Pop-up shops allow local businesses to test the retail waters of downtown Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — You may be seeing a couple of new stores in downtown Colorado Springs thanks to the Downtown Partnership’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop Program.

This is the second season for the program which aims to fill vacant store fronts through the holidays while small, local businesses get to test the retail waters of downtown Colorado Springs.

Two new pop-up shops can be found on Tejon between Kiowa and Bijou.

“Unbranded itself started because I wanted something that was unique and independent of larger big box names,” Wyatt Reed, owner of Unbranded said.

Unbranded got its start in Cañon City and now Reed is ready to take on Colorado Springs.

“I am small business. I don’t have any aspirations to become big. I just want to be a local shop owner where people can come in, shake my hand, get to know me, and tell me what they want in the store so I can go and get it for them,” Reed said. “That’s how we’ve done it out in Cañon City and that’s what I’m fixing to do here as well.”

The other pop-up shop is Maker’s Market, a creative collective of four different businesses that are creating handcrafted goods. It features a metal-smith, The Universe Conspires that specializes in jewelry, a leather-smith whose company is Amos Leather Goods, vintage curators called Café Motique and apparel by The Worley Company.

“When you buy an object from a person who made it with their hands, it’s made well, you know the source,” said Brianna McGrew, owner of The Universe Conspires.

When you’re small business owner, renting commercial space can be not only expensive, but risky, which is why the Holiday Pop-Up Shop Program allows for a trial run.

“Not having to sign a five year lease and just feeling out the waters is a pretty amazing chance for all of us,” McGrew said.

Last year, two of the five pop-up shops became permanent store fronts.

“It gives us an opportunity to test the market and see if people are interested in it and then allows the people of Colorado Springs to basically vote with their dollars if this is going to become a full time store or not,” Reed said.

Both stores opened their doors Nov. 1, and they’ll be there through the end of December.


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