Okay, I know, I’ve already talked about the Montclair Pop-up Shop a few times already. Maybe you don’t want to hear about it again. That’s fine. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop talking about it because I love it. Love it! LOVE. IT. Seriously. It’s love.
I stopped by last week to pick up some Thanksgiving stock that didn’t sell and some extra stock that they didn’t have room for (which is a blessing I am grateful to receive), and it was the end of the day for them. The store was dark, the Christmas tree in the window was bright, there were a handful of great people talking and I walked in just in time for a closing-time adult beverage. It was the perfect way to end my Thursday night with their small Christmas tree lit up in the window.
So why am I talking about the Montclair Pop-Up Shop again? Well, it’s simple: I BELIEVE in the Montclair Pop-up Shop and I WANT it to be successful. The press release that the partners released before opening the Shop is below:
ANNOUNCING: Montclair Pop-Up, A New Retail Concept
Montclair, NJ – Local entrepreneurs, Selma Avdicevic(WOOLY BOO) and Helene Richman(brandhelene) today officially introduced Montclair Pop-Up, a new retail concept for this town. This is an innovative strategy for breathing new life into empty retail spaces and reimagining their potential. The Montclair Pop-Up 2013 will be located at 102 Walnut Street and the grand opening will be Friday, November 22.Walnut Street has always been a gem, but the economic downturn has affected the neighborhood. Many new eateries have since invested in this area, yet it is still lacking diversity in retail. Avdicevic and Richman have joined forces and their substantial business acumen to bring an idea of pop-up to Montclair landlords and the township.Pop-Up stores are temporary retail venues that are very popular in large urban areas. These shops, while small and temporary, can build up interest by consumer exposure. Pop-up retail allows curators to create a unique environment that engages the customers, as well as generates a feeling of relevance and interactivity.“We believe Montclair’s retail landscape will greatly benefit from this idea. This will at the same time be an exciting retail space where consumers can purchase unique products, as well as collaborative space for the community,” says Helene Richman.Montclair Pop-Up will be curated to compliment the residential and existing retail spaces, and will help to increase the neighborhood profile by positioning Walnut Street as more than a “restaurant row”.Landlord Mitch MacGregor says: “We are very excited to enter into this venture with Helene and Selma. We think it is going to be fantastic.”Montclair Pop-Up will feature unique, artisanal goods and products, most of them locally made. To this end, the founders will hold open calls for local artists, artisans, crafters, designers/makers, and musicians on November 15.“It brings me a great pleasure to finally see this idea come to fruition. Also, it is wonderful to work with a landlord who sees the potential and is trusting this new, unexplored concept,” says Selma Avdicevic.The founders plan to reach out to all other local businesses, and will seek joint participation to engage the neighborhood with events, signage, and guerrilla marketing for the launch on November 22, just in time for the holiday shopping season.More information can be found at: http://www.montclairpopup.com/. Updates daily at the Montclair Pop-Up Facebook page and Twitter feed.###
Why I believe in it so much is captured in that press release. Their sentence, “Local entrepreneurs, Selma Avdicevic (WOOLY BOO) and Helene Richman (brandhelene) today officially introduced Montclair Pop-Up, a new retail concept for this town. This is an innovative strategy for breathing new life into empty retail spaces and reimagining their potential.”
I have for a while now been thinking about capitalism and money. That’s a lie. I’m always thinking about capitalism and money. More importantly, I’m always thinking about MY place with money and in capitalism. I struggle with capitalism every day. The struggle lies in whether I deserve to attempt to make an above decent living with my skills, love, and passion, or do I accept making what I can, not asking for more money for my skill, time, and work, and give back to those that are in greater need.
I have always felt fortunate even when struggling. And I’ve always chose to give more, leave the higher paying gig, and do what everyone would encourage me NOT to do, when struggling. Take the last two months where my account has been more negative than positive and I’ve thrown more money into my creative business endeavor than in eating, putting gas in my car, and paying my student loans, I have reminded myself that I can still pay my bills in bits and pieces, and that I have options. I’ve also expressed gratitude that I will always find a way. That’s my personal mantra…greater than “I’ll figure it out” more like “I will figure it out because I’m Sara Stroman; there are no options.” Some times that requires me asking for help. I will ask for help, but the point is I will figure it out no matter what.
This ties into the my push for helping the Montclair Pop-up because as an artist whose items are for sale in their shop, they are helping me. Their shop is part of my growth, struggle, and future as an entrepreneur and individual. Their willingness to take me in was affirmation and that affirmation makes me want them to succeed. I know that makes me sound selfish, but it isn’t. Their success is my success and the success of all the other artists whose creations are being sold. It is a collective success even if I don’t sell a single dollar!
I think that is the important point here. I enter into these markets and non-wholesale shop opportunities for brand expansion and for exposure. I go in hoping to make money (as is the case with the upcoming Cavalcade this weekend), but with the understanding that if I don’t make a dollar, it was not a waste of time or energy because I am pursuing my dream and my art and I get to meet some pretty incredible people along the way. That is always worth more than a few dollars in my mind.
Montclair, New Jersey is a gorgeous town. Walnut Street where the shop is located is adorable. It has quite a few restaurants and antique shops that I’ve spent quite some time perusing. I commend what Helene and Selma are doing to open the street up to more retail establishments to liven it up and encourage more sustainable shopping and consumerism (two issues I feel strongly about!) for the neighborhood and for local artists and shoppers around New Jersey and New York.
I see a lot of potential in what these two amazing ladies are doing and I hope your interest in piqued enough to either visit, or keep tabs on what they do and how this project changes Walnut Street retail. I’m also sure if you’re interested in creating a space like Montclair Pop-Up in your neighborhood whether it’s in Michigan, Texas, or Oregon, you can contact the two creators and find out more details.
When the Montclair Pop-up closes at the end of the year, I will be sad. They have inspired and challenged me and I’m so grateful for the experience, the opportunity, and the connection. With that said, please share their story with your friends, family, and anyone else you know even if they don’t live in New Jersey. There’s a lot to learn from this incredible little shop on Walnut Street.
Oh, and yes, if you’re in New Jersey, stop in. You’ll be glad you did!