The “Shop Local” movement has taken Brookings by storm, thanks to the Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC).
The BEDC helps anyone in Brookings county who is in the process of creating a business by conducting open spaces tours and makerspace workshops, which are hosted to further local entrepreneurs’ business plans. The BEDC helped 145 locals with their entrepreneurial endeavors this past year.
One of the many events that the BEDC puts on is the Pop-up Market.
The Pop-up Market is a collection of vendors that get together to promote and sell their products. It’s a free event for all to attend and participate in. The only stipulation is that vendors cannot have a physical storefront.
Vendors sell everything from homemade jewelry to handcrafted wood projects.
Director of Entrepreneur Support Jennifer Quail said it’s “the one-stop shop to help start businesses.”
The three pop-ups in the past have seen a total of 250 community members in attendance, Quail said.
All of the vendors in the past have received good feedback and follow up sales from attendees after the events, according to Quail. Vendors are getting a free marketing opportunity and a chance to make great connections as well. Multiple vendors attended more than one pop-up, proving it worth their time.
Quail said the only change the Pop-up Market made from the previous events was changing the dates from May to February, March and April. This change was made to attract more SDSU students.
The first Pop-up Market of the year was Feb. 3 at the Brookings City Recreational Center. There were a total of 16 vendors in attendance, along with plenty of customers.
“It’s a good place for winter since most of our business is done in the summer at farmers markets,” said Lisa Seward of Little Shire Farm.
Seward said the pop-up has benefited her enough that she wouldn’t hesitate to attend a future event.
Sabrina Knudsen from Color Street, a stick-on nail polish company, was sent to the pop-up to represent the company.
“I have been giving out quite a few samples. I think it’s a good way of getting people to know the company,” she said.
According to the exit survey at the pop-up, attendees received the event very well. The only comments some people had were that they would love to see more vendors involved.
The BEDC also has an event similar to the pop-up, but for young entrepreneurs. They partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings to create opportunities for children to experience what it’s like to start a business.
This pop-up will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Boys and Girls Club of Brookings.
There will be two more Pop-up Markets this year from 9 a.m. to noon March 17 and April 7 in the Brookings City Recreation Center.