Celebrating A Successful Pop-Up Market

By: Taryn Oesch – 06/11/2018

Last Sunday, three Power of the Dream micro-entrepreneurs participated in the Roshambo pop-up market at Hero’s Pub in Raleigh. They sold terrariums, soap scrubs, paintings and embroidered butterflies. It was a successful afternoon; in fact, we almost sold out of terrariums!

Pop-up markets are short-term events for artists, craftspeople and other entrepreneurs to sell their products. It enables entrepreneurs not only to make sales but to build relationships with customers and potential customers, serving as both a sales and a marketing opportunity. As Tirthna Badhiwala, our AmeriCorps VISTA staff member and employment and outreach coordinator, wrote last year, our PowerUP markets are also “a chance for others to reconsider their understanding of persons with disabilities.”

“People gravitate towards these kinds of ‘pop-up’ vendor experiences because of the more personal qualities they provide,” wrote Peter Merholz, co-author of “Subject to Change” and president of Adaptive Path, in the Harvard Business Review. Getting know the seller, learning more about the product they’re buying and “even just a certain quirkiness” make pop-up markets “fundamentally more human retail experiences.” Human retail experiences are just what we want to help our entrepreneurs offer their customers!

Our entrepreneurs use pop-up markets to test the waters with new products, as well. For our recent micro-enterprise class graduates, for example, a pop-up market is a great opportunity for them to see how popular their products are, decide if they should go in a different direction and experiment with pricing. They also give us the chance to see how our model is doing out in the community (spoiler alert: It’s doing great).

Learn more about our PowerUP Micro-Enterprise by emailing info@thepowerofthedream.org.