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Courting disloyalty: New program encourages shoppers to patronize Waynesville businesses

Here’s what the disloyalty cards look like in downtown Waynesville’s Twigs & Leaves Gallery. Here’s what the disloyalty cards look like in downtown Waynesville’s Twigs & Leaves Gallery. Donated photo

The disloyalty card is here and it’s, in a sense, exactly what it sounds like. 

Plenty of businesses use punch cards or reward systems that offer freebies for frequent customers, but the Disloyalty Card program has re-envisioned that concept on a grander scale. People shopping can get a card from any participating business. For every purchase at one of 19 participating businesses — a number that is poised to grow — the card is stamped. Once the card accumulates 14 stamps, the costumer can redeem it for a discount or free item at one of the participating shops. Many merchants offer a 10% discount on any purchase, which can actually lead to some huge savings, considering some businesses like art galleries allow them to be used on high-priced items.

Essentially, it encourages people to be loyal not to any one business, but rather to patronize a wide variety of Waynesville businesses — hence the cheeky name “disloyalty card.” 

The program was dreamed up by Blake Yoder, who moved here a couple of years ago from South Carolina. He said it’s exciting because it gives the people the opportunity to shop and redeem rewards from one of several businesses instead of just one, which should stimulate the local economy on a broader scale.

“You may have the [Blue Ridge] Beer Hub give away a free pint, you may get a keychain from Axe & Awl,” he said. “The idea that it’s fungible and changeable. It was something that we wanted to provide as a tool for the businesses rather than being too prescriptive on how the program runs.” 

Yoder recalled seeing a similar program for several coffee shops in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood a few years ago, and the idea stuck with him.

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“When I started thinking about small quick ways to kind of unite the community around small business, that just came top of mind and I was like, ‘oh, what if we kind of like tried to expand on this idea beyond a specific sector,’” he said.

Yoder took the idea to Spencer Tetrault, who owns Axe & Awl Leatherworks, which opened just over two years ago. The two frequently share ideas, Tetrault said, and they range from absurdly ambitious to relatively humble. He noted that they both identified the disloyalty program as a winner right away. The men, along with some other key partners, started hammering out the details in late October, and now the idea has come to fruition. 

Another Waynesville business that helped get the Disloyalty card program off the ground was the Print Haus, which offered to print the first batch of materials for free. However, now that Tetrault and company are paying for future print runs, there is a one-time $20 fee for a business to join the program. For that, a business will get a decal, 75 cards, 10 brochures and an ink pad and a stamp. Then they’re ready to get started. 

Tetrault noted that while there are currently 19 businesses actively participating in the program, there are a few more that are in the process of joining in.

“It’s just in its infancy now, but we think this can go far,” Tetrault said.

“The sheer excitement we’ve seen from people participating already has been pretty awesome,” he added. “We’ve had folks pop in with four or five stamps already, so it’s working.”

Yoder said it’s been fun to see different merchants who provide all kinds of different goods and services jump on the bandwagon and come together to embrace the program.

“It’s been really nice kind of breaking down some of the maybe silos or barriers that are maybe invisible to most but it’s kind of connecting a lot of corridors together,” he said. 

Any customers with questions about the disloyalty card can inquire at a participating business, and any business interested in participating in the program can visit to get started.

Here are the businesses currently participating in the Disloyalty Card program: 

  • 828 Market on Main
  • Affairs of the Heart
  • Ava & Arden
  • Axe & Awl
  • Blue Ridge Beer Hub
  • Cultivate Garden Shop
  • Curatory Co-Op
  • Dyno Detailing
  • The Funky Fern Emporium
  • Grebleknud Meat Company
  • Haywood Arts Council
  • Mountain Vibes Kava
  • Orchard Coffee
  • The Print Haus
  • Salon Puppy
  • Soul Sisters Depot
  • Station on Main
  • Twigs & Leaves Gallery
  • Waynesville Chiropractic
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