The first two (of what will eventually be four) pop-up shops are opening for business in the heart of downtown's shopping district this evening. The result of about a year's worth of brainstorming and negotiations between public and private entities, the pop-ups serve as part of the city's plan to rejuvenate downtown along SW Morrison and Yamhill. Flurry is the larger of the two, opening in the former Shoe Pavilion at 401 SW Morrison at 5 pm this evening. Largely spearheaded by Portland Fashion Synergy President May Tee, the store will showcase Portland apparel and accessories designers (listed here) through the end of December, the hope being that it will attract shoppers going to and fro the usuals of the mall, Nordy's, et al. The landlords of both Flurry and Workroom719, down the road at 719 SW Morrison, have donated use of the spaces in the same spirit that a real estate agent would prefer to show an activated space versus a dead one. Rachel Ancliffe of the Art Institute is the curator of Workroom719, itself boasting a sweet roster of involved lines and boutiques including a special stash of shoes from Halo, the re-emergence of Entermodal, and hundreds of pieces of dead stock from Charles & Victoria, a line Ancliffe was hired to design, but which eventually fell victim to the recession (read an anticipatory article JC Report posted last year here)—those pieces will be offered at 75% off what they would have been for retail, which is essentially at cost, in a range of about $49-249 for high-end, USA-made fashion. Ancliffe will also animate the space by having the designers represented there using it to make their bag/apparel/jewelry/etc designs, further pulling in the customer to the personal experience of buying local. Workroom719 will get going tonight as well, around 5:30, and the mayor will be making appearances both there and at Flurry early in the evening, so show up when doors open to catch him and find out more about his plans to inject some life into the neighborhood and foster small businesses. Look in the coming weeks, too, for two more pop-ups opening by Thanksgiving, and next week on Thursday the 19th for the grand opening celebrations of Workroom719 and Flurry (tonight being the soft openings). I stopped in to both spaces yesterday, and there was still quite a bit of work to be done. Stay tuned for the "after" images, and hopefully I will see you there tonight!

Workroom719 in the raw:


All the makings for a festive window display in the making at Flurry:

David and Goliath: the view of Nordstrom from the front window of Workroom719: