In the blocks of Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix is a collaborative retail pop-up shop called POP PHX, founded almost two years ago by Ashley Bourget.

November 8, 2018

Hannah Caltabiano

POP PHX helps local entrepreneurs build their brands

In the Blocks of Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix is a collaborative retail pop up shop called POP PHX founded almost two years ago by Ashley Bourget.

“In my words, a retail pop up shop is a place for local retail entrepreneurs to come in and sell their merchandise, build their brand and get exposure to new and existing clients,” said Bourget. “It also really provides them with another outlet to sell their products.”

Located at 513 E. Roosevelt St., this community of small business owners aims to refine shoppers’ encounters by creating an “interesting, unique, and place that inspires” experience.

Bourget started hosting pop up shops in vacant spaces in downtown Phoenix as a hobby. Her commercial real estate background gave her insight into the business opportunity at hand. Connecting the empty spaces to the absence of retailers downtown opened a new door.

“I thought it would be fun to bring them {retailers} downtown so that people on their lunch breaks would have a place to shop, to really create a little bit of synergy for downtown,” said Bourget.

POP PHX runs its business very differently from typical retailers. Bourget handpicks a finite number of vendors to be displayed for a limited time at the POP PHX store.

“I host pop ups either on the weekends, on a monthly basis or First Fridays,” said Bourget.

Bourget has about six to 10 vendors come in per month to do one of the three types of pop-ups available. The POP PHX shop welcomes all different types of vendors, especially those savvy with social media platforms and are exceptional with marketing themselves.

“I get a lot of vendors who come in and think that they can just set up and sell to the foot traffic that comes in,” said Bourget. “This is an opportunity for them to come in and create a buzz and awareness to their customers.”

As “retail pioneers” the POP PHX shop looks for vendors “outside the box,” constantly finding new products and people to showcase. They have a plethora of different types of vendors ranging from artists all the way to skincare.

Bourget said the fun part that differentiates her from a lot of other retail pop ups is that she is not just one medium. She presents an abundant of different elements such as jewelry makers, artists, skincare, bath products, clothing and so much more.

“I have been following POP PHX since they began and have wanted to be a part of their space,” said DelRae Cincinelli, founder of Loil Life, an organic bath and body care company. “I am a vendor for RubyMint General and when they partnered it was the perfect medley for me to have a pop up on a Saturday.”

The promotion aspect of any business is imperative in gaining a customer base and creating awareness of products. POP PHX is no different and has a constant flow of Instagram posts, especially leading up to the event day.

“I like to take a screenshot of who they are, what they are offering,” said Bourget. “Whatever I think is the best showcase of them from their product on Instagram.”

The process of promoting an event is screenshotting things that would appeal to the customer base and including a photo collage of all the different vendors that will be showcased at the event.

“If they are staying for a month I’ll try to create a vendor spotlight with a video interview and post it to the POP PHX Instagram,” said Bourget.

Bourget also offers a variety of coaching and personalized services to vendors she collaborates with. Services including brand identity, social media, design overview, inventory management and so much more.

“What I find is that they might be really good and passionate about their product or merchandise but they don’t have the business skills to do the other things that come along with it,” said Bourget.