The stretch of Danforth Avenue between Woodbine and Coxwell Avenues is home to three new pop-up retailers until the end of February. The temporary stores feature women’s fashions, custom-print clothing and fitness gear. They are part of the third wave of pop-ups to open on the street since last fall.
The pop-up phenomenon is based on an Australian urban renewal model, where landlords of empty or decaying buildings open their spaces, rent-free, to entrepreneurs or merchants who don’t have a retail space to call their own. This temporary lodging works for the merchants by allowing them access to street level foot traffic and potential sales, and it works for the landlords because their cleaned-up and occupied buildings are now more attractive to long-term tenants. The community benefits, too, because shoppers are drawn to the area.
The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) is behind the local initiative. The volunteer organization’s goal is to make the Danforth/Woodbine neighbourhood vibrant, walkable and safe through projects like the pop-up shops.
Former Beach resident Krystle Lee, one of the temporary merchants, is happy to be part of the project.
“With DECA, once I found out what they were doing with the pop-up project I felt that my fare could help contribute to a commercial appeal for that area of the Danforth,” she said.
Lee’s shop offers a line of designer clothing which she sources from the designers themselves or their suppliers. Items are priced from $16 to $450. She caters primarily to businesswomen but she adds she finds the definition of ‘businesswoman’ a little bit loose.
“Most people would say you have to wear a suit or a blouse, but I’m a businesswoman and I don’t wear suits – but I still like to look together, so it’s pretty polished and clean lines,” said Lee.
Until recently, Lee, 28, has sold privately to clients, and this is only the second pop-up she has done. Although she is scheduled to close at the end of February, she is currently waiting to see if she will be able to carry it through into March. Her store is at 1801 Danforth Ave. Find her online at www.krystle.ca, on Facebook and on Twitter @krystlexlee.
Fa.real Designz N Prints is located at 1898 Danforth Ave. At this pop-up, new parents Tracy and Allister offer custom-printed t-shirts and sweatshirts, designed and created in their Scarborough basement. Their clients include festivals, concerts and other events. Visit fareal.com for more information.
At 1803 Danforth Ave. is Repetitions Fitness. Owner Nadia offers services geared toward overall health and well-being such as boot camps and fitness challenges. meal planning and a healthy meals delivery package.
For more about DECA, visit www.DanforthEastCommunityAssociation.com. Get up to the minute pop-up info on Twitter @DECAdiaries.