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Natalie Lin, founder and artistic director of the Houston-based orchestra group Kinetic found out that pop-up markets can be really good for business, even if you are a music group.

Pop-ups as a marketing strategy help businesses expand into new areas and expose their brand to new customers. These events allow the brand to give out samples, conduct demonstrations and answer customer questions and most important, make money. Pop-up shops are transitory events and when done well, can add to your bottom line and increase your customer base!

There are many ways to host a pop-up. You can take over unused retail space for a limited time. Think Halloween and Fourth of July and how these retailers pop-up annually in an unused retail space solely for that one holiday. These kinds of pop-ups will mean negotiating a short-term lease, paying rent and utilities, insurance and maintenance. If you’re an e-tailer that sells school uniforms and other back-to-school items, a pop-up shop of this sort could fare well for you!

Since Kinetic is a musical group, a pop-up shop with just music didn’t sound like a winning strategy but it didn’t mean they couldn’t make a pop-up work.

The Power of Collaboration

Natalie partnered with Kathrine Zerene, an incredible artisan who makes all the ties, bowties and pocket squares for the ensemble. (Her soy candles are also amazing!) Kathrine gathered other local artisans such as Gray Gardens, a homemade granola making shop and they all convened at A 2nd Cup— a socially conscious coffee shop in The Heights for a pop-up shop and free concert.

This collaboration worked for all the players involved. At the end of the concert, Kinetic’s tip jar was overflowing with twenty dollar bills, the coffee shop received 15 percent of all sales from the pop-up market and I personally spent money with a few of the vendors and I wasn’t the only one.

Each of these businesses:

  • Increased brand awareness (I’d never heard of any of them before),
  • Were able to let customers sample their product and answer questions (the bourbon granola is delish), and
  • Build their customer base.

So even if you’re not a retailer, there’s a way to conduct a successful pop-up shop if you collaborate with the right people.

Enjoy this video from the pop-up market and if you’re in the Houston area, be sure to check out Kinetic! You’ll enjoy the energy and music!


Collaboration, Popup Markets and Chamber Music with the Kinetic Ensemble from PrettyWork Creative on Vimeo.

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