Equipped with twenty dollar bills in hand, nearly 40 people stormed Outdoor 76 on Friday afternoon as part of Venture Local Franklin's Cash Mob.
“The Cash Mob was absolutely incredible,” said Outdoor 76 co-owner Corey McCall. “We had between 35-40 individuals participate. We were so blown away by the support from the community and Venture Local Franklin.”
The cash mob, which was organized by Venture Local and executed by a diverse group of business owners, residents and people who had just heard of the idea moments before, was orchestrated to offer a quick boost to a local business. The general idea of a cash mob is to encourage people to go into small, locally owned businesses and commit to spending their money, en masse, to give the business owner a little bit of economic stimulus.
Cash mobs can help out small local businesses who are in trouble, whether due to a temporary financial hardship or loss of revenue due to competition from other stores or they can help a new business by providing them with exposure. They can also help to bring communities together to support a common cause. Another benefit is that not only shoppers can organize a cash mob; businesses can put out the call for shoppers to come to their store as well.
In order to be eligible for the cash mob, the business, which is selected through nominations by people who attend the cash mob, must be locally owned and must agree to give back to a local nonprofit as a way of “paying it forward.”
To “pay it forward” Outdoor 76 pledged to give 10 percent of the store’s sales generated on Friday to Warrior Hike. Warrior Hike, which recently passed through Franklin, provides wounded veterans with the opportunity to “walk off the war” by hiking the Appalachian Trail.
“From the start of the Cash Mob until the very last transaction, we had 34 sales,” said McCall. “We also had several cash donations from people who wanted to help the Warrior Hike, which was really great.” As members of the Cash Mob checked out at the register, they each had an opportunity to nominate the next Cash Mob victim. After a drawing, Anna Bedell's, located on Main Street, was selected as the next site for the Venture Local's mobsters.
“We have been in business for seven months now and are busy renovating the downstairs and upstairs of our space, getting a website that our customers can shop on, and getting new shipments in weekly to keep our customers on trend,” said Brooke Smith. “Anna Bedell’s is named after the store owner’s grandmothers, Anna Tastinger and Bedell Raby. We strive to create an inspirational shopping environment and a place that our customers will come to time and time again.”
Anna Bedell's, a boutique carrying fashion forward clothing for women, as well as home accessories, interior decor, cards and accessories, has vowed to “pay it forward” by working with REACH of Macon County.