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Boutiques to pop up for downtown event

Area retailers aim to gain exposure at Night of Lights

National chains aren’t the only ones quick out of the gate this holiday season.

With pre-Black Friday sales and promotions on the increase, a group of northeast Indiana retailers have banded together to create “HollyPop – A Downtown Festival of Pop-Up Boutiques,” set to kick off next Wednesday at 127 W. Wayne St.

The idea behind the three-day event is twofold: Give both area companies and a potential storefront some exposure.

“There will be a ton of people out next Wednesday during Night of Lights,” downtown’s annual Christmas lighting event, said Matt Kelley, an organizer and owner of One Lucky Guitar and The Good Ones Clothing Co. of Fort Wayne.

“We figured it would be a good time to start,” he added.

HollyPop also takes advantage of Nov. 24’s designation nationally as Small Business Saturday.

“That’s kind of the anchor,” Kelley said.

His is one of nine businesses participating.

Kelley said not all are brick-and-mortar operations, so the sale may allow them to reach new customers.

Pop-up boutiques involve retailers who temporarily shift their business to downtown locations for a short period.

Downtown booster and businessman Scott Glaze owns the storefront on West Wayne Street and views HollyPop as a testing ground for future endeavors.

“They were looking for spaces, and it’s just exciting to have some (new) retail right downtown,” said Glaze, the CEO of Fort Wayne Metals and owner of JK O’Donnell’s restaurant downtown. “We’ve seen the pop-up concept before. This is kind of a mini-mall for retail. Hopefully, it will catch on.”

Lindsey Hively hopes the same.

She is owner of Kernel Coladas in Columbia City. Hively wants her gourmet popcorn business to break into the Fort Wayne market.

“This will help us gauge the customer base,” she said.

pwyche@jg.net

HollyPop

HollyPop is a Christmas shopping event at 127 W. Wayne St.
•Stores will be open 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 21; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 23-24
•For online information about HollyPop’s sales and activities, go to www.facebook.com/hollypopfortwayne

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