By Lisa Martone
DES MOINES -- They are our neighbors, our friends and the backbone of this country. Small local businesses are the heart of the heartland.
"You can have the Wal-Mart's, you can have the big stores, they all have their place but the small business is the engine of the country," said Kelly Sharp, owner of Heart of Iowa.
Saturday was all about them. Small Business Saturday diverts people's attention away from Wal-Mart's and targets and tries to get them to focus on folks like Kim Novotny.
"You walk in here and you just see stone all over and it is beautiful stuff," said Novotny. "It is peaceful in here and very, very earthy."
She and her husband create one of kind pieces from stones they collect all over the world. Their small Valley Junction Shop, Light the Earth, is how they make a living and the boost from Saturday's shoppers certainly helped.
"Great day today," said Novotny. "We really appreciate the people coming out."
If you take a short walk down 5th Street in West Des Moines you will come upon Kelly Sharps small business.
"We really do have a nitch," she said. "You can find a little bit of this and a little bit of that at different places but we are really the only store that it comes all together."
If you want an Iowa pig magnet or a sliver of homemade fudge Heart of Iowa has it, along with tons of other homemade Iowa products. So if you want a calmer shopping experience, and to reap the benefits of one of kind gifts, join the shoppers who are already doing just that.
A lot of the shops in valley junction in West Des Moines and the East Village in Des Moines have sales going on right now for the holidays.