And why it’s just one of many pop-ups popping up around town.
Over 20 local vendors will sell vintage clothes and accessories along with locally-made artisan items at Gallery5 this Sunday during the Well Worn Pop-Up Market.
“The vendors at Well Worn are fledgling businesses, some with Etsy stores, eBay stores, or others who have just sold via an Instagram account,” said Drew Spruill, one of the co-organizers of the event and owner of vintage clothing company Yesterday’s Heroes Vintage.1 “A few of the vendors were first time sellers. The reason why a pop-up shop is so appealing is that for most of us, it’s the only time people get to see the goods we have to sell in person.”
Well Worn debuted in May with vendors like Emerald Grippa, SharpMan, Eliza Spell Jewelry, and seven others that occupied a single floor at Gallery5.
Despite falling on a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) and occurring when VCU wasn’t in session, Well Worn still attracted attention according to Spruill. “For the five hours it was open, my booth was slammed for four of those hours and the flow of people in the Gallery5 was steady,” he said. “All of the vendors had fun, said it was successful, and all agreed to come back for the second [one].”
In addition to those returning vendors, 12 additional ones will join the second Well Worn this Sunday, which will span both floors at Gallery5. One of the returning vendors is the husband-and-wife team behind The Odd Couple, which finds and sells unique furniture, art, and curiosities.
“We have been collecting for over ten years, but we officially started The Odd Couple this year to begin selling,” said Andrew Carnwath and Jennifer Garcia.
The couple said their participation in May’s Well Worn was time well-spent. “It was a successful day for us, and we were very pleased with our sales,” the duo said. In addition, “We met tons of new contacts and vendors.”
Participating in the occasional pop-up versus committing to an expensive storefront can be a low-cost way of growing your business. It’s one of the benefits of pop-ups like the one that Spruill promotes.
“For people without a business or a store, it’s the best way to begin selling to the consumer market,” he said. “You don’t have to deal with shipping items, you don’t have to have a lease, and you can sell at a pop-up market and still keep your regular job.”
Spruill said that pop-ups are tailored to businesses, like The Odd Couple, that want to slowly dip their toes into commerce waters.
Established businesses are even allowing fledgling companies use of their space. Some local examples include past Era Vintage pop-ups at Modern Artifacts, Bizarre Market’s Mystery Mart at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, and the recent High Water Pop-Up at Black Iris Studios.
“I think those businesses that do allow pop-up markets to be held inside their business, or on the business property, realize the benefit of higher traffic brought to their business by the pop-up market,” Spruill said.
And to him, the growing number of pop-ups underscores that local businesses think out of the box. “I think all of these pop-up shops are proving that Richmond has a lot more to offer customers than what you would find at a big box store,” Spruill said.
Well Worn Pop-Up Market takes place on Sunday, August 25th from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Gallery5, located at 200 W. Marshall Street.
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- He expects to open his storefront at 105 S. Addison Street (across from Lamplighter) on September 1st. ↩