Luckygirl Pop Up Shop contributes to local businesses and makers

by Delta Hirsch

A few years ago, two friends and business partners rented their photography studio to a local clothing designer for her trunk show. That friendly networking move led Rachael King and Mairen Kops to have a big impact on Winnipeg’s small business scene.

Jill Sawatzky folds a dress in her Exchange District studio on March 30, 2017. THE PROJECTOR/Delta Hirsch

After renting out their studio, they thought about where Winnipegger’s can go to buy locally made goods and decided to create a small, collaborative market. They called it Luckygirl Pop Up Shop, but their success hardly stemmed from luck.

The years have gone by so fast, it’s hard to remember when they began. “How old is she now?” Kops asks King. They’re basing the time it’s been running off of one of their kid’s age.

“Let’s say five years,” the two decide.

Luckygirl Pop Up Shop is hosting its first two-day shop at Hut-K in the Exchange on April 22 and 23, 2017, where 100 local makers and businesses will gather.

“It’s such a great vibe,” says King. “We like to call it a little collective.”

Recently, they began partnering with events like Alleyways Market in the Exchange and Nuit Blanche.

“Trying to get people down to the Exchange is important to us,” says Kops. “We usually give part of our door charge to a local charity.”

Finding a location can be difficult, says King. There are lots of beautiful spaces in the Exchange, but they’ve outgrown many them. Kops says they decided to have different vendors on each day, to have a small marketplace feel.

“We still want it to feel intimate and shoppable,” says Kops. “We think about how we want to shop, how our friends like to shop, or my mom.”

Luckygirl Pop Up Shop allows Winnipeggers to shop through local maker’s products, where most of these items would otherwise be found online or on social media. The Luckygirl Instagram page is a destination of its own to find local trends and future events.

“It’s incredible to see it evolve,” says King while Kops counts all their posters to figure out how many markets they’ve had over the years.  “The intent is to support local businesses and makers.”

Kops thinks back to all the posters they have created since the first shop and have many partnerships they have been a part of. She says there have been 14 Luckygirl Pop Up Shops over the last five years.

Local clothing designer Jill Sawatzky of Tony Chestnut was one of the vendors at the first Luckygirl Pop Up Shop. She says she loves the crowd that comes out and gets inspired by the makers and businesses that surround her.

“I love the women who run it, we go way back,” says Sawatzky. “It’s so fascinating for me to be alongside all of these makers.”