Susan Huenefeld sees Small Business Saturday as more than just a chance to make some sales.
For her, it's a way to meet and thank some of the many customers she never sees and let them know that they are welcome to visit Accents Et Cetera in person.
Located in a retail shop connected to Huenefeld's Sammamish home, Accents Et Cetera sells many of its unique gift baskets either online or by phone, and delivers them locally or ships internationally for its customers.
"We have an open house sometime every fall to thank our customers," Huenefeld says, and this year the open house is this Saturday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We have samples of some of the products we carry so people can taste them, some sale tables with $1, $2 and $5 items for stocking stuffers and other gifts."
It's also an opportunity to show customers some of the new fun baskets available this year, including baskets packed in Radio Flyer wagons, and baskets created on beautiful glass platters by local artist Paula Wickersham.
Though Accents Et Cetera has been a home-based business in Sammamish for about three years, it's been around more than two decades, previously located in a retail storefront in Redmond.
Huenefeld says it was quite a transition to move to a home-based model, but it was a good move for her, and allows her more flexibility to help her autistic son, who used to spend afternoons and Saturdays at the store.
"My younger son has autism, driving the decision to be more home-based. It is a pretty radical shift, but when I thought about it, this is going back to a really traditional format for having a general store or something where people have their shop below where they live. I think this might be the wave of the future, this is another form of mixed use," and it's a prevalent form of business in Sammamish, she says.
"It’s really made my life so much simpler in many ways," Huenefeld says. One thing she misses, though, is just visiting with walk-in customers in the store. Free marketing through American Express's Small Business Saturday program is one way Accents Et Cetera hopes to help let people know they can just walk in.
"Until 3 years ago we were in a strip mall in downtown Redmond, and we just don’t have the walk-in traffic (we had there) at this point. There are a lot of people who don’t realize they can just come in, so we’re really trying to spread the word about that," Huenefeld says.