Just as it does for students and alumni, homecoming gives Slippery Rock small businesses reason to celebrate.
Dinky Dachshund Tattoo Parlor at 130 New Castle St. Sales increased by about $2,000 for Homecoming week compared to the regular week.
“College students like to spend their money, and they’re away from their parents, so they finally feel like they have some freedom,” says hostess and pier Lily Hazlett. “Tattoos and piercings are one of those big things for students, and they love to do it.”
Many of their customers were students, but they also saw some former students. Everyone who came in was great and gave good feedback, Hazlett said.
The shop sells more piercings than tattoos during homecoming week. Piercings are easy to schedule last minute or drop in without an appointment. Walk-in customers can usually be accommodated, which benefits customers who don’t live nearby.
Dinky Dachshund has two tattoo artists, but only one was available for Homecoming week. Hazlett commented that this made the week “crazy”.
According to Hazlett, holidays tend to be hit or miss, but they do see a lot of gift card sales.
Saturday at 150 South Main St. was the second busiest day for Rooster Coffee Bar since it opened in August. The busiest day was VillageFest.
“Knowing we were going to get beat before and after the rally, we probably had two or three more guys (Saturday),” said general manager Chelynn Kursi-Lang.
Doro expanded their business by selling products both internally and externally. They also walked with the chicken mascot in the homecoming parade.
At the rally, they bought 200 rubber chickens and 50 of them were attached to coupons to throw them to the crowd. The crew has since seen the rubber chickens pop up at football games and in videos around town.
The owners had been trying to open the roaster for 10 years before opening in August. They were slated to open in 2020 before covid-19 halted their plans.
Kursi-Lang recalled several former students who came in and said they wished the store was open when they were at SRU.
Because they are so close to SRU, Roster’s goal is to increase sales and make their relationship with the community as close as possible to partnering with the university.
“We’re learning that there are so many different avenues, departments, clubs, and things the university has that we can collaborate with,” Kursi-Lang said.
Next month, the shop will host the SRU Jazz Band and is working on arranging poetry readings.
An even better business, Cloud Nine on the Rock, has seen an increase in foot traffic outside the store but has not seen it reflected in their sales. Cloud New primarily sells vape and smoking supplies.
The Rocket has also reached two Slippery Rock restaurants. One owner was dealing with a family emergency, but they were able to comment on the increase in business during homecoming week, and they saw more and more alumni in their business.
Another Slippery Rock restaurant was not available for comment.