Just as it does for students and alumni, homecoming gives Slippery Rock’s small businesses a reason to celebrate.
Dinky Dachshund Tattoo Parlor at 130 New Castle St. saw its sales rise by about $2,000 for homecoming week compared to a normal week.
“College students love to spend their money, and they’re away from their parents, so they finally feel like they have some freedom,” receptionist and piercer Lily Hazlett said. “Getting tattooed and pierced is one of those really big things for students, and they love to do it.”
Many of their customers were students, but they also saw some alumni. Everyone who came in was very nice and tipped well, Hazlett said.
The shop sold more piercings than they did tattoos during homecoming week. Piercings are easier to schedule last minute or walk in without an appointment. Walk-in customers are usually able to be accommodated, which benefits customers who don’t live close by.
Dinky Dachshund has two tattoo artists, but during homecoming week only one was available. Hazlett commented that this made the week “kind of insane.”
Holidays tend to be a hit or miss, according to Hazlett, but they do see more gift card sales.
For Rooster’s Coffee Bar at 150 South Main St., Saturday was the second-busiest day they’ve seen since opening in August. The busiest day was VillageFest.
“We had probably two or three extra people on (Saturday) just knowing that we were going to be slammed before and after the parade especially,” general manager Chelynne Curci-Lang said.
Rooster’s multiplied their business by selling products both inside and outside. They also walked in the homecoming parade with the Rooster’s mascot.
They bought 200 rubber chickens to sling into the crowd during the parade, 50 of which had coupons attached. The staff has since seen the rubber chickens pop up in videos at the football game and around town.
Before opening in August, the owners had been trying to open Rooster’s for 10 years. They were set to open in 2020 before COVID-19 stalled their plans.
Curci-Lang recalled several alumni who came in and said that they wished the shop had been open when they attended SRU.
Being so close to SRU, Rooster’s aims to partner with the university as much as possible to increase sales and their connection with the community.
“We’re learning that there are so many different avenues, departments, clubs and so many things the university has available that we can partner with,” Curci-Lang said.
Next month, the shop will be hosting the SRU jazz band and is working on scheduling poetry readings.
A more niche business, Cloud Neun on the Rock, noticed an increased amount of foot traffic outside the shop but did not see it reflected in their sales. Cloud Neun sells primarily vape and smoking supplies.
The Rocket also reached out to two Slippery Rock restaurants. One owner was addressing a family emergency, but they were able to comment that business did increase during homecoming week, and they saw an increased number of alumni in their business.
The other Slippery Rock restaurant was not available to comment.