Localshops1.com holds a talent show in Gulfport12/01/08 Concetta DeLuco
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Though rain may have cancelled most of the performances that were scheduled for a childrenâ€™s talent show in Gulfport on Sunday, it did not dampen the spirits of Localshops1.com, the organizers for the event. The Gulfport-based website is devoted to the promotion of independent, local businesses in the Tampa Bay area.
David Knoll a local Gulfport singer, serenaded the crowd with an original song about localshops1.com. The audience consisted mostly of parents and the owners of the neighboring shops that line Beach Boulevard and who came to support the website. Pat Largo, the marketing manager for the website, said Localshops1.com was launched on Aug. 1. He said the website was created as a resource and alternative method to shop and keep money in our local markets that thrive in Pinellas and the surrounding counties.
The founder of Localshops1.com, Ester Venouziou said the website helps bring the community together, and the talent show was just an example of their outreach efforts. Shopping locally helps support your neighbors, Venouziou said, instead of helping to support huge corporations.
The proceeds from the raffle that was held at the talent show were being donated to the Woman Warrior. Inc., a non- profit organization that brings spoken word poetry and other artistic outlets to at-risk teens.
Adrienne Nadeau, president and founder of the Warrior Woman, said she has always loved poetry and felt that it was an important form of expression to bring to young adults. She said she looks forward to the future plans of the organization.
Bianca Cypser is the owner of Complexions Skin Care in Gulfport; she has worked with the founder of Local shops1.com since the beginning. She said since working with the website and participating in their events, it has given her life a new meaning.
Localshops1.com already includes 180 businesses, receives 3,400 hits a day and hopes to expand nationally in the future.