By Jason Wesseldyk
For the third straight year, the Plainwell Downtown Development Authority joined forces with local merchant groups to host a Ladies, Leaves and Laughter event on Friday, Nov. 11.
And City of Plainwell community development manager Denise Siegel said the evening couldn’t have gone better.
“The event was a huge success,” Siegel said. “It just keeps getting better every year. We had well over 500 people shopping in our downtown businesses.”
Passiflora owner Angela Ridgway agreed.
“It was outstanding,” she said. “The energy, attendance and enthusiasm were all great.”
Ridgway estimates that traffic and sales were nearly double from a year ago.
“These community events help increase sales and brand recognition for both shops and restaurants as well as attract people from outside of Plainwell who may not otherwise come to our town,” Ridgway said. “Each downtown business has its own unique following and that residual business, coupled with event planning efforts, contributes to the success of events like this.”
This year’s events featured a few new twists. Chief among these was a drawing for a pair of grand prizes.
The first grand prize was a $750 gift card to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The second prize was a $100 gift card to Dog & the Bank.
To be eligible for the drawing, shoppers had to spend $10 or more at any business in downtown Plainwell. A person could earn multiple entries by spending at least $10 at more than one shop.
The winners were drawn on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Another new feature was Pop-Up Give-A-Ways, which involved gift cards donated by local businesses and ranging in value from $5-50 being handed out.
“We had two committee members wandering into the shops and announcing the Pop-Up Give-A-Ways where a question was asked and the first person who could produce an item won the card,” Siegel said. “Questions like ‘Who has a postage stamp,’ or ‘Who can show us a check book’ were just some of the fun questions asked. Everyone loved it.”
That love of the event could be seen by comments left on the city’s Facebook page, such as:
“Such a fun evening with friends and meeting new friends! Wonderful shops and sponsors for a delightful evening before the winter weather came in!!!”
“A fantastic evening had a wonderful time and the shops were so festive. Thank you to all.”
Sponsors for Ladies, Leaves and Laughter were Ace Hardware, Complete Team Outfitters, Hart’s Jewelry, Midway Chevrolet, Plainwell Kayak Company and The Community Shoppers Guide.
“Plainwell continues to grow and we are so grateful for our business neighbors, the City of Plainwell and our wonderful community for their continued tremendous support,” Ridgway said.