I first met Ashley Bourget when she was doing pop-ups at Renaissance Square in downtown Phoenix. I thought it was a great way of showcasing and introducing a broader audience to shopping local. Fast forward to the First Friday of the year- January 5, 2018, when she announced the opening of her brick n’ mortar in The Blocks of Roosevelt Row space. Each month, she showcases several local small businesses, with hopes of giving the brands an opportunity to further grow their business. This is her story…
LAFS: Tell me a little about yourself…
AB: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but wasn’t sure how to get my start or what I wanted to do. My career background is tied to business, commercial real estate, and retail development. I’ve always admired dreamers who were willing to take a risk and create their own brand. I was an avid shopper of locally sourced retail products and wanted to continue to support them on a grander scale. Finally, I had the courage to launch my own business. I started out buying and selling mid century furniture. After lugging one too many dressers into my house and sitting in an office all day, I started brainstorming other ways to become self-employed. One day it all came together and I had the idea for POP PHX.
LAFS: Before the brick n’ mortar, what was your initial concept of POP PHX?
AB: Last summer I had an idea to bring retail to downtown Phoenix. There are too many vacant storefronts and too little retail (specifically locally sourced retailers and products). A friend of mine is the property manager at Renaissance Square and I presented my pop up concept to him. He provided a large glass window display in the building for me to create and develop the POP PHX concept. Kat and Kui with Rubymint General were my first pop up hosts. They came in and created a stunning window display to showcase their merchandise. On Fridays, they would open up a mini shop in the building to sell their merchandise during the lunch hour. It was a great community experience. During this experience, I realized there was a need for micro retailers to have a space to sell their merchandise without the risk of leasing their own space. And that’s when I decided to find a permanent home for POP PHX.
LAFS: What brands have you featured so far?
AB: I have been fortunate to have nearly three-dozen local vendors participate in POP PHX in the four months I have been open. Such great brands have been featured: Rubymint General, Day One., The Modern Cactus, Visionary Nomad, Designer Treasure Hunt, Luz Del Desierto, Junkie Threads, Ilsa Fragrances, and many more.
LAFS: What makes POP PHX unique and stand-out?
AB: POP PHX is the only permanent venue in Phoenix that hosts pop up shops on an ongoing basis. The mission of the shop is to have a place where micro retailers can sell their products, promote their brand, grow, and ultimately fulfill the dreams they have for their brand. I hope POP PHX is a launching point for them.
LAFS: What can we expect from POP PHX in the coming months?
AB: I am working on some fun future events and plans, but they are still under wraps. I will be partnering with retail and restaurant neighbors along Roosevelt Row to create events that benefit our entire community. This summer I will be launching additional pop up opportunities around the city like we did last summer. With the slow down of summer months, it’s vital to find new ways to sell merchandise and to do it indoors.
It’s located at:
513 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