Pop-up shops changing perception

Pop-up shops are often thought of as a trendy way for Indie brands to get their name out there on a tight budget, but that isn’t always the case. More and more we are seeing big name brands using pop-up shops to their advantage. While lesser known brands may use pop-ups to sell inventory and increase awareness, bigger brands are using them to provide customers with a unique experience, educate, and possibly change perception of their brand. Household names like eBay, Kate Spade, and Adidas are using pop-up shops to entice millennials with experiential shopping and some companies are using pop-ups to change customer perception of their brand.

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  1. Fruit of the Loom recently did an experiment with a faux pop-up shop to show how much consumer’s perceptions matter. The underwear retailer created a fake brand, “Früt”, and displayed the brand as an upscale lingerie company. Only at the checkout did the company reveal to customers that the underwear they were shopping for was the low-cost, packaged, Fruit of the Loom. The goal was to show consumers that it’s what’s inside the package that matters. Fruit of the Loom was able to show that regardless of the fact that their product comes in packs of five and can be found at discount retailers, the quality and look could be mistaken for an expensive, high quality department store brand.
  2. Chobani is another example of a brand that used a pop-up to change customer perception. They found that while Europeans consider yogurt an ingredient for any meal, Americans only use it for breakfast. In order to change that perception, Chobani opened a café as well as several pop-up shops, that featured sweet and savoury meal choices using yogurt to show that it can be an ingredient used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their website even has recipes presenting new ways to use yogurt in your meal plans. In changing the way Americans think about yogurt and its many uses, they not only change perception but increase sales within its current customer base. For the largest seller of Greek yogurt in the United States, it’s a clever way to increase sales.

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  3. European grocery chain, Lidl, was having trouble convincing customers that although they were a discount retail chain, their products were high quality. Consumers usually believe that you get what you pay for, high quality equals high prices, and their opinions were reinforced by the bare bones customer experience Lidl provided. To change this, the grocery retailer launched a pop-up restaurant, Dill (an anagram of Lidl) , in Stockholm for three weeks. Michelin star Chef Michael Wignall was in charge and ingredients only found from a Lidl store were used. The mantra, “good food doesn’t have to cost more”, manifested and became the theme for the pop-up. The restaurant was a hit and fully booked from day one. Consumers started to speak positively about the restaurant and the company, resulting in a change of perception of the goods Lidl sold.

    Because a pop-up shop can be used as an educational format, it is an ideal outlet for changing the way customers think about your company. Pop-ups use the five senses to engage customers and can change their opinion through unique experiences. A study found that 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event, such as a pop-up shop. When faced with a perception issue, try using the “show don’t tell” approach with a pop-up.

Five Reasons to go Pop-up

It’s a scary question for all brands just starting out, “What’s next?” You’ve had a successful run with online sales but it’s time to think about expanding and growing. Then the headaches come. “How much will rent be?” “Can I afford a place with a large footfall?” “What if I pick the wrong neighbourhood?” There are a million ways to go wrong and run your successful business into the ground. A pop-up shop is a great way to expand your business!

What are the benefits to doing a pop-up shop?

  1. Save rent money – Pop-ups allow you to rent out a space for a temporary period of time, saving you money by not being locked into a contract. With a cheaper rent, you’re able to spend your budget on creating a unique experience for your customers. Both brand and landlord can benefit from a pop-up store. Filling a location that isn’t making the landlord any money can be very helpful while they look for a more permanent resident.www.miva.com
  2. Test out different locations/New variety of customers – Not all neighbourhoods are created equally. Researching locations and neighbourhoods is always helpful but sometimes reality doesn’t reflect the google description. Your hipster brand most likely won’t fit in too well in the family oriented neighbourhood. Aren’t you glad you only rented the venue for the weekend! What better way to test the perfect location than to experience it first-hand? 
  3. Shop sharing – For those brands that don’t need a full space, shop sharing can be a great option. If you have a small amount of inventory, a few shelves or a corner of a store is more than enough space. Shop sharing can also expand your customer base by introducing your brand to people who are already shopping in your shop share location. You may also find the perfect brand pairing. Your wine tastings may be just what the customers in a specialty olive oil shop are missing. Pairing brands can help you find synergy with other companies and could lead to future projects together. Shop sharing is also great because you have built-in employees. Being present in the store every day isn’t always a feasible option, but through shop sharing there is someone ready to run the store.

