Local businesses, makers, and artists displayed and sold their hard-owned work during the Made in Memphis Summer Series at Saddle Creek South in Germantown, Tennessee, on July 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This indoor, four-installment series is a partnership between Made in Memphis and Shops of Saddle Creek Inc, where shoppers can purchase items from vendors while listening to music. This series is in the old Brook Brothers building and is open to families and pets. In this paper, I will discuss how pop-up shops like the Made in Memphis Summer Series are helping local businesses gain new customers by providing them a space to display their work.
Previously, Made in Memphis has held events with Shops of Saddle Creek Inc. during the holiday season. However, this is the first time they have had a regular series over four months.
“When we are making decisions about who to partner with, we think about foot traffic, local ownership, the comfort of our vendors, and whether it will be a good "fit" for our frequent shoppers,” said Booth Sartain McGee and Rachel K Mattson, owners of Made in Memphis.
Shops of Saddle Creek Inc. states that they have as many as 30 vendors and 600 to 700 shoppers participating at each installment. Also, businesses have even sold out at the events and “are doing so well that they want to come back each month.”
“It’s just a different shopping experience than anywhere else in the center,” said Marketing Manager Heather Nordtvedt of Shops of Saddle Creek Inc. “We've just always, for 35 years, we’ve always been progressive. Just doing things different [differently] than the competition.”
At each installment, shoppers are introduced to various vendors, such as a plant-friendly skincare line, a non-profit organization, an apparel line, local bakeries, carpentry, and much more.
“I decided to become a part of the event to connect with people in the city where the company was founded,” said Liz Love from Simply Liz Love and Tiny Human Skincare. “Memphis is an integral part of the DNA of our family and this company, so once I saw a pop-up event tailored for products Made in Memphis, I had to say yes.”
Since 2022, Made in Memphis has had a solid following and, with the help of promotion, continues to catch the eyes of new vendors to participate in their events, including their summer series.
“I just wanted to try something new. I’ve heard about the event and just wanted to try it and see what it was about,” said owner Christopher Farris of C.M. Farris Fine Art. “So far, so good. We’ve got a nice little flow of traffic now. A lot of people are coming in to see what we have.”
Moreover, this event also had The Family Cup Coffee food truck, and while people were shopping, they could enjoy live DJ sets by Strooly, Night Park, and Walt Phelan.
“I thought the event was great! Walt Phelan and I played some very eclectic chill vibes; there was a great crowd of people coming through all day,” said Strooly. “Was a great way to stay out of the heat and support Memphis makers.”
In order to provide a more dependable and reasonable location for the vendors to sell their goods, Made in Memphis has been organizing pop-up stores all across Memphis for years.
“This is my fourth time doing it with Made in Memphis. It’s pretty good. The first one I did was at Wiseacre, and it turned out well,” said Develyn Butler from Devy’s Delights, a home-based business that sells sweet treats. “This is my second time at Saddle Creek. It’s always nice to meet the other vendors and meet other business owners and get other ideas. The young lady next to me has been super helpful with different tips and tricks. So I love these events, networking, and meeting new customers.”
Made in Memphis has seen its events continue to change since it first started and are constantly finding ways that can better support the business in Memphis.
“We have built a lot of relationships since we started, and that has opened some doors for us to set up in new places and try out some new business models,” said Booth Sartain McGee and Rachel K Mattson of Made in Memphis. “We would like to keep this market accessible to as many artists/makers as possible, so as we continue to show in more and more places, we keep that ideal as a guiding marker. We would love to have a more permanent space to sell local artists’ work one day, but for now, we offer a fun and open set of venues to share Memphis creativity!”
The Made in Memphis Summer Series continues on August 5, 2023, at Saddle Creek South, between Lululemon and Mimi Morton. Vendors can register for the event on the Made in Memphis website.
Cover Image provided by Made in Memphis.
Edited by: Whitney Edna Ibe
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