In these down trodden financial times, it serves no one to sit on their hands and merely gripe about the bleak climate. Sometimes you actually have to get off your keister and find a way to improve it. On Saturday morning, civic-minded, business-minded and vanity-minded citizens of Fullerton — men and women alike — made a beeline for Lux Aveda Salon/Spa to do just that.

While we’re all too familiar with the flash mob sensation, there’s a new trend or meme that everyone benefits from known as a cash mob. The concept is pretty basic: with at least $20 in mad money, members of a community organize a couple of hours in a day to shop en masse in a locally-owned establishment; effectively supporting the small business and uplifting the area economy.

Lux itself was a wonderful choice for the Chamber of Commerce to host their first stimulus event. Recently merging their GardenWalk location with their Fullerton home base due to recession pangs, owners Wade Zylstra and James Cook showed off a refurbished, sleek and chic full-service salon and beauty spa.

Aside from the mimosas and light refreshments, guests were treated to complimentary hand and arm massages, mini makeup demos and given an overview of Aveda homecare regimens by their impeccable staff. Taking a brief tour of the facilities, the tony interiors and accoutrements were clearly worthy of any posh parlors in more affluent zip codes. As a result of the cash mob, the neighborhood was introduced (or re-introduced) to the superlative services offered at Lux and they in turn amped their clientele base and rang up $1,000 in sales.

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The idea of a cash mob was first started by Chris Smith, a blogger and engineer from Buffalo, New York, when he urged more than 100 people to purchase items from City Wine Merchant on August 5, 2011. Smith described the phenomena as a “reverse Groupon” meant to make a “chance for business owners to begin building a longer-term relationship with customers”.

A few months later, a group of people living in Cleveland, led by attorney Andrew Samtoy, then went on to corral around 40 people to shop at a local bookstore. Through social media, the publicity spawned more and more events with nearly 200 already cropping up in 35 states and a handful of countries.

While this might be a tepid fad in other locales — primarily because no one’s technically in charge of the movement — involvement by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce ensures that cash mobs in our town will definitely endure longer than last year’s lipstick shade. Ka-ching!


Corky Nepomuceno

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Corky Nepomuceno has 62 post(s) on Fullerton Foundry