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    The Dry Goods Store London, UK
  4. Meet customers in person – Emailing can only get you so far when it comes to getting to know your customers personally. There’s value for brand owners to have face to face interaction with customers and allowing those customers to interact with the products in a way they can’t experience online. In store shopping is all about the human experience. Ninety-four percent of total retail sales are still generated in brick-and-mortar stores and having a physical presence could help drive business to your online store. It’s a great way to market and advertise your online business in a simpler and less expensive way than online advertising.

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    TopShop pop-up from Covalent Marketing
  5. Create an urgency – What makes you click “order cart” faster than seeing the sale ends at midnight or the store is almost out of stock? A temporary shop creates that same urgency to purchase or attend. Nothing is more exclusive or sells tickets faster than having a supper club available for just one night. Customers are experiencing a once in a lifetime event and creating that fear of missing out is sure to bring crowds.

Wondering how to get started? We Are Pop Up provides the ability to book full locations, shop share locations, and enables brand-to-brand communication. Register your brand or location at www.wearepopup.com and get started on the pop-up of your dreams!

Food: The Experiential Movement

We’ve all done it, posted an Instagram photo of that carbonara you’re about to dig into, spent hours waiting for a table at the hottest new restaurant in town, or just gotten lost in the vortex that is Pinterest looking for a new recipe to try. Food. We love to eat it, post about it, and we spend most of the day thinking about what our next meal will be. As of 2014, 50% of millennials consider themselves to be foodies. What is it about food that makes it more than just a means of survival?

As millennials, we are all about the experience. We don’t want just a basic transaction between a business and a customer, we want creativity and novelty and to feel like we have had a memorable moment in our lives with that experience. We are also looking for communal experiences. Having a connection to the people around us is important, we don’t care if it’s with strangers or friends. About 55% of millennials prefer communal tables as opposed to private seating. The food movement is really a communitarian movement says author of several foodie books, Michael Pollan. We want to be involved and present with everyone and everything when enjoying our meal.

About 80% of millennials want to know more about how their food is grown and will spend more on ethically sourced meats and farm-to-table experiences. It is for this reason that community is an integral part in the investment we have in every step of the process when it comes to our food. We want to know where it came from, if it’s processed, and even how happy the pig was that is now bacon on your plate. What’s better than when the waiter sets butter on table and lets you know it was locally sourced from a farm down the road, was churned in the restaurant and the cow’s name is Betsey? Or when the Chef who just created the beef tartare you’re munching on, comes by to introduce himself? A deep connection with the food is made when we know all of the information.

Pop-up restaurants and food trucks are a large source of experiential dining. Theme Night? Kale Craze? All possible to experiment with when you’re taking over an abandoned warehouse or “space 12” in a parking lot. It also breeds a feeling of exclusivity. Scored tickets for that secret supper club? Time to let Facebook and your friends know how much you’re enjoying your meal that they will never be able to get. Millennial diners have major FOMO (fear of missing out) and 72% have said when they see posts of friends dining out, they wish they could be there with them. Hashtag jealous?

Gone are the days of frozen meals and mystery meat. Here to stay, at least for now, is a communal experiential movement. To all those brave enough to host, good luck keeping us entertained.

Should I Dropship My Products?

A guest article from our lovely partner, Modalyst

To Dropship or not to Dropship? That is the question.

There are many conflicting feelings about Dropshipping. Like all business models, there are advantages and disadvantages so it’s up to you to decide whether is right for your brand. To help you get started, we’ve outlined some pros and cons for you below.

First, what is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment model where the store does not hold the inventory but rather sells products and has the supplier ship them directly to the customer.

Let’s talk Pros and Cons from a supplier’s perspective.

