Lubec, Maine: On November 23rd and 24th, Northern Tides Inc., Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery, celebrated the retail holiday of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday in Downeast style with a 6’7” Lobster that kids and adults adored.
Northern Tides co-owners, Deb and Jerry Kasunic, gained notoriety last year for their presentation and awareness of shopping local by introducing a shopping local concept (The 3/50 Project), an avenue for visitors and locals alike to compete with Washington County’s box stores and to support local retailers and business owners during the holiday season.
This year the momentum increased at Northern Tides. Not only was there a brass stanchion roping off the area (courtesy of Lubec’s Bar Harbor Bank and Trust) with a tongue-in-cheek sign announcing “Lubec Black Friday, Crowd Conrol, Please Enter Here, ,” but free homemade cheesecake and coffee were offered to all. To add to the fun, the president of Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery, Deb Kasunic, introduced a game of Holiday Hangman, “Hang Northern Tides.” For each day, Friday and Saturday, a $25.00 purchase could buy a letter with the word-solver receiving 50% off their entire purchase. Now concluding its sixth year in business in Lubec, Northern Tides continues its annual “Thank You” to patrons by offering a 10% discount of all items in the store until December 31st.
But the most fun was yet to come. Deb Kasunic received costuming assistance from another local Lubec micro-business owner, Suzannah Gale of the Home Port Inn Bed and Breakfast, to dress her 6”7” husband in a lobster suit. (for media outlets: see useable picture attached) With Jerry’s impressive Lobster Claus presense and his outgoing cheer, the two days were spent in laughter and lots of photo-ops.
“Northern Tides continues to celebrate the holiday season by including the community and guests by producing holiday cheer and laughter,” states Deb Kasunic. “We try to bring smiles to the faces of our neighbors and customers who have supported us throughout the year, as well as to remind Maine that Lubec is alive with art, culture, and creativity; and this year we had help from our friends and customers alike.”
With iPad and camera at the ready, friends and patrons happily jumped in to take pictures and videos of Jerry dressed in his lobster suit, outside of the gallery, while Mrs. Kasunic helped customers inside. Customers, friends and even passers-by created short videos and snapped pictures, many of which found their way to Facebook, thereby promoting the gallery, Lubec, and Shop-Local, all with a comic flair.
“Yes, we are still working out our technical know-how to post social media videos, pictures, and high definition images on our shopping cart. But the lack of finesse simply added to the fun. We both thoroughly enjoyed our customers’ participation and the encouragement from the community, even through silliness.”