While retail storefronts across the country are struggling to find full-time tenants, there is no decline in designers, curators, and vendors who want to sell their wares to the public. Many of them are opting to try pop-up stores either to promote an online business, test out the retail market, or gather together a collection of independent sellers.
Some might say the pop-up store concept is played-out at this point – having saturated other cities around the world in recent years to the point of boring shoppers – but much like the pop-up dining trend, pop-up retail is hitting DC hard right now and is supported, in part, by the city’s Temporary Urbanism Initiative. I prefer not to complain and instead get excited about the tremendous energy and entrepreneurship on display – as well as the terrific items for sale.
5. The Mt. Pleasant Temporium
The Mt. Pleasant Temporium opens on Friday and runs through March 18. Earlier this week, Rebecca wrote a preview of the Temporuim’s variety of crafty vendors and entertainment which you should check out for more details.
Housed at 1005 7th Street, NW until March 20th, garmentDISTRICT has converted a large unused space into a showcase for local art and fashion. Nineteen different local designers will be selling clothes and accessories, including Rachel Pfeffer’s whimsical jewelry, as well as twenty visual artists. The space will also host a variety of musical performances, beginning with an opening night party on Friday.
3. Butler + Claypool at American Ice Co.
Primarily vending their vintage finds via Etsy, local fashion collective Butler + Claypool are venturing into in-person retail this weekend with a preview party Saturday afternoon. Last month, our Jen Shoop checked in on B+C – and now you know the secret live event she could not disclose then. Expect vintage fashion for men and women, custom jewelry, and musical performances in American Ice Co.
2. Trash Cat Clothing Exchange
Calling itself an “eccentric flea market pop-up shop,” every third Thursday Trash Cat pops up at SOVA with vintage clothing for sale or trade. You can bring pieces from your own closet that need a new home or take something new back with you. As they say, “Mission: Be the hot puss in boots.”
1. The Pop-Up Museum of Censored Art
Number one ma not a retailer – but it is something even more important than new clothes: A pop-up that takes a stand for artistic freedom. Adding to the vibrant streetscape around the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Censored Art is a trailer, set up to show a video art piece which was pulled from the Hide/Seek exhibit. The local arts community contributed funds and efforts to establish the pop-up screening space to make the piece available to visitors. I would love to see more pop-up galleries in spaces around town, for less-controversial reasons. They have happened before and seem like the perfect way to take back vacant spaces. What does more for our community life than art?