Pros of Dropshipping:

Marketing

So you spend a ton of time creating a beautiful e-commerce site but how do you get people to see it? We hear this all the time at Modalyst. Suppliers are finding it difficult to drive traffic to their own online stores. There is no secret sauce for this but we can offer a few ways that may help you increase your visitors. But one of the best strategies is to be open to Dropshipping.

By offering your products for Dropship, you can exponentially increase your exposure. For example, if you are online selling sunglasses through your own online store, you are only reaching the audience you have been able to connect with through your own marketing efforts.

If you choose to Dropship your products, you can sell the same pair of sunglasses across hundreds of online stores. Each of these hundreds of stores are aggressively marketing their own site to drive traffic (often by using your products!) so you are reaching new audiences by just allowing them to post your sunglasses to their site.

Selling through your Online Store VS. Dropshipping through several Online Stores

As the supplier, you are not restricted to the amount of stock you have on hand. As long as you are diligently updating your retailers on the inventory levels, you can “sell” 1 pair of sunglasses across as many sites as you choose!

Making $$$

Now that you are handling all the logistics (and often returns) you can negotiate better commissions. Modalyst offers a standard 60/40 split with the vendors so the suppliers receive 60% of the full MSRP of the product.

Additionally, you can manage hundreds of relationships and not have to worry about Inventory since Modalyst automatically syncs your stock levels. As soon as a product is out of stock, it will be marked that way across all stores selling that item. So now multiply that 60% by hundreds and you can significantly increase your cash flow.

Offloading Excess Inventory

Inventory is the devil. There is nothing worse than staring at left over units from previous collections that didn’t sell. While wholesale buyers are typically picky about selling stale goods, online retailers are much less season-sensitive. Let’s face it, consumers will buy what they want, when they want online, whether it is mittens in Summer or swimsuits in winter.

So if you are reluctant to put your past collections for sale on your own e-commerce site, why not off load it across other online retailers? Dropshipping can be an effective way to quickly get rid of the ghosts of seasons past.

Cons of Dropshipping:

Shipping and Logistics

If you are a one-man/ woman show, handling the shipping for all the items can be time consuming. First, you will need a good understanding of the costs so you can relay that to your retailers accurately. The vendors will need to know the rates before you sell anything so they can inform their customers. The retailer will pay the shipping costs on top of the 60% so make sure you are properly charging (that means not over charging as well!). Be aware that the online store can price their shipping however they choose.

Second, you will need to be fulfilling the orders promptly so the customers are receiving the items as soon as possible. Remember that the customer is interacting with the retailer (not you) so you are in fact shipping on behalf of the store. If you ship the items late, that will reflect poorly on the store and they will likely stop Dropshipping your items. So if you plan to go on vacation- let your retailers know!

Returns

Get ready to deal with returns and refunds. You are probably already familiar with them from your own e-commerce site, but multiply that times the amount of stores you are Dropshipping with and this can be a bit of a headache. To avoid confusion, be upfront about your return policy so the retailers are well informed and know what to expect.

Managing Cash Flow

In wholesale relationships, suppliers have control over minimums and delivery which allows for better predicting of cash flow. In other words, many times suppliers are only producing the amount of units ordered as to protect against excess inventory.

With Dropshipping, you have no idea when you will be paid and how much it will impact your cash flow. If you are new to Dropshipping, you might say yes to every store that requests your products but as you become more experienced, you may find it more effective to only deal with the stores that predictably sell your products. This will help you better organize and predict your cash flow. If you are interested in learning more about cash flow, take a look at our series on the subject here.

In conclusion, Dropshipping can be a great way to market your products but it comes with challenges that you will need to asses and be prepared to face!

Want help dropshipping your collection? Email lillian@modalyst.co and she would be happy to get you started!

 

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We have a winner: all-natural skincare scoops TREAT first prize

What do you get when you combine fifty budding entrepreneurs, five diverse concepts, two days of hard selling, one happy little egg and a sack of concrete?

The TREAT Mother’s Day Pop Up – filled with ingenious gift ideas, dedication, frustrations and pleasant surprises – produced a much-deserved winner after a challenging but rewarding weekend.

