Businesses pop up to fill empty stores
by Mike Eldred
Nov 29, 2013 | 4503 views | 1 1 comments | 94 94 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pop Ups
A photo of the Annex.
Nicki Steel
view slideshow (2 images)
WILMINGTON- Two seasonal “pop-up” stores are set to open in Wilmington’s downtown business district beginning in December.

A pop-up is a temporary retail store which can capitalize on a particular event, location, product or season. Both of the pop-ups in Wilmington will offer holiday shoppers a variety of local and Vermont crafts and artistic creations.

Wilmington native Charlotte Hoffman and her mother, local realtor and Wilmington Selectboard member Meg Streeter, are opening a shop called Display Wilmington at the Wilmington Home Center building at the corner of South Main and East Main streets. The store, which will offer a variety of Vermont products, will be open every weekend beginning Saturday, December 7.

Hoffman has a degree in art history and has worked as an art consultant. She recently left a job at an investment firm in New York City and is in Wilmington until the beginning of the year when she starts a new job. Hoffman says the idea for the pop-up store was sparked by a discussion with Streeter regarding economic development in Wilmington. “I started researching them and thought, ‘Oh, that’s something I can try.’”

Hoffman says she’s extremely proud of her hometown, and wanted to contribute to economic development efforts in the village. She’s hoping the visibility of the location will draw people downtown and get them to stop and walk around the village. “The objective is to light up that corner of Main Street,” she says. “Growing up here, I remember the tourist season as really busy, and if there are lights on when people come downtown, maybe it will inspire people to get out of their cars and walk around.”

All of the products at the store are made by Vermont artists and craftspeople, including blown glass ornaments by Jen Violette, of Wilmington, and walnut wood products from Vermont Farm Table of Burlington. “A lot of the artwork in the shop is from artists that I know from prior work as a consultant, and from friends.” Hoffman says she also found people who were selling their Vermont-made products on Etsy.com and invited them to sell their goods at the shop. “There are a lot of people making really cool stuff,” she says. “Quite a few of the people I contacted got back to me and wanted to help with economic development in Wilmington, and to have the opportunity to have their work seen by people who might not see it otherwise.”

Shoppers can follow Hoffman’s project at http://displaywilmington.wordpress.com or on Instagram @displaywilmington.

The Annex, a second pop-up, at 7 North Main Street, opens this Friday. The Annex will temporarily occupy the space below Carolyn Palmer’s Roseate Creations that most recently housed Annie Coleman’s gallery. Palmer is providing the space to more than a dozen local artists and crafters over the holiday season.

Palmer was not available for comment, but Wilmington photographer Nicki Steel says Palmer, like Hoffman, wanted to encourage more people to do their holiday shopping in the village. “It’s a good way to encourage people to come down,” Steel says. “The more stores that are open, the more likely people are to come down.”

The store, which will be open 10 am to 5 pm on weekends through the end of the year, features a wide variety of work, from Steel’s popular note cards and photography by East Dover resident Jeanette Eckert, to Whitingham resident Todd Wahlstrom’s acclaimed stoneware. The store also includes paintings by Jane May Jones, of Readsboro, and Linda Anelli, of Dover, as well as giclee prints of Wilmington artist Jim McGrath’s work. Two fiber artists are also selling their wares at the store, including Linda Sherman, of East Dover, who creates hand-hooked rugs, and Karen Wheeler, of Wilmington, who makes chenille scarves and shawls. Wheeler’s loom is set up in the gallery, and shoppers may have a chance to see it in action when Wheeler’s at the store.

“It’s a great way of giving local craftspeople exposure, while giving people an opportunity to buy local in the village,” says Steel.
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2002fan
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November 29, 2013
Great idea, a win for all.

Local artist/craftsmen get recognized, tourist have

a great experience. Wilmington is on track for success