Kerri and Sharla Small Business Ambassadors.jpg

Kerri Donica and Sharla Allen show everyone how it’s done and why they’ve been named the 2019 Shop Small Ambassadors.

Sharla Allen and Kerri Donica embrace small town shopping all year, not only on Small Business Saturday.

On any given day, you can see Sharla and Kerri popping into a store in Corsicana. A couple of times a week they meet at a restaurant. On Mimosas at the Market they’ll lead a gaggle of friends around to sip and shop. They spread their shopping love equally all over own.That’s why these two friends of more than 30 years have been named our Shop Small Ambassadors this year.

We asked our Ambassadors to share their thoughts on shopping locally:

Q: Both of you have such a great sense of style. Why do you insist on matching your style and personality with items you find here rather than in Dallas or shopping on line?

A: Sharla: Dallas? Are you kidding me? And online, the items are rarely what they appear to be. The little boutiques here have darling clothes and specialties. You can find just what you need for work, party, seasonal attire or décor’. I love the new GLAMtime, Uniquely Yours, Twyst, Sweet Tangerine, Timbers, Simple Elegance for the beauty needs, The Pink Peony, Cotton Kisses, The Turquoise Pistol and Merle Norman, the Vintage Farmhouse Paint and Décor’, Corner Shop, The Copy Center, The Old Lumberyard, Canterbury and Victorian Sample….Wow, all pretties! Kerri, Connie Hickman and I shop just about every day. We love everything about it. The shop owners are dolls. It’s like a party at every stop. We know each other well, we know their families, we share what’s happening for the holidays. Shopping is absolutely my favorite thing to do!

A: Kerri: The best thing about shopping locally is the folks here have LEARNED what I like and they reach out to me any time something arrives at the shop that matches my style! Now that’s both a blessing AND a curse!

Q: We’ve been told you visit at least one store every day?

A: Sharla: One, really? More like two, three to….hmmmmm four! It’s actually according to how quickly we can run in and out or whatever the particular item is that we might be searching for that day. Lunch is great also and we love the folks at Fiesta Grill, the Taco Shop, Timbers and Across the Street; they are extra sweet to us. And we love Napoli’s; they are so generous to our first responders. There are a lot of days where events in Parks & Rec. take the day to set up and run, especially in the summer when programs, pools and the water spray parks are in full swing. And now, Thanksgiving and Christmas are here with planning for all fall decorations also get in the mix of my shopping sprees. But all the storeowners know they can count on me when they have a special event or a holiday open house.

A: Kerri: Maybe it just feels that way to the people who see us. My practice has me tied up in court often, and I’m also president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association which keeps me on the road several times each month.  But neither of those things occur on the second Saturday, so I make up for lost time visiting store owners on Mimosas day – or I drop in during lunch just to see what I’ve missed! Fortunately for our Corsicana shops, I’m not just a “looker”, I’m a “buyer!”

Q: Tell our readers what you find most surprising about shopping locally.

A: Sharla: Where should I even start? Each and every little boutique has their own style of magic. If you think Merle Norman only sells lipstick, you are going to be stunned to see their line of clothing and sparkly powder products. Who would think at the Vintage Farmhouse you could purchase the most darling sweaters, paint, bedding or beautifully draped chandeliers? And Timbers—the Turkey Todd on homemade jalapeno bagel – go ahead and order it, you won’t be disappointed.

A: Kerri: “Well, it isn’t a surprise – it’s a fact – the service we get in small stores is beyond compare. They have invested financially in their business, and they invest emotionally in their customers, and in our community. Store owners will call me and tell me they have something in that I will love. And they are right. There service is unparalleled.

Q: When do you spend the most money?

A: Sharla: I love the holidays and seasonal change, but then again, I love every day! “I have enough clothes and shoes. I don’t need to go shopping anymore”– said NO WOMAN EVER!

A: Kerri: When I’m headed for a conference, or a seminar, or a Board meeting.  I’m always complimented for my wardrobe so I guess I have created a monster.  Now, I HAVE to show up with something new and fabulous. And I love it when people from Dallas, Houston, or Austin are amazed I bought it in Corsicana! I have my “big city friends” who want to shop when they come to Corsicana!

Q: Name three places people should shop and why?

A: Sharla: Oh, nooooooo! I love every single one of them. But if I had to pick, I would say Cotton Kisses, The Turquoise Pistol, Merle Norman and then brunch at Across the Street Bistro…Now these are for the girls.

A: Kerri: Oh man, that would be IMPOSSIBLE! There is not a single shop where I go in Corsicana that I don’t feel like I am going in to see family. I can find clothes, makeup, shoes, antiques, personal services, paint, Christmas decorations, and so much more, plus our own gourmet dining people drive down from Dallas to enjoy. So, my answer would be Corsicana, Corsicana and Corsicana!

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