The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, announced the quarterfinalists, including Fuzzy Goat of Thomasville (and the only quarterfinalist in Georgia) of the seventh annual Independent We Stand Independent Small Business of the Year or “Indie Award.” This announcement preceded Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25, encouraging holiday shoppers to support these businesses versus big boxes and national chains.

Fuzzy Goat is an eclectic historic downtown Thomasville yarn shop that assists customers in finding projects to knit by hand, the majority of which are destined for gifts or charity.

“We made a business from a rough-worn neglected main street building and we’re truly an indie business with 90 percent-plus merchandise created by other indie makers,” said Cadence Kidwell, owner of Fuzzy Goat. “Our eclectic lodge vibe, luxuriously appealing yarns from independent, Southern and U.S. sources and focus on attainable challenges, create a memorable experience. One of the favorite pieces in the shop is our battered service sign over the counter, announcing we are here to serve. We have brought public art and the maker experience to a greater audience through our sponsorship of the Thomasville Center for the Arts’ Art in the Open public fiber art, engaging the community in World Wide Knit in Public Day, developed a yarn amnesty program delivering hundreds of pounds of yarn to a Georgia women’s prison and revitalizing and energizing main street life by contributing to the public amphitheater and creative district projects. Joint events are hosted with local businesses, encouraging our destination customers to support other local businesses with Stitches & Stories at a local bookstore, The Bookshelf and retreats at a local bed and breakfast, The Paxton 1884. We host regular Fuzzy Fiber Days with Harper Elementary students introducing them to small business life. We bring public art and the maker experience to a greater audience revitalizing main street life. Because we don’t just sell yarn; we’re a quirky, vibrant movement!”

“This year’s quarterfinalists represent the independent businesses from across the country who go above and beyond to support their local economies,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “This award is our way of honoring the contributions they’ve made to their communities.”

Voting is now under way at www.IndieBizAward.com through Dec. 10. Voters may visit the website to cast one vote each day.

The 2017 Indie winner will receive prizes with a combined value of more than $50,000, including: $5,000 grand prize; $1,000 for the winner’s favorite small business group; $1,000 STIHL equipment certificate (STIHL products are sold exclusively through more than 9,000 local, independent servicing dealers in communities nationwide); 12-month subscription and three months of free managed marketing services from SnapRetail (valued at $1,696); branding, advertising and public relations makeover from independent advertising agency — The Meridian Group; three days/two nights retreat and branding workshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia (valued at $1,000); plaque to display at winner’s business; public relations and social media recognition and all quarterfinalists will receive a lifelong Premium Membership from Independent We Stand.

American’s cast nearly 20,000 votes for 249 nominees during the nominations phase.

Independent We Stand officials are to announce the winner of the Indie Award on Dec. 13.

For more information on FUZZY GOAT, visit: http://www.fuzzygoatyarns.com/

For more information on the “Indie” or to vote, visit www.IndieBizAward.com.

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