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June 25, 2019

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The Black Lab turns 20

Celebration, prizes, extended hours Friday and Saturday

The Black Lab Trading Co. celebrates 20 years of business at 121 N. Main St., downtown Bluffton this weekend, according to Julie Stratton.

The celebration includes cake, snacks, balloons, discounts and giveaways on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12  and 13. 

There will be extended hours on Friday from 10-7 p.m. and Saturday from 10-4 p.m.  Specials include 20% off Jane and Denny Edinger’s furniture, 25%-30% off gifts, fashions and other items. 

Customers may register to win gift cards and a large gift basket full of merchandise by donated by the vendors. 

Julie Stratton and her father, Ben Sprunger, bought the building in the fall of 1998.  Julie opened a gift store with the idea of bringing in new items, such as children’s clothing, home décor, gifts and furniture to Main Street. 

She also invited others to bring their merchandise to add a unique flavor to the store.  After 20 years the store has kept with this original model. 

“On average we have around 25 small businesses and artisans who bring their inventory here that we display and sell for them,” said Stratton. 

“You will find handmade gifts, soaps, clothing, furniture, antiques, and more. We think that all of these talented people bring a great selection of one-of-a-kind gifts to our customers.”

When asked about the unusual name of the store, Stratton replied that everyone in her family had owned Labrador Retrievers over the years.  She has owned five labs, but now she just has a yellow lab named Sophie. 

“They are kind, gentle, and friendly dogs, we hope to emulate those characteristics to our customers.

“We are so grateful for all of our customers and the town of Bluffton who support their vibrant downtown, and of course our present and past employees who have been wonderful to us and to our customers.  We couldn’t have been in business this long without them.” said Stratton. 

Other past businesses that at were at the 121 N. Main St. building were Basinger Furniture, Jan’s, and The Street of Shops.