HIGHLAND | Bridget DeYoung brought her four children, ages 14 years to 8 months, to the Cash Mob on Saturday at Hoosier Highlander as a family outing and a way to support local businesses.
“I figured they’d like this,” said DeYoung, as the three oldest — D.J., 14, Dan, 6, and Ami, 4 — explored the vast array of art supplies while 8-month-old Erin took in all the vibrant colors from mom’s arms.
She was one of about 20 shoppers who pledged to spend at least $20 at the store, 2932 Highway Ave., owned by Sue Ferguson and Donna Freeland.
Cindy Rivera, one of the event's organizers, wore a tall St. Patrick’s Day hat and rallied the shoppers on the sidewalk outside the store for the 10 a.m. start. As the bells sounded from a nearby church, shoppers walked inside to start their mission to revitalize Highland’s downtown.
First organized in New York City, Cash Mobs involve groups of friends or committee members descending on one designated store to shop. Each shopper pledges to spend a specific amount of money, usually $20 each. Often the business picked to be a Cash Mob site is kept secret.
However, Saturday’s event at Hoosier Highlander was publicized and the owners offered a 15 percent discount on regularly priced framing materials and merchandise.
As president of the sponsoring Highland Main Street group, DeYoung said this first Cash Mob idea in Highland was initiated to promote downtown businesses.
Another organizer, Dawn Diamantopoulos, said Hoosier Highlander was a natural choice for the Cash Mob.
“There are always things I find here. Today, I’m buying paint, drawing pens and markers,” said Diamantopoulos, who is also art curator of the Highland Pop-Up Gallery events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
“We want people to remember businesses downtown and reintroduce those businesses to people new to the area or who have moved back here,” Diamantopoulos said.