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For Black Friday weekend, think Phoenix “Small Wonders”

smallwonders2Local First Arizona’s “Small Wonders” map has been a huge hit as many retailers clamor for more of the new pocket-sized guide to one-of-a-kind shopping and dining destinations in central Phoenix!  More than 70 Local First Arizona members are included on the color brochure that highlights businesses from 15th Avenue to 16th Street, uptown to downtown.

But it’s easy for you to review, download, and print your copy of “Small Wonders” today, just in time for “Black Friday” and the rest of the holiday shopping season.

Small Wonders map pinpoints Phoenix boutiques

Local First Arizona's Small Wonders Brochure

[Source: Dolores Tropiano, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix is bustling with new and unusual boutiques and businesses.  There’s only one problem — finding them.  Now, nearly 70 independently owned stores and restaurants in central Phoenix and the downtown area have banded together to create a map of their cool, hip, and urban businesses.  The fold-up guide, coined “Small Wonders,” has been distributed to 25,000 people, with 50,000 guides still available at any of the local shops, a list of which can be located here.  The map is not necessarily a new concept, but it is a fresh idea for Phoenix. “A lot of big cities have pocket guides of unique businesses,” said Georganne Bryant, owner of Frances, a clothing, gift, and accessories shop highlighted in “Small Wonders.”

The map features photos and location information for all of the shops and restaurants.  There are no service companies advertised.  A lot of the stores are clustered along Seventh Avenue, Seventh Street, or along or near Camelback Road. But the map features shops and restaurants from Buckeye Road to Missouri Avenue.  Many of the shops and restaurants are award-winning Valley favorites and some are new on the scene.  Most are located in funky, old bungalows and buildings.  “This is not mall shopping,” said Bryant, whose shop features letter presses, cards, vintage clothing, and jewelry, and custom journals.  “These are unique places that people want.  They don’t come to Phoenix to go to Applebee’s or a mall.  People want to see what creative, different stores are around.”

“Town & gown” work together to benefit ASU Downtown Phoenix students

A two-year effort to create access from local downtown businesses and cultural interests to ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus achieved its first positive step on Wednesday, August 13.  A team of volunteers and business owners spent three hours at Roosevelt Commons at a “stuffing party” to make over 1,500 “Welcome Bags” of information and special savings for faculty, staff, and incoming ASU downtown campus dorm residents and commuting students.

The effort was a culmination of a meeting with ASU Downtown’s Associate Dean of the College of Public Programs Deb Gullett; Local First Arizona Executive Director Kimber Lanning; Grand Avenue business owner Anna Marie Gutierrez; and Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee Chair Steve Weiss.  The discussion focused on the limited ability for local business to interact with the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.  The traditional “flier rack” information kiosks and bulletin boards normally found on college campuses have for two years been left out of the downtown campus, and the meeting was held to discuss options.

It was Ms. Gullett who suggested the info bag giveaway, and the three local participants rallied downtown troops to create the overflowing Welcome Bag with Artlink First Friday, Local First Arizona’s Small Wonders brochure, and Roosevelt Row maps as well as fliers for downtown and midtown restaurants, service providers, and entertainments.  Also included among others were cultural centers such as Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum and Urban Affairs publication, “You Are Here.”  Bags were obtained by Eric Gudiño, ASU Downtown’s Director of Community Relations/Office of Public Affairs, from both the ASU Bookstore and Downtown Phoenix Partnership.  DPP donated their soon-to-be-replaced “Copper Square” branded bags, and extra packages were filled using Devious Wig’s tote-bags.

The promise from ASU Downtown’s representatives is that this is the first of many coming innovations, including access to the electronic “bulletin boards” of the Taylor Place dorms and a flier rack for printed materials in the Administrative Building and other locations.  Upcoming meetings with ASU Downtown Dean Debra Friedman and Community Engagement Liaison Malissa Geer will focus on these and other efforts for the campus and the downtown to commingle.  Stay tuned.