BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Shopping local not only keeps your tax dollars close to home but also supports your neighbors and business owners employed here in Kern County. That’s why the Outlets at Tejon is working to create new opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
While many may consider outlet malls large and corporate, the Outlets at Tejon is pushing for a greater focus on small business.
David Gordon is a third-generation Kern County resident and local entrepreneur who’s set up shop at the outlets. His gallery Bird Dog Arts features work from artists based in California, including Kern County.
“We feel that art is part of everyone’s life, especially collecting. So we're making it available to a whole new shopping environment here at the outlets," Gordan said.
Gordon says as a supporter of the arts and entrepreneur, he sees the value of helping build up new artists who might not otherwise be able to find the same exposure.
“They can then use that information and that experience to move up in their careers," he said.
Shoppers at the Tejon outlets can find big-name brands, but they’ll also find local businesses competing on the same scale.
“Some of these really big name brands, to walk in here you think it’d be a big corporate name but it’s just the three of us partners who decided to do this on a greater scale," Gordon said.
There are 9 local businesses represented at the Outlets at Tejon. Soon, the popular local pizza chain Tony’s Pizza will be opening its own shop at the outlets. Local business leader Linda Read — owner of Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, and Carvel at the outlets — says the success they’ve seen at the outlets has allowed them to continue to give back to the community.
“That’s why local entrepreneurs are really special to us," said Director of Marketing for the outlets Becca Bland. "Because we just work really well with them.”
Bland says they’re working to provide more resources to entice local business owners to consider taking up residency in one of their spaces.
“It’s not just hey come to the outlets and sell your products, it’s hey how can we ensure your success is our success as well," she said.
If you're a local entrepreneur or small business owner interested in expanding to the Outlets at Tejon, you can contact them at (661) 858-2155.