Just down the street from ShareMySpace headquarters is a great little clothing boutique called Smak Parlour. In addition to their main location on Market Street in Old City, owners Abby and Katie have run popup shops all over Philadelphia. We were curious about their brand and their experience with permanent and temporary retail, so we dropped in to chat with them!
ShareMySpace: How would you describe the Smak Parlour brand, in case our readers haven’t been introduced to it before?
Smak Parlour: It’s a lifestyle brand of women’s clothing, accessories, and gifts. Unique, affordable, and always fresh. A little girly, a little rock’n’roll!
ShareMySpace: Did you start with popups before you opened a permanent location?
Smak Parlour: No, for us the brick and mortar came first, opening in Old City in 2005.
ShareMySpace: But you still ran popup shops around the city.
Smak Parlour: Yes, it’s a great way for us to test new markets. It also helps to drive clientele to our Old City store. We’ve done two popups in the King of Prussia Mall, one in Rittenhouse Square, one in Manayunk, and then we have our (always popping-up) Fashion Truck. We’re opening another popup in Rittenhouse within the month.
ShareMySpace: What’s the biggest challenge in running a successful popup?
Smak Parlour: Time. Getting the shop up and running quickly, and then letting people know you’re there immediately, before you have to move out.
ShareMySpace: What would you say to landlords who are cautious about renting to short-term tenants, and to designers who are unsure about what kind of space they want to open?
Smak Parlour: As long as a lease is signed so both parties know what they’re agreeing to beforehand, there shouldn’t be any issues. A popup is a great way to test out the market and see if you’re successful before committing to a long term lease. It minimizes risk. It also helps you get a feel for what it’s like to have a retail store and see if you enjoy the experience.
ShareMySpace: Thanks for chatting! Can you show us some pics of your awesome space?
Smak Parlour: Sure!