Five Escape the City Startup Tribe teams were given the challenge of creating a retail concept around the theme of #shedeservesatreat, offering delightfully different gifts for the mums in our lives. Customisable chalkboard mugs, all-natural skincare products, handmade chocolates from the north, industrial-chic concrete planters and upcycled glass bottle vases all featured in the Covent Garden concept store for one weekend only. Every team brought a unique approach to the challenge including branding, visual merchandising, marketing strategy and selling technique – here are some of the key takeaways and highlights for each:

THE WINNER:
Mother Nature

Winner

From green tea and lavender foot soak to coffee anti-cellulite scrub, Mother Nature built their brand around all-natural, handmade skincare products that looked as good as they smelled. They combined simple packaging with a rustic, welcoming visual merchandising strategy to form a cohesive and beautifully-executed brand experience for the customer.

Speaking to team leader Fizzy before the challenge, she told We Are Pop Up that “I’ve never done anything like this or anything in retail before. I don’t think anyone has in the group so we’re going to have to really hustle over the weekend to figure it all out. I’m really hoping it’s going to work and we’re not going to leave with more body butter than you’d ever need in your life…”

As the store opened on day one, we caught up with Fizzy again: “I’m exhausted. We had quite a few delivery issues so nothing arrived until about 4:30pm yesterday – all of this was made between then and now. Everyone came over to my house and we were up until 3am making products but we’ve made a couple of real sales so far which is exciting. It’s fun and it’s a chance to see what happens when you put real products out there. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some happy customers, selling it all, making a profit and celebrating! But even if not it’s still been a nice way to work with other people and see what we can do.”

That said, Mother Nature managed to finish as the winning team, having sold an impressive 177 items, taking £991.04 worth of sales and gaining a total social media following of 612. Congratulations also came from across the teams: “The products looked gorgeous, the sellers fit the brand and the stall was open and engaging making it easy to entice customers. All aspects of the business were consistent.” “Mother Nature skincare was my favourite (isn’t everyone saying the same thing?!) They just smashed it on all levels and seemed very cohesive as a team.” “The team members were great shopping consultants. And the product could keep up with conventional and commercially sold cosmetic products.”

The four fantastic remaining teams:

Good Egg Creations

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Good Egg Creations, a gift shop with all proceeds going to children’s charity Barnardo’s, encouraged people to buy something meaningful for their loved ones and feel “gooey inside”. Upcycled homeware, handmade candles, customised mugs and tote bags were some of the products available, with guest brand Cold & Blac offering samples of London’s first coffee liqueur. Their social media campaign was fun and interactive, posting photos and videos asking customers and people on the streets of Covent Garden, “Why is your mum a good egg?“. The team made solid sales of 87 items and managed a modest profit above the seed investment they received.

Mum’s The Bird

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Team Mum’s The Bird tapped into the current homeware trend for mini succulents and cacti and backed up the products with simple but effective branding. A life-size polaroid frame also added a fun, innovative angle to their social media campaign. Having never made concrete planters before, the team told us that “they were far from perfect, but we sold through almost every single one and were even asked to do another pop up in East London, which two of us have already started working on.” Total sales at the end of the weekend surpassed the £200 seed investment with sales including 15 potted plants, and a social following of 513.

Make Her Day

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“On a mission to end generic Mother’s Day gifts,” Make Her Day produced a selection of handmade, customisable products so customers could add their own twist on the day. Chalkboard mugs and carafes, tote bags and even the paper cranes that decorated the stall proved a winner for the team. Clever use of origami also resulted in one of the most innovative logos of the challenge, with social media encouraging customers to write down how they would #MakeHerDay. The team sold a solid 93 items including 30 chalkboard mugsTheir social following totalled at 460, including the only email obtained by any team.

From London With Love

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From London With Love centred their brand on handmade, artisan goods from British entrepreneurs, including Good & Proper Tea, NIX & KIX cayenne chilli drinks and handmade Guppy’s Chocolates from York. Members of the team dedicated time to attracting passing trade despite the cold, creating their own signage and actively engaging the public with their chalkboard message campaign. Learning from their experience on day one, on Sunday the team completely rearranged their table to create a minimal, cohesive and ultimately more effective visual merchandising display. Total sales more than doubled their seed investment, with the highest volume of product sold including 46 packets of chocolate. 

