Pop-Up Vendors Settle Down At Mall Store of Their Own
Pictured above, Six for Good partners, from upper left: Robyn Frank of Thumbs Cookies, Sairey Gernes of Urban Undercover and Towel Topper, Ginger Neilon of Baubles & Bobbies, Lauren VanScoy of Essence One, Nikki Hollerich and Anna Hagen of Hagen and Oats.
Pop-up markets are like a new relationship: exciting, intense, an event you’ll go the extra mile to experience. But once the novelty wears off, the constant popping up becomes a grind. And the makers start to think about settling down.
Six Twin Cities-based brands whose founders met while selling at a Mall of America holiday pop-up are opening a store at Rosedale Center called Six for Good. After years of trying to keep it fresh by constantly moving—seeking alternative locations and event-driven retail, they’re craving a home of their own, and the sort of consistency that, well, a shopping mall provides. The brands consider this a permanent location—as permanent as it gets at malls these day. They’ve signed a nine-month lease.
Gone are the days when malls could rely on 10-year commitments from national retailers. That sameness of every mall is part of what got them in trouble, particularly when competing with the Internet. Small local brands have become the antidote to mall monotony. It’s why Mall of America encouraged Worker B to open a store of its own (which is doing very well) after the skincare brand thrived at a pop-up. It’s why Rosedale opened Rose & Loon, a mall-run marketplace for local brands. It’s the driver behind the brand incubator Fourpost, which has locations at Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall…but seems to be moving away from the focus on local.
Lauren VanScoy, founder of Twin Cities-based natural beauty line Essence One, became convinced that the mall still works while selling her products at Rose & Loon, Rosedale Center’s concept store, which features a revolving batch of local brands. With Essence One’s nine-month residency on the Rose & Loon shelves coming to an end, VanScoy started thinking about a store of her own.
“With a consumable product, customers want to get it when they need it, not when you’re there for a weekend and then gone,” VanScoy says. “If they don’t want to internet shop, we can provide that, and also know that we’re doing some good.”
There’s safety, and community, in numbers. So when she found an available space at Rosedale—on the first floor, center court near J.Crew—VanScoy asked other brands to join her: Hagen and Oats wood dÃ©cor, Thumbs Cookies, Baubles and Bobbies jewelry, Urban Undercover travel accessories and Towel Topper. Each will donate a portion of sales to a cause, from mental health support to sustainable water to LGBTQ organizations.
“We’re inviting people to give back with us—instead of just shopping—come join our community, and hang out with us as well,” VanScoy says. “We want local artists to come in, have a pop-up on a weekend, we want it to be an event space.”
A mid-April opening is planned for Six for Good. That’s a quick build-out, but as VanScoy points out, these are brands build at pop-ups. “We’re so used to moving in and out of a space in 24 hours, we’ll be just fine.”