Three businesses will be up and running by May 4, the next First Friday art hop downtown, as part of the second phase of the Pop-Up Project, part of an initiative to fill downtown Dayton storefronts called Activated Spaces. The businesses selected for the second phase of the project are:
• American π, 37 S. St. Clair St.: This gift and accessories boutique will carry items made in the United States, including handbags, greeting cards, candles and food items. The store will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Arin, 27 S. St. Clair St.: Shop owner and jewelry designer Brooke Medlin will collaborate with Dayton artists and other creatives to showcase beautifully designed goods for self and home, along with Medlin’s line of jewelry that includes rings, earrings, personalized necklaces and more. Visitors will be able to watch the creation process in action in Arin’s on-site studio. Rotating guest artists will set up mini-studios in the store and spend two weeks working on a collection of products to be launched at every month’s First Friday art hop. The store will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 937-640-0117.
• Vintage Barbershop, 110 W. Fifth St.: This old-school, classic barbershop will offer haircuts, hot steam towel shaves, facials and more. Haircuts will be $12 and shaves and facials will be $16, with special pricing for seniors. “Our goal is open a classy, professional barbershop while doing our part to make downtown a better place and trying to influence other businesses to follow suit,” owner Ron West said. The barbershop will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 937-321-6165.
These businesses have three- or six-month leases, although the hope is the business owners will extend those leases ― as happened in the pilot phase of the Pop-Up Project. Indeed, the second phase of the project builds on the success of its pilot, launched in November 2011 for the holiday shopping season. Two of the three business owners in the pilot extended their leases: Beaute Box, 116 W. Fifth St., and Peace on Fifth, 519 E. Fifth St. In addition, Amore! Designer Consignment Boutique, 16 Brown St., which opened at the same time as the Pop-Up pilots, plans to remain open on a long-term basis, and Basho Screen Printing and Apparel, 521-523 E. Fifth St., opened in a space occupied by a Pop-Up retailer after becoming interested in the location due to the buzz surrounding the project.
Activated Spaces’ Pop-Up Project, which helped fill 2,300 square feet of retail space during its pilot phase, is led by volunteers from the young professional organizations Generation Dayton and updayton. The project is a strategic effort to fill vacant street-level space and spur interest in opening a business downtown that’s part of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a strategic blueprint for the future of downtown.
“The Pop-Up Shops have helped enliven downtown while building on growing momentum for the center city,” said Tom Razauskas, who owns the building housing Beaute Box and the Vintage Barbershop. Razauskas and other participating downtown property owners have supported the project by providing reduced rental rates. “It has been refreshing to work with volunteers and business owners who really believe in downtown and are excited about its future.”
A kickoff event for the Pop-Up Shops will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 18. It will start at Beaute Box, 116 W. Fifth St., and end at Peace on Fifth, 519 E. Fifth St., with stops at all the Pop-Up Shops in between. Raffle tickets will be sold that night $5 each, with all proceeds benefiting Activated Spaces, and prizes will be drawn at each stop. Additional details will be available soon at www.activatedspaces.org.
“The Pop-Up Project provides a low-risk, low-cost, flexible way to showcase local businesses while adding vibrancy to downtown,” said Shanon Potts, past chair of Generation Dayton and Activated Spaces volunteer. “The long-term goal of the project is to convert temporary leases into traditional leases, while establishing downtown as a regional destination for shopping for one-of-a-kind items and retail services.”
“This project also supports local, creative entrepreneurs as they take a risk and test out their business concepts while bringing renewed life to downtown storefronts,” said Scott Murphy, immediate past chair of updayton and Activated Spaces volunteer. “Visitors who support these pop-up shops will help to spur a more permanent retail environment in our downtown ― the next step in downtown revitalization.”