OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Oak Park Mall took a space normally occupied by one tenant and created a marketplace with eight local businesses.
The hope is to appeal to people who want to shop local and help the small businesses thrive.
For a small business, having space in a shopping mall during the holiday season is a game changer.
“This is a great opportunity for small business owners to get the exposure they wouldn’t normally get,” said Debbie Beachner, owner of Gilded Lily.
Beachner and seven other local entrepreneurs jumped at the chance to be showcased in Oak Park’s “Boutique in a Box.”
“Because it gives us the opportunity to the space and for people to try it out and experience the magic of LipSense and the magic of our product,” said Sarah Steenblik, distributor for Senegence.
By sharing the space, they are also splitting the cost of being in the prime location.
“Due to finances its very expensive to be in a location like this. Oak Park has made a great opportunity for small businesses to be here and get their word out,” said Beachner.
Erika Harris, owner of Cupcakin’ Bakery has seen a huge increase in her sales.
“The traffic is really great out here so it’s kind of tripled my size in baking,” said Harris.
Mall customers are also making their way to these businesses’ brick and mortar stores.
“I’ve seen some customers come from here and say ‘Oh! We saw you at Oak Park Mall!” said Harris.
“At least every weekend there’s a handful that drive from the mall to Martin City to our store because we’ve given just a peek at what we have and it’s created some interest and they are curious to see what else we have in our store,” said Beachner.
The “Boutique in a Box” is only open for the holiday season.
Many of the business owners say that if they were given the opportunity to extend their stay they definitely would.