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Bryn Mawr Pop-Up Shop To Fill Retail Void With Art And Handmade Goods In Historic Belle Shore Building

brynmawr-popup-1When the Edgewater Development Corporation (EDC) asked the community and area businesses what they would like to see on Bryn Mawr Ave, an overwhelming number of people said they would like to see more retail on the strip.

Taking this information, EDC responded with plans to fill the retail void on the street by opening a new pop-up shop at 1052-56 W. Bryn Mawr in the historic Belle Shore building (previously the old Johnny Sprockets space). The store will feature around 40 different artists and makers as a collective, selling handmade, unique items of all types. There will be a soft opening this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The shop will continue to operate through the end of 2016 with extended and Friday hours. 

Jennifer Borchardt, Interim Executive Director of the Edgewater Development Corporation is excited about the possibilities of the pop-up shop.

Borchardt said, ” We are looking forward to activating a key retail vacancy that has been empty for too long. We will be providing the community, especially the Bryn Mawr Historic District with a good fit to compliment the other surrounding businesses.” She added, “We will also be working with the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce on a integrated promotional plan (#shopedgewater) that supports all Edgewater Businesses.”

Coming off EDC’s successful Food Truck Fridays this past summer, they collaborated with the group that puts on the annual Holiday Market at the Broadway Armory – Remix Chicago. Using Remix’s strong relationships with area artists and makers, the two organizations started to bring the pop-up shop to life. 

At nearly the same time, EDC was also introduced to David Oakes who manages the Andersonville Farmers market and the Winter Market at Sidetrack in Lakeview. Oakes, who also has relationships with the type of vendors that EDC wanted to recruit for the market, decided to join the venture. It was then that they all started to reach out to potential vendors and the property owner of the Belle Shore, Holsten Management.

According to Borchardt, all participating vendors pay a small fee ($145 for both the pop up and Holiday Remix) which funds the shop’s overhead. The shop takes no commission from vendors and all proceeds go back to the makers. In early October, SSA 26 Commissioners generously approved funds for marketing and promotion of the pop-up.

The shop will also include local charities. At the moment, there are plans for Care For Real to provide on site gift wrapping services for a small fee which they will keep as a donation. 


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