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Cash Mob Draws Spending Shoppers Downtown

Shoppers packed Mary Clymer's happy delusions Saturday afternoon for Renton's first cash mob.

took shape in grand style Saturday afternoon, complete with handmade signs, homemade cupcakes and song as nearly two dozen people gathered at the Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of Main Avenue and South Third Street.

With neon green ‘Cash Mob’ signs in hand, the group sang, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,” as they walked from the park to Saturday afternoon, drawing the attention and curiosity of participants.

Within minutes about forty shoppers browsed the homemade treasures of the 50 or so local artists and distributors who sell their creations at happy delusions. The crowd heald steady and a line of six or more people stretched the width of the shop for more than an hour.

“WOW! That's all I can say. WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Today rocked! Thank you cash mob hommies!,” wrote Mary Clymber on the Cash Mob Facebook event page Saturday evening.

The event’s creator, Selena Lester, made Facebook event page for the cash mob and challenged the community to support local businesses. She also rewarded them for participating. If 50 people signed up for the event, she promised to bake cupcakes. The community responded with 74 RSVPs and 60 ‘maybes,’ so Lester spent Friday night baking 100 miniature Almond Roca and Vanilla Bean treats.

“It’s just something fun to help Mary. She said she was having a hard time,” Lester said of her reason behind the mob. What she didn’t know when she approached Clymer about the event was that .

Facebook testimonials came flooding in upon the annoucement of happy delusions' closure. Clymer’s store is considered the “capital of downtown Renton” said Tonya Alan Skuse; to Michele Greenwood Bettinger called it the “heart and soul of DTR.”

Artist KB VanHorn remembers seeing the storefront just after moving to town, and feeling immediately at home.

“I thought this is pretty cool,” she said.  Although Van Horn also sells her art online, she likes to have her products in brick and mortar stores as well. Now, she said, she’s going to have to explore outside of Renton for a place to sell her work.

cards and crafts are also going to have to figure out where to take their gift cards and other creations. They’d sold their work at happy delusions for three years.

“I don’t think there are many venues like this,” Kellberg said.

Not everyone at the mob was a frequent shopper. Heather Tomasi came because she wanted to support her artist friends and the local economy.

“I want to support my community,” she said. “There is so much here and I think it gets overlooked.”

Stuart Avery August 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Great story! This is the sort of thing we need to see more of downtown. Renton has such a home town atmosphere. The DTR's all need and deserve continued support. We are a big city with a lot of heart and it shows when a community can rally around needs. The positive impact is contagious. Very thankful for people like Selena Lester.

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