Licorice pipes, tin signs, cricket clicker, old fashion candy, mustache magnets and so much more—the two dozen people who showed up for the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network first Cash Mob left with great gifts (and presents for themselves too).

After meeting at the Chamber office the “mob” headed out for Sweet Memories, a little known candy and gift shop on 6th Street in downtown Redlands that contains fun treasures and great gift ideas. The cash mob announcement–promoted primarily through social media–asked people to simply meet at the Chamber office at 4pm and march together to the nearby, business destination where participants were asked to spend at least $20.

A cash mob is a simple and inexpensive way to show support for locally owned small  businesses, have fun, and be a small part of what could be a large impact. In addition to the financial imprint, customers get the opportunity to meet the business owner, and the business owner gets the chance to develop a potential long-term relationship. And shoppers might even discover a hidden gem in their community that they didn’t even realize existed!

During the first YPN cash mob, shoppers had the opportunity to explore the sweet shop browsing through retro gifts, old time “soda”, T-shirts, books, and other fun odds and ends.. Everyone left with something–most valued at far more than their $20 minimum to spend.

The shoppers left happy and left with a push of encouragement for the YPN to plan another cash mob. They all agreed to return for a second mob and to try to bring more people along and help spread the word.

“It was a wonderful sight to see people in line to pay, smiling and laughing together while the cash register rang.” said Chamber President, Daney Bachiu. “It may have been only a couple of dozen people, but it a couple of dozen more than would have been in the store that afternoon. And it was great fun to interact with the crowd, the owner, and the young people who organized it. There were a crowd of people who congregated together, who understood the IMPORTANCE of shopping local, and can’t wait to do it again. It was terrific

The YPN plans to mob a store each month in 2013. Check Redlands Cash Mob on Facebook for details.