BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – With the holiday shopping season at hand, a retail pop-up shop will open this week in Brownsville, simultaneously test driving the concept in the downtown and gauging consumer support for a permanent or seasonal artists and crafters co-op.
Nonna's Trunk is launching Thursday and will run through Dec. 30 in the Taylor Building, 200 Bank St. To date, shop manager Blanche Booker of East Millsboro has assembled 11 vendors, a well-rounded mix of antiques, collectibles and handmade crafts. The merchandise includes dolls, jewelry, original paintings on china, woodcrafts, stained glass and home-made truffles in addition to an eclectic assortment of vintage treasures.
"It will be welcoming like a gift shop," says Booker, who is volunteering to get the shop off the ground for the building owner, Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. Nonna's Trunk will occupy the entire 1,200-square-foot first floor of the Taylor Building, taking occupancy to 100% for the holiday season.
Nonna's Trunk begins with a soft opening this Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The shop will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Grand opening weekend will get under way Nov. 25, coinciding with Brownsville's annual Light-Up Night. The shop will maintain its regular hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the grand opening.
Nonna's Trunk has scheduled two special events during its run to stimulate interest in the new shop. Free antique appraisals will be held Nov. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. by John Mikita, a Brownsville native and owner of Mikita Auction Co, who is volunteering his time for the cause.
Dec. 3 will feature quality time with Santa from noon to 5 p.m., including a special children's craft project as a memento of the visit. Old Saint Nick is volunteering too.
Retail pop-up concepts are commonplace at lifestyle centers and regional malls as seasonal attractions for specialty shops. It's also a low-risk avenue for entrepreneurs to test their merchandise in the marketplace and building owners to fill vacant spaces on a temporary basis, often leading to a more permanent arrangement if the shop is successful.
For Booker, it's more personal. "Christmas is a season of giving so it's fitting that I and others are giving our time to launch Nonna's Trunk," she says. "Our holiday wish is it will be successful enough to open on a seasonal or permanent basis and encourage more entrepreneurs to open shops in Brownsville."
To schedule an interview or photo:
Blanche Booker, 724-785-2541
Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. (BARC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to achieve economic development through historic preservation, heritage tourism, outdoor recreation, community stewardship, education, youth advancements and the arts. Contact the BARC office, 724.785.9331, for additional information about programs and upcoming events.