Takes more than a little rain to keep people away from a good sidewalk sale! After a couple of posts “outside” the county, I was chomping for an opportunity for a “home” post, even a short one. When I saw that the end of this week and coming weekend was the Downtown Crystal Lake summer sidewalk sale, I knew what I was doing Thursday!
Let me start by apologizing though that I didn’t grab many photos…OK, a ridiculously lacking amount of photos. I think with the sprinkles off and on, there wasn’t a lot out when I came through and I didn’t want to disturb shoppers trying to take photos inside and in many cases, when there were things out, there was already a lot of shoppers, so I also didn’t want to intrude. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting the level of turnout on a Thursday mid-morning that I, delightfully, found.
And frankly, in a number of cases, I also got caught up chatting with shop owners or clerks and just forgot take any!
This last year has certainly been challenging, for everyone, including the small shops that circle our squares, line our Main Streets, or in this case…reside on North Williams Street, Brink Street, East Crystal Lake Avenue, East Woodstock Street…and really every place in Crystal Lake, and McHenry County, where little shops call home.
To be honest, I probably spent more time inside shops in one day today than the entire past year before today in total. This is perhaps, not as foreign a statement as it would normally have been pre-COVID. So it was truly a delight to see shops bustling with customers and so many smiling, happy people.
That said, some shop people were also a bit apprehensive when I handed them a card and told them about McHenry Life. And that’s okay. It’s just not every day that someone walks in and says they would like to help promote their business for free.
If you were one of them or one of your employees gave you our card later, then I hope you will believe me when I say that it’s all true…we would love to have you add your business (i.e. business, organization, practice, nonprofit, event, etc.) to our hyper-local directory for free–really–no strings attached. Okay, one string….that you are located within McHenry County, Illinois (OK…actually, that’s a loose string…that you are at least in a city or village that spans the McHenry County border).
How Do You Make Money?
I want to give a special shoutout to the lovely ladies at The Green Read that I spent an inordinate amount of their time chatting. After talking about McHenry Life and explaining about the business directory, emphasizing that they can add a listing for free, I was asked the rather important question…”How do you make money?”
As I tried to explain, though not nearly as eloquently at the time…currently it doesn’t and that’s okay. The reason for this is that, at the moment, while that is a goal, it is not the focus. Our current (and most likely eternal) focus is to deliver unprecedented value, first and foremost.
Value to “the people,” whether they be residents of, workers within, or just visitors of McHenry County, especially in helping them find what they are searching for…a solution, information, or finding and discovering something new. Value to “the organizations” that list their information on McHenry Life, by helping in the sharing and amplifying of their information, marketing themselves, and ultimately connecting with existing and new customers, clients, and fans.
If we do those things really, really well, then hopefully, the money part takes care of itself either through advertising or upgraded listings. Either way, regardless of how you are connected with the community, we hope you’ll join us on this journey by sharing your experiences with your favorites or by listing your own business, organization, nonprofit, or event and connecting with the community.
And for those who are looking to get out and about, to hit the sidewalks…and shops, and find some deals as summer begins its slide into fall, be sure to swing by downtown Crystal Lake this end-of-week and weekend!
July 15th – 18th
- Thursday 8am to 7pm
- Friday 9am to 6pm
- Saturday 9am – 5pm
- Sunday varies
Note that these are general hours and individual stores may have their own hours.
As I mentioned, this was a rather lacking collection of photos on my part and I highly encourage you to swing by as there is so much more waiting for you! Be sure to check inside the shoprs too, especially if the weather remains questionable the next few days as there may be great deals inside as well!
And maybe grab lunch at one of the local establishments and just enjoy the moment!