Topeka urged to shop local on Small Business Saturday

Stylists at Essentia Salon & Spa put their skills to use earlier this month thanks to owner Y’Sondra Dixon and a community valuing local businesses.

Topeka leaders and business owners are eager for the public to support local business owners in the capital city for Small Business Saturday.

Essentia Salon & Spa, 5900 S.W. Huntoon, Suite A2, opened its doors five years ago and has seen consistent business.

Salon owner Y’Sondra Dixon said watching her business grow has been exciting. Dixon said the community continues to support her even during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The salon is an Aveda concept salon, a salon carrying earth-friendly products made with organic and natural pure flower and plant ingredients.  

Dixon said a lot of people think being a small business owner is easy, but it isn’t when you’re competing against larger brands in your service field.

Y’Sondra Dixon, owner of Essentia Salon & Spa, 5900 S.W. Huntoon, Suite A2, poses with a pair of clippers earlier this month as stylists work with clients in the background. Dixon started her salon in 2017 and said the community's support has led to a thriving business.

“You have to make sure your business plan is airtight. You have to be mentally prepared and strong for this,” Dixon said. “You have deal with the public and your employees, so you have to have strength for sure.”

An anniversary celebration for Essentia Salon will be Dec. 11 for all staff and clients.

City leaders urge public to ‘Shop local, shop Topeka, shop small’

Michael Barrera, middle right, district director for the U.S. Small Business administration Kansas City office, joins Laurie Pieper, middle left, GTP’s vice president of entrepreneurship and small business, and other local officials for a Small Business Saturday proclamation earlier this month at Leaping Llamas.

Having that airtight plan is what Topeka leaders had in mind earlier this month after gathering to encourage the public to “Shop local, shop Topeka, shop small.”

On Nov. 9, The Greater Topeka Partnership leaders and Michael Barrera, district director for the U.S. Small Business administration Kansas City office, gathered to present a Small Business Saturday proclamation.

“It’s so important for our local businesses to be supportive by our community,” said Laurie Pieper, GTP’s vice president of entrepreneurship and small business. “They’re our friends, our neighbors. They contribute to our economy. They provide the products and services and all the things we need to make Topeka a great place to live.”

Before reading the proclamation, Barrera said it’s important that Topeka does well as he sees many “small business warriors.”

More:Topeka’s Black-owned business growth ‘allows other Black businesses to take that risk’

A custom "open" sign hangs above a "Shop local Topeka" sign in front of Leaping Llamas Artisan Shop to encourage people to shop small businesses.

“Being a small business right now, it’s challenging,” he said. “It’s never going to be easy, but those that love it — that believe in it — will always do well.”

Pieper said it’s important that businesses take advantage of the resources available in order to grow and be sustainable.

“We’ve been working very hard to support our small business ecosystem and entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Topeka,” she said. “We’ve really been putting together programming and unique initiatives to support our small businesses and keep them in the community.”


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