BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Queen City Pop Up is helping small business owners learn the ropes and check out the market before making a big commitment to rent out their own storefronts.
The Pop Up popped up on Main Street a few months ago. It’s an idea the city is supporting to bring businesses back downtown. Four local small businesses rotate in there — each having three month leases.
“We though this is a good opportunity to test the market see if people will purchase our things and see if we should go from internet to brick and mortar,” said Nicola Bryant Ballard, the owner of RudeBoyz Artwork, 527 West Utica.
Before moving to the West Side store, Bryant Ballard’s shop has a spot in the pop up.
“We learned how to work with other people,” starts the small business owner.
“I am still trying to determine whether or not my sales will be enough to support rent,” said Nikita Williams, the owner of Phenominal Xpressions [sp]. “It has been interesting because being here I’ve gotten an opportunity to see the market and feedback from a different audience.”
Bryant Ballard is acting as Williams’ publicist and mentor through the Pop Up process.
“It became a relationship which turned into a friendship,” said Williams of her mentor. “She’s the reason I’ m here today.”
As Bryant Ballard’s business is booming, she says she’s grateful for what she learned during her three month stint at the Main Street shop.
“The pop up allowed us to find out what Buffalo is about and what kind of support you can get in Buffalo.”