Last month, the staff at Expressions Unlimited in Greenville, South Carolina had a sweet surprise for customers: a pop-up shop featuring a beloved local baker.
Aly Queen, the shop’s social media manager and event coordinator, and Robyn Glenn, owner of Lattice Pies, had been following — and admiring — each other on Instagram. The two finally met in person a few weeks ago and Queen got to taste the desserts. Hooked, she asked Glenn to join forces with the florist, by hosting a pop-up shop at Expressions Unlimited.
“We partner with a lot of local businesses to provide the best food, flowers, and gifts for our customers,” Queen said. “[Glenn’s] pies are so delicious, and we wanted to make sure we could offer them during the holiday season.”
Queen provided table space in the shop’s main showroom, where Glenn’s pies would have maximum exposure to walk-in customers. Glenn sold whole pies for $22 ($40 for two) and had special vegan and gluten-free options for $28, as well as petite pies for $3 to $7, depending on the variety. Glenn offered free samples of pie so shoppers could “try before they buy.” (The Mexican Chocolate and Rosemary Apple flavors flew off the shelf, Queen said.)
Lattice’s large following brought in significant foot traffic to the store, and most of these new customers wound up purchasing holiday gifts along with their treats, Queen said. She praised the symbiotic relationship and noted that customers seem to appreciate events that strengthen the local business community.
“If you are making a genuine effort to support your community and provide opportunities for others, I think you will be rewarded,” Queen said.
Interested in a partnership to generate more business? Here are Queen’s tips:
- Advertise on many platforms. Creating a Facebook event may not be enough. Put a sign outside of your shop. Get in touch with people who have a large social media following and ask if they will partner with you and promote your event. Be confident that your event will be successful and post away!
- Take time to bond and enjoy the event. One of the most important aspects of pop-up collaborations is to connect with the artisans. Learn their story so that you can share it with the customers. Build each other up professionally by connecting on a human level so you both can thrive and share the success.
- Try not to get discouraged. Some events will bring in many onlookers, but only minimal sales, while other events will reap several sales from just a few visitors. Get comfortable with the notion that you will never be fully in control of the monetary success of a pop up shop. If you are disappointed after a pop-up doesn’t go according to plan, don’t let it deter you from trying again.