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Starting Up With Flexible Retail: Pop-Up Entrepreneurship [Radio]

This week’s edition of StartupNation Radio features three pop-up shop connoisseurs, who offer the inside scoop to entrepreneurs looking to start small.

Your host, StartupNation CEO and co-founder, Jeff Sloan, kicks off the conversation with John Hart and Valerie Byrnes of the city of Battle Creek’s project, BC Cargo Pop-Up Shops Marketplace. The shipping containers are fitted to create a walkable market space near downtown that allows startups to launch with lower barrier to entry, benefitting both the entrepreneurs themselves and the community.

Valerie Byrnes and John Hart
(Valerie Byrnes and John Hart)

Hart noted that the pop-up shops present a great opportunity to create an area for small businesses to get started, facilitating the local economy at the same time. In addition to the seven Cargo pop-up shops, the space includes room for additional pop-up tents that can be set up over the course of a weekend or even just a day. This will create new interest on a weekly basis and create accessibility to merchants who can’t commit to the full season.

Throughout the show, Hart and Byrne discuss how BC Cargo will bring culture to downtown Battle Creek and embrace entrepreneurship. Opening in May, the BC Cargo Pop-Up Shops are being leased for the season, and applications are now being accepted.

Follow Downtown Battle Creek on Facebook, and learn more at the official website.


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Kellie Hill
(Kellie Hill)

Next, Jeff speaks with Kellie Hill, coordinator of The Leap Room, a pop-up shop located inside Kavarna Cafe in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Hill is also the owner of her own pop-up store, Spark Haus Vintage, where she sells vintage housewares, home goods and clothing.

Speaking from her own experience, Hill shares how when she started selling vintage goods, she gradually began to build a following on Etsy. But by starting a pop-up shop, getting one-on-one time face time and building a relationship with her customers, she was able to grow her business much more effectively.

During the show, Kellie shares tips for starting a pop-up shop of your own. She talks about the importance of knowing your brand and the many forms pop-ups can take. Besides inventory costs, she says marketing, business cards and the cost of entry are a few major aspects to consider with a flexible retail space.

Learn more about The Leap Room on Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow Kellie and Spark Haus Vintage on Instagram.

Tune in to WJR 760 AM Radio on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. for an all-new episode of StartupNation Radio.

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