Sloane Carsten said.

While the holidays bring businesses about 30 percent of sales, Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Randolph said they see another 11 percent post-Christmas.

"As people go and make returns with gifts that don't work, don't fit, they don't like, they tend to see other items on sale and continue to shop," Randolph said.

Randolph said it's important to shop local all year round because money spent locally, stays in Cenla.

"If someone buys $100 worth of merchandise from a locally owned store, $48 dollars of that is invested back in the community," Randolph said.

Shopping locally also gives consumers a unique, personal touch that is hard to find online.

"We pride ourselves on customer service," Christy said. "So, when you come in we've got really knowledgeable personal that will walk around with you and help you create a small gift, or a lighting package for your house."

The Carsten's said traveling to shop is unnecessary when Cenla has so many gems.

"There are a lot of people in Cenla with all types of businesses that are doing an awful lot of work to bring the different and nice things to Cenla, and I think it is very very important to support the locals," Bill Carsten said.

Community support that keeps their doors open year after year.

"They support us and we are just blessed. and we want to thank them for that," Christy said.

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