 

Escape the City is on a mission to help talented professionals escape unfulfilling jobs and forge exciting, unconventional career paths. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’ve been inspired and would like to try your hand at your own pop up then browse and book spaces all online at wearepopup.com.

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Pop Up at These Three New York Food Pop Up Spaces

There are plenty of New York City retail pop up spaces. But for food? That’s a different story. You need powerful kitchens and elegant dining areas. Food certifications and an intimate setting. We’ve partnered up with three of New York’s premier food pop up spaces in downtown Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side. New york food pop up space – now easy to find and book at We Are Pop Up.

new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-up-old-bowery-stationOld Bowery Station
Old was an ironic shout out to the fact that this ground-level space is inside a former subway station. Now, it’s literal, as Old Bowery Station turns four this year and is the first pop up food lab in the city. With its tiled walls, reclaimed furniture from Tri-Lox and unmarked red doors, Old Bowery Station is the perfect NYC food pop up space. From underground dinners to public food pop ups to R&D for new food ideas, check out Old Bowery Station. Fung Tu‘s Jonathan Wu, Huertas‘ Jonah Miller and many other New York chefs got there start here. You can too

Book Old Bowery Station or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

 

exhibit-c-new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-upExhibit C
Exhibit C is the perfect blank canvas for your dinner parties in the Lower East Side. Launching a new art project? Take advantage of this New York food pop up space, their perfect white walls and sparkling lighting set up. The chic minimalist loft features a fully-equipped chef’s kitchen, high ceilings and a flexible furniture arrangement. Make Exhibit C your home for the night.

Book Exhibit C or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

home-cooking-new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-upHome Cooking New York
An open kitchen + a Soho location = The perfect New York food pop up space. Home Cooking New York is your location for cooking classes, test kitchen work and foodie meetings. Home Cooking is a unique mix of modern aesthetic and commercial capabilities. The warmth of home and the power to produce. Host a cooking class, wine tasting, video shoot here.

Book Home Cooking New York or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

 

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Grace Miceli’s Disruptive Art Empire

As part of our ongoing partnership with Depop, we sat down with one of their freshest artists, and one of the newest members of the We Are Pop Up community, Grace Miceli (aka Art Baby Girl). 

Grace Miceli considers her two titles of artist and curator to be inseparable. “Creating and collaborating go together,” she said, over coffee at Spreadhouse. Google her name and you’ll fall into a magic-marker-internet wonderland. Her Instagram. Her online gallery. Her coverage in Broadly, W Magazine, Nylon and The New York Times.

Grace Miceli

Miceli is building an art empire by cultivating a community of artists whose work spans from interactive digital to apparel prints. Her exhibitions combine art and retail, so that throughout a show, visitors can purchase featured artists’ more affordable art (hats and t-shirts, for instance). The daughter of an artist and musician, Miceli’s goal is to make art approachable, enabling virgin collectors to explore the art world sans “Chelsea pretension.”

By combining the power of contemporary art and accessible retail, Miceli repositions the sterile art gallery as a friendly shop, where visitors are greeted by a smile instead of flat neglect. This shift benefits curious collectors and artists alike. “An artist’s work on a baseball cap travels a lot further than a print hanging up in an apartment,” said Miceli. In the past year, Miceli’s art displayed at Outlaw Art Space, Bushwick Open Studios, Vox Populi, and Transfer Gallery.

Art Baby Girl

Miceli’s creative retail approach fosters an inclusive community online and off. From LiveJournal to Tumblr and then to Instagram, Miceli has evolved alongside the internet; she uses her online and mobile presence to showcase her art and collaborations. Miceli’s iterative process generates a steady stream of feedback, finetuning and conversation. And now, she’s gearing up for a cross-country tour. She’s curating at Sunday, Los Angeles in February, and then launching a US-wide gallery tour with Brooklyn’s Alt Space. “I’m excited to have the chance to meet artists who don’t live in NYC, it will be interesting to learn about artists whose practices exist in different and smaller cities.”

