Local shopping heats up in holiday season

By Julia Griffin

As Christmas approaches, many local businesses are hoping for happy holidays as well.

Owners of locally-owned The Children Shoppe, Patton’s Downtown and Boutique Barr, for example, gave some descriptions on what the holiday season looks like for their business. 

Patricia Willis is the owner of The Children Shoppe in Ruston and in Monroe. The Ruston location opened in March 2000. 

“According to sales, we have been much busier than last year,” Willis said.

She also said people from out of town have been coming in more frequently and that downtown seems busier than last year.

Willis said there is no way to tell how to prepare for the shopping season until you see what starts selling out sometimes. They may have to order a product multiple times throughout the season. 

“We expect to be really busy (this) week because that’s when people usually start panicking for last-minute gifts,” Willis said.

David Patton is one of the owners of Patton’s Downtown, the sister store to Patton’s Western Wear. He owns it with five of his brothers. They have been open since April 2012. 

“We start our holiday hours after black Friday,” Patton said. “We are open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.” 

He said they start preparing for the holiday season a year in advance, but they start working towards products and following trends in October. 

Patton says that business is almost back to the way it was before COVID-19, but there have been some supply issues. 

Madeline Barr owns Boutique Barr, which opened in October 2020.

“To prepare for the holiday season, we usually order more holiday attire and gift-oriented products,” Barr said.

She said Boutique Barr doesn’t officially change their hours for the holiday season, but it is situational. They are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, if someone comes in at close, the employees will never turn them away. 

All three business owners said downtown business seems much busier this year.

All business owners ask that the Ruston community continue to shop locally, and they are so thankful for their loyal customers.