Holiday shoppers gained a wider selection of stores from which to buy gifts this season after three new pop-up shops opened this month in downtown Colorado Springs.
Mountain Standard Goods, Maggie M Boutique and Good Eye teamed up with the Downtown Partnership advocacy group to set up storefronts inside empty properties for the partnership’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop program.
The program gives business owners a chance to test out running a brick-and-mortar store, while bolstering retail shopping opportunities downtown and filling otherwise vacant spaces.
“Being a small business owner is no small feat,” said Katie Frank, the Downtown Partnership’s economic development director. “So being able to have the opportunity to kind of do a trial run … to get some kinks out and see if they really like it and want to dive head in is just a really good opportunity.”
Sisters Jessie and Hannah Gingrich started Mountain Standard Goods, a vintage clothing and gift shop for men at 226 N. Tejon St. after they often noticed men shopping with women without a wide enough selection of items to interest them.
“That was kind of a seed that was planted a while ago, like, ‘Oh, maybe we should look into opening a men’s shop,'” Jessie said.
The two started to collect an inventory of U.S.-manufactured, ethically and sustainably-made items.
They initially opened a booth at the Sweet William Antique Mall on Colorado Springs’ west side. But when the opportunity surfaced to set up a storefront on Tejon, they jumped at it.
Jessie, Hannah and a host of friends and family worked for two weeks to create the perfect atmosphere for their southwestern-style men’s store.
Using salvaged wood, metal light fixtures and paracord, they arranged the store’s interior so that it could display their stock of vintage clothing, candles, posters, cocktail ingredients and more.
Their pop-up location on Tejon, which had housed the Mountain Chalet sporting goods store, gave Jessie and Hannah the chance to see which products and items are popular and which ones are not.
“We sold out of several things in the first week that we were open and we had to reorder,” Jessie said.
Jessie and Hannah’s lease, like the other pop-up shops, only lasts two months. But they hope to renegotiate the agreement to stay in the space longer.
Since the first year of the Holiday Pop-Up Shop program in 2014, nearly a half dozen businesses grew to be permanent fixtures of Colorado Springs’ retail scene. Jessie and Hannah hope to do just that.
“We love this location,” Jessie said. “And the vibe of this spot has been really great.”
Maggie M Boutique, at 7 S. Tejon, sells clothing for babies and moms as well as home décor and bath and body products. Good Eye, at 111 E. Pikes Peak Ave., sells ethically and sustainably sourced vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories for women.
The Holiday Pop-Up Shop program’s success spurred the Downtown Partnership to consider running it at other times throughout the year.
“It creates variety,” Frank said. “It creates vibrancy, it gives people something to come down and shop around for.”
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