MOLINE, Ill. — The holiday shopping season is officially here in the Quad Cities, with the fourth annual Holiday Hop kicking it off this weekend.
The two-day Friday and Saturday event featured over 30 businesses, including Splash in downtown Moline.
"It's just fun to see people come out, especially this year, to get people to come back out and be willing to shop in person a little bit," said owner Christiana Headley. "There's just a good vibe like people wearing their ugly Christmas sweaters or I always like dressing up. So just the excitement of the season and people getting out and shopping local."
Splash sells all sorts of bath products, including soaps, essential oils and bath bombs, all handmade by Headley. There are also fun holiday themed trinkets, such as ornaments and napkins. If it's not made by Headley, it's made by another local Quad City area artist.
Headley hopes many people will choose to shop local this holiday season, beyond the Holiday Hop.
"It really helps support your community, and it helps grow the community," she said. "It provides jobs for people, and it gets you a lot of unique gifts that you can't find just on Amazon or Target that are unique and handcrafted."
This holiday season, a major concern was the problems retailers nationwide have faced because of the global supply chain issues. Prices increased and shelves were bare.
"It has been impacting us, so we are having a hard time getting some of our main ingredients for our bath bombs, which is one of our big sellers," Headley said. "I usually buy it in 50 pound bags, so big, large quantities, and it's four times the amount that it was just like six months ago."
She said waiting for supplies to come in has been challenging, and they're having to spend more money upfront to make sure they have enough ingredients for the bath products. However, Splash isn't increasing any of its prices right now. Instead, Headley said they're "eating that cost for people."
As a small, mom and pop business, she added that this is the time of year they really rely on people to shop local, but she also hopes it will continue beyond the holiday season.
"I think when the pandemic first hit, there was a really big push to shop local and support small businesses, and there's always a big push this time of year," she said. "It's still really hard on small business owners, and so just keeping that in mind and supporting the small businesses that you like, and appreciate, is really important to make sure that they'll be here in 2022 and beyond."