By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a very special Small Business Saturday for one business owner in Mount Airy. Buddha Babe had its grand opening on Saturday.

“We are a bundle of nerves and excitement,” Buddha Babe owner Tina Dixon Spence said.

All the emotions of a new small business owner

“Today is overwhelming and it hasn’t truly begun yet,” Dixon Spence said.

Buddha Babe opened to customers for the first time on Small Business Saturday. The once-online children’s brand now has a brick-and-mortar location on West Mount Pleasant Avenue and Emlen Street.

“I just kind of have to keep reminding myself that if we can just make it through these tough times, the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely in sight,” Dixon Spence said.

Dixon Spence first thought of Buddha Babe six years ago. Her inspiration was her 7-year-old son Baron.

(credit: HughE Dillon)


“To have small businesses like this business opening right in our neighborhoods is very important,” Philadelphia Councilmember Derek Green said.

As opening day approached, so did the pandemic. On top of that, the store was broken into in October in the unrest following the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr.

“The civil unrest, the ups and downs with closures and restrictions, it’s all just been a reinforcing factor to remind me that you have to keep pushing through, you got to keep pushing through, you have to take the hits as they come,” Dixon Spence said.

(credit: HughE Dillon)

But in the end, Dixon Spence met her goal to open on Small Business Saturday.

City leaders say it’s now time to support her and other small businesses.

“When you can get out there and support the businesses on your commercial corridors in your neighborhoods, you should definitely do that,” Sylvie Gallier Howard with Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce said.


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