Two State Street storefronts now house 11 pop-up businesses and vendors as a means to give entrepreneurs a chance to sell their products on one of the busiest streets in Madison.
Each of the 11 vendors in the two storefronts has its own designated area of the building, and the storefronts are open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vendors can choose their own hours within that time frame.
The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce worked together to select the micro-businesses and their vendors that would sell different products in 440 and 444 State Street, according to The Cap Times.
The pop-ups are not permanent, however. The lease for the storefronts is one year long and vendors can choose if they want to rent their space from a few months to up to a year.
The Madison City Council allocated $100,000 to the project and will host a grand opening of the project Oct. 22.
In a statement to The Cap Times, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said pop-up shops bring unique cultural products to State Street.
Sarah Denise, owner of the pop-up store Oceans Laugh, is one of these vendors. Denise sells a variety of bath products, including foot soaks made with Himalayan salt and dried flowers, bath kits, floating candles and bags of fresh flowers.
Denise said the development of her pop-up was an easy way to give back to Madison.
“The project helps with adding more diversity to Madison,” Denise said. “I also have a poetry club that allows me to give back to my community. The club is completely funded from the tips I make from my small business.”
Denise’s business, like many others, struggled during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the transition from selling her products only online to also selling at the State Street storefronts was extremely beneficial.
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Along with Denise, many other vendors sell unique and culturally diverse products.
“My business struggled a lot when it first started,” Denise said. “I decided to open up an in-person location to my business as I love shopping and believe the whole buyer experience is important.”
The storefronts are located at 440 and 444 State Street.