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List of Out of the Box Places to Set Up Shop this Holiday Season

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When you own a small craft business, you can sell your goods wherever you can. Whether you choose Etsy, your own website, craft shows, or social media currently, there are always other alternatives. Today, I’m going to introduce you to another idea – small, fleeting popup shops.

What is a Pop Up Shop?

A pop up shop is a temporary retail space. For large stores, pop up shops are generally set up in busy mall spaces, reception areas of large office buildings, and empty strip mall locations. But, you don’t have to be set up in giant, expensive spaces to have a pop up shop.

Why are Pop Up Shops a Good Idea?

Pop up shops are easy ways to reach new customers and test out new products. My favorite part about pop up shops are that the costs associated with them is small. When making arrangements to use a space, pitch it as a service for the customers that will shop in the pop up. Posing yourself as an asset to the owner of the space may get you a space to use for free for a few hours. If you can’t negotiate a free space, a small percentage of your sales may get you the space you need to host a pop up shop.

What do You Need to Host a Pop Up Shop?

You’ll need your products, a proper display for your products, tables, a credit card reader, business cards, and bags to put merchandise in. Think of your popup shop as a solo craft show display.

Places to Hold a Pop Up Shop

With a little creativity – and maybe some smooth talking – you can host a pop up shop wherever you can get permission. Here’s some ideas to start your brain storming:

  • Your house
    • Similar to hosting a holiday market in your home, set up your shop and invite a few friends over to shop.
  • A friend or family member’s house
    • Take your products with you and set up in someone else’s home. Bring a few snacks and make a night out of it!
  • A large office building
    • Pop up shops in large office buildings are a great way to reach a number of people at the same time.
  • Hospital break room
    • If you have the means to get into a hospital break room for a few hours, consider offering doctor and nurse themed products for sale.
  • School
    • The front office staff at your local school might love a pop up shop with school or teacher related products. If you can plan your pop up shop around teacher appreciation week, it’ll be even more popular!
  • Real Estate Office
    • Grab your display and head to your local real estate office. Offer products that are real estate themed or those that agents can purchase as gifts for their clients.
  • Salon
    • Grab your products and head to a salon for a few hours in the afternoon. Consider products that pamper or decor related to relaxing – or stick with stylist themed items.
  • Barber
    • A barber shop demographic is slightly different from a salon, because men tend to frequent them. If you can schedule a pop up shop with gifts before Mother’s Day or Christmas you may do very well. (I mean, stop in for a haircut and buy a gift for the wife for Mother’s Day with no extra effort!? It’s a win-win!)
  • A Cafe or Deli
    • Know a cafe owner? Set up shop during the busy lunch period!
  • Bars/Breweries/Wineries
    • If you’ve got a craft beer brewery or a local winery in town, arrange to set up a shop for a few hours inside on a busy weekend afternoon. Make your merchandise themed.

Themed Merchandise for Your Pop Up Shop

As I’ve mentioned above, the space that you choose for your pop up shop will dictate the type of products you sell. When planning what products to take to your pop up shop, ask yourself: What type of person frequents this location?

Now, get out there – set up a pop up – and make lots of money! Where can you think of to host a pop up shop? Leave your suggestion in the comments.

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List of Out of the Box Places to Set Up Shop this Holiday Season - Silhouette Portrait or Cameo and Cricut Explore or Maker - by

Paula Henry

Wednesday 9th of October 2019

Our small city in Northeast WI just rented out a few small storefronts that were empty in the downtown for pop-ups. They offered short term renting, 2-3 months. The shops are more online but are locals. This gives local businesses the opportunity to showcase their wares and a window of opportunities to let the public know about them. This helps small businesses get noticed for a few months.

Christine, Cutting for Business

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

How cool!

Corinne Colbert

Sunday 21st of May 2017

I live in a university town. If you do, check the college website for dates of special weekends (Homecoming, Parents' Weekend, etc.) and see if you can set up a table or booth somewhere nearby.


Monday 22nd of May 2017

Great idea!


Thursday 6th of April 2017

Love this idea, I haven't wanted to do a craft fair but I totally would be open to this idea!


Friday 7th of April 2017

Awesome! I hope I got you thinking!

Cooki Dorsey

Thursday 6th of April 2017

The flea market or the park on days when the weather is nice and people are out and about.


Friday 7th of April 2017

Great idea!