Retailers using slow season to build connections with local shoppers

ATASCADERO — As we’re in the lull after the holiday season, where everything seems to slow down a bit, and the weather leads us to want to stay inside, Atascadero News reached out to local businesses to see how they are handling their slowest months of the year.

Cammy Guionnet, an aesthetician at Masons on Traffic Way, said that a lot of local shoppers might be under the impression that the small specialty stores around town are more on the pricey side but that shopping local is actually more affordable than most would expect.

“I know everyone’s on a budget right now, and so I think, especially for us, we try to keep our prices reasonable so that we can accommodate the locals,” added Guionnet on what Masons is doing on their side.


She added that business has been slow, though since Masons offers aesthetics and it’s peel season, nothing has really slowed down much on that end. However, the retail section of the store, which features gifts and skin and beauty lines, slows down a lot in January and February.

Most businesses are also putting in the work on their end to make sure they are available to customers and building community while getting to know their clientele. 

“One thing I always keep in mind is just being consistent with my hours. Making sure I’m here when I say I’m going to be here, even if it’s slow,” said Specs by Kyla owner Kyla Skinner. “[It’s about] building connection with people, building a relationship and building a connection and making people feel like you care about them.”

Skinner also pointed out that she automatically thinks of the internet when she needs to buy something and has made an effort to find a local shop that will have what she needs instead. 

“Doing that, even though it takes maybe a little more effort, it’s worth it because you’re supporting really cool businesses and people in our community,” Skinner added.

And even if you’re not able to find that item you’re looking for, local shops are always willing to order products for their customers.

“Popping your head in the door is great. Obviously, spending money is even better, but just communicating and getting involved in the store, figuring it out, figuring out who the face behind the counter is, whether it’s the owner or an employee. Just getting out,” said Amy Beams, owner of Golden State Goods, which opened on Traffic Way a few weeks ago.

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Amy Beams, the owner of Golden State Goods is shown inside her shop on Traffic Way in Atascadero. Photo by Christianna Marks.

Beams was told about the spot opening up by Traffic Records (another small business on Traffic Way) owner Manuel Barba when Andy’s Awesome Arcade moved to a larger location. 

“It was easy to come right in here and be a small business,” added Beams. “It’s all inspiring. It makes me feel like this is a town that is happy to have all types of small businesses.”

In conclusion, shopping local means human connection and getting to know the people who make up the framework of our beautiful city while also finding special items for our homes and closets.

Feature Image: (From left) Jeff Skinner, Specs by Kyla owner Kyla Skinner, and Masons owner Michelle Cendro are shown in front of their shops on Traffic Way in Atascadero. Photo by Christianna Marks.