2013 Pop Up Shop Program Hopes for Repeat Success - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

2013 Pop Up Shop Program Hopes for Repeat Success

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Downtown South Bend hopes the 2013 holiday pop-up shops have as much success as shops in previous years. 

It's the fourth year for the program, which matches creative entrepreneurs with vacant storefronts in the 100 and 200 blocks of Michigan Street.

Applications opened last week and since then, Director of Business Engagement Krista Keirnan says DTSB has already received five or six applications.

"We have a lot of positive responses," Keirnan says. "Many of them are returners, also some of them [are] brand new and [have] some original ideas, so I'm very excited."

Keirnan says there a few things that set successful applicants apart from the pack.

"What it basically comes down to is window displays, the type of creativity that you have for your store events, as well as lighting, and of course a sound business proposal," Keirnan says.

Some pop-up shops have been so successful at executing their ideas, they have signed permanent leases in the downtown area.

"Any of the pop up shops that are permanent have stayed, obviously, because they did feel like their shop was a success," Keirnan says. "Made in Michiana, they have a lot of handmade, very unique gifts."

Made in Michiana co-owner Mary Labuzienski says the pop up program was the perfect opportunity for her and her business partners to try out their idea.

"We really wanted something that was part of something bigger, so that's why downtown was so cool," Labuzienski says.

Now located behind the Chocolate Cafe, Made in Michiana sells art from 50 local artists. Handmade jewelry, wood pens, glassware, painted furniture and recycled art are all sold at the store. 

Labuzienski says their store fulfills an unmet need and downtown is in turn a little livelier. 

"It works for all of us," Labuzienski says.

Applications for this year's program will be accepted through Monday, September 30, 2013.

Participants of the program will be notified on October 7, 2013.

Do you have a good idea for a holiday pop up shop? Learn more about the program by clicking here.

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