clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The business of pop-up shops

The interior of Soul75 Events at 314 E. 75th St. Owner Taneisha Gillespie opened the venue to host pop-ups and private events. | Instagram

Pop-up shops, mostly retail, are popular in allowing customers a short-term experience. Usually done by online retailers and brick and mortar shops in locations they aren’t established in, pop-up businesses benefit from more than added revenue. These temporary ventures are used to increase brand awareness, launch new products and test new markets.

Taneisha Gillespie, owner of Soul75 Events at 314 E. 75th St., started the business in May to provide people a place to “feel safe and host a variety of events.”

Located on Chicago’s South Side, Soul75 hosted an open mic night and a friend who owns a barbeque business asked if she was interested in having vendors on site.

“I thought to myself, ‘Why not give other businesses a platform to make money and sell their products?'” said Gillespie.

The success of that night convinced her she was on the right path to assist other small businesses that don’t have a physical location and mostly rely on online sales.

“Giving them one location to promote and sell their products has given them the opportunity to network with other owners and also bring business and awareness to Soul75 Events,” said Gillespie.

A new kind of pop-up experience came to Chicago and it’s wasnt retail-focused; it was nightclub. Actually, it’s one you get a glimpse of on Sunday nights.

Chicago fans of the hit series “Power” on Starz recently got a chance to walk into James St. Patrick’s Truth Nightclub. EFFEN Vodka’s two-day pop-up Truth experience offered the dim lights, hit music and photo opportunities of recreated scenes from the series.

EFFEN Vodka’s Truth nighclub pop-up. | Provided/Kenny Rodriguez
EFFEN Vodka’s Truth nighclub pop-up. | Provided/Kenny Rodriguez

The temporary nightclub, set in a warehouse, employed about a dozen bartenders, hostesses and waiters.

Pop-ups can last from one day to more than 30 days, and are usually set up in areas with high foot traffic.