On her migration from online to retail spaces, Miceli says, “this started online, and that’s how it needed to start.” We can’t wait to see what Miceli has in store – and in stores. Visit her on We Are Pop Up and Depop.


Interested in becoming a Depop seller? Drop us a line and we’ll connect you!

 

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The Weekly Round-Up

Treat her

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The TREAT Pop Up for Mother’s Day will showcase a collective of ideas and products from the Escape the City Startup Tribe, all wrapped up in a unique concept store in the heart of Covent Garden. Read more here and stay updated on Twitter with #shedeservesatreat.

Listen

The Wintergartan Marble Machine is a mind-blowing hand-made music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles. Marvel at the music with some good headphones. (WIRED)

Create

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Pantone has launched 112 new colours for graphic design, collaborating with designers including Sagmeister & Walsh partner Jessica Walsh, Pentagram partner Eddie Opara and book cover designer Chip Kidd. (It’s Nice That)

Watch

An exclusive look at the making of the mesmerising video for Black Lake with the combined genius of Björk, Andrew Thomas Huang and Autodesk. (The Creators Project)

Read

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The founder of movie streaming service MUBI, Efe Cakarel, on data-driven selection and the abundance of choice. (Freunde von Freunden)

 

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TREAT your Mama: the Mother’s Day Pop Up Challenge

50 entrepreneurs.
5 start-ups.
2 days.
1 winner.

This weekend 5th – 6th March will see the return of We Are Pop Up and Escape the City to 44 Shelton Street in Covent Garden. With a new Startup Tribe line-up, five teams have been set the challenge of creating a lifestyle brand to launch in TREAT, a concept store for Mother’s Day weekend located in the heart of one of London’s top shopping districts.

Escape the City is on a mission to help talented professionals escape unfulfilling jobs and forge exciting, unconventional career paths. As one element of the Startup Tribe’s ‘intensive introduction to entrepreneurship’, the Pop Up Challenge sets this group of innovators the task to get creative, bring their ideas to life and launch a start-up from scratch. TREAT will showcase a collective of their products for two days only, all wrapped up in a unique concept store dedicated to all the Mothers out there because, of course, #shedeservesatreat.

To add a dose of healthy competition, once again the challenge will result in a winning team: the one that not only makes the most profit, but also gains the biggest social media following and creates the most impressive overall branding. For that we welcome back in-house pop-up and visual merchandising expert, Daniel Peters of BBS Clothing.

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The clock is ticking until the doors open at 11am on Saturday and concepts so far include handcrafted skincare goodies inspired by Mother Nature herself, and a curated selection of customisable products designed to eliminate ‘generic gifts’. Our friends at Bloomon will also be joining the teams in-store to showcase their fresh flower delivery service and light up the space with their utterly original bouquets.

Keep an eye on Twitter with #shedeservesatreat for the latest updates and to see how the challenge unfolds. Head over to the TREAT Pop Up website for more.

 

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A Smashing Success: Snack To The Future at Artists & Fleas, Williamsburg

This past Sunday, February 28th, the NYC foodie community gathered at Artists & Fleas’ Williamsburg location where they snacked their way through the day at ‘Snack to the Future.’ During the day, customers were invited to try samples from all the attending food vendors, and vote on their favorite. And to make things even sweeter, the cult classic ‘Back to the Future’ was screened!

We were delighted to see some amazing We Are Pop Up brands during the day. Check this delicious crew out! Want to collaborate with them? Click through and send a message via We Are Pop Up!

Want to get involved with the Artists & Fleas community? You can pop up at Artists & Fleas’ amazing pop-out space!

Snack to the Future
Especially Puglia
Snack to the Future
Tiny Kitchen Treats
Snack to the Future
Scone Alone
Snack to the Future
Phoebe’s Sourdough
Tiny Kitchen Treats
Tiny Kitchen Treats
Better IceCreamed
Better IceCreamed

 

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