POP-UP STORE ADVENTURES
For this week’s post, I would like to share the behind the scene adventures of our DTK Pop Up store. Or, more specifically, how we started a brand-new business in 9 weeks, from decision making to opening night!
By Kathia Cambron
Everything started in mid-September, when I got the idea that it would be so great to have a Pop-Up Store for the holiday season, offering an editor’s pick of local designer brands. After making a few phone calls, we decided to go ahead with the idea and be the first magazine ever to open a Pop-up Store. Our location had a superficies of 9200 square feet. Like my friend said, ‘that is not a Pop Up it’s a blow-up store!’ I have to say, the whole thing was absolutely crazy. We began calling brands and designers that we work with and even some that never heard of us before. We needed to gain speed and momentum. It was a really ambitious project, and we had to move full speed without really knowing if we were going to succeed. I mean, we needed to find lots of inventory, a new team, figure out how to operate a store, find decor, get payment/inventory solution, security, insurance, and plan 3 store events, all while making sure this project stayed on brand (for us and our vendors).
I definitely had an ‘Oh shit,’ moment in October, in which I had done so much work, but still had so much more to achieve. My life was all about that Pop-Up Store and the last weekend I had with my husband, I dragged him with me to help me pick up way too many pieces of heavy furniture, rushing from one place to another, from morning to night in a U-Haul. It was not that fun anymore. When we launched this project, I think I didn’t sleep for two weeks, calling so many VPs of Marketing and company CEOs, working out at 6am, etc. It was messy. Then I really underestimated how much work was needed to actually put the store together. It’s true that 9200 sq ft is no small place, but receiving and handling all our merchandise, designing the layout of the store, determining the lighting, labeling everything, and training our staff (let alone finding staff to begin with) was so difficult. We barely made it on time for our store event opening, but we did it.
We did something we had never done before in a grandiose way and in a real record time. Something that we’ll be doing again, because we love to support local talent and niche brands that offer high quality products. We also love taking the time to connect with people and share with them an imagined ephemeral space to explore – like creating a bit of magic in this world.
This was a project that was only supposed to be open for 47 days but was extended until just yesterday. And voila – that was the end of DTK Pop Up Store, Le Magasin Général.
There are a few more takeaways from this experience:
– Be very selective of which one of your ideas need to actually become reality. (Yes, I might have too many ideas for a single life…)
– Surround yourself with amazing people. Not only is it way more fun, but there is nothing you can achieve without a team.
– Be aware of the opportunity cost. The time and attention you may take to realize a project or an idea can prevent you from achieving other goals and will affect your efficiency/profitability.
– Set yourself free. Look at your business and/or your life at a different angle and allow it to be something else. Take unsuspected turns or innovative paths.
– Sometimes, it’s okay to do hard things that require lots of effort to create something that didn’t exist. It’s life – it takes a lot of energy, but it also creates a lot of energy.
My favorite takeaway from this adventure is a new team member. Like an angel, she arrived in the middle of this project, making the impossible tangible. She amazes and impresses me every day. She’s so fabulous and has so many talents. I don’t understand how this happened. I’m surprised we’ve managed to never cross paths before. The angel I’m talking about no other then Cinthya Chalifoux.
Cinthya Chalifoux and friends
That could be your inspiration for the week!
Wishing you a good week!