Just as it does for students and alumni, coming home gives Slippery Rock’s small businesses a reason to celebrate.
The Dinky Dachshund Tattoo Parlor at 130 New Castle Street saw sales rise by nearly $2,000 for Homecoming Week compared to a typical week.
“College students love spending their money, and they are away from their parents, so they finally feel like they have some freedom,” said Lily Hazlitt, receptionist and insight. “Getting tattoos and piercings is one of the really big things for students, and they love doing it.”
Many of their clients were students, but they also saw some alumni. Hazlett said everyone who came in was very nice and well tended.
The store sold more piercings than they did tattoos during Homecoming Week. It’s easy to schedule a piercing at the last minute or walk in without an appointment. Customers are usually accommodated without prior reservation, which benefits customers who do not live close to them.
Dinky Dachshund has two tattoo artists, but during Homecoming Week, only one was available. This made the week “kind of crazy,” Hazlett commented.
Holidays tend to be hits or misses, according to Hazlett, but they’re seeing more gift card sales.
For Rooster’s Coffee Bar at 150 South Main St. Saturday was the second busiest day since it opened in August. The busiest day was VillageFest.
“We may have had two or three extra people (Saturday) just knowing we were going to be attacked before and especially after the show,” said General Manager Chillene Corsi-Lang.
Rooster doubled their business by selling products at home and abroad. They also marched in a homecoming parade with Rooster’s mascot.
They purchased 200 rubber chickens to shoot the crowd during the parade, 50 of which came with coupons. Since then, employees have seen the rubber chickens appear in videos at the soccer game and around town.
Prior to opening in August, the owners had been trying to open Rooster Restaurant for 10 years. They were scheduled to open in 2020 before COVID-19 halted their plans.
Curci-Lang remembered many alumni who came and said they wished the shop had been open when they attended SRU.
Being so close to SRU, Rooster aims to partner with the university as much as possible to increase sales and outreach to the community.
“We learn that there are many different avenues, departments, clubs, and many things available at the university that we can partner with,” Curci-Lang said.
Next month, the store will host SRU’s jazz band and work on scheduling poetry readings.
Cloud Neon on the Rock, a more specialized company, noticed an increase in foot traffic outside the store but didn’t see that reflected in its sales. Cloud Neon primarily sells smoking and vapor supplies.
Rocket has also arrived at two Slippery Rock restaurants. One of the owners was dealing with a family emergency, but they were able to comment that business had increased during Homecoming Week, and they had seen an increasing number of graduates in their business.
Another Slippery Rock restaurant was not available for comment.