Holiday Holyoke – A Pop Up Shop

Last week (December 14 through 16), a shop popped up at 330 High Street in Holyoke, and Holyoke residents turned out in full force to support it. At Holiday Holyoke all the items for sale were original art, unique hand-craft pieces by local artist and artisans all priced for $100 or less.  The selection of goods available ranged from Photographic Prints and Oil Paintings to hand-sewn baby booties and wallets made from duct tape.  Works featured were produced by up-and-coming local professionals as well crafters as young as eleven years old.

This event happened with no budget – it could not have happened without the generosity of Holyoke Property Management who donated the space, MIFA’s who extended their insurance, a point-of sale system provided by Paper City Pictures and the sweet equity of very determined artists and organizers. And for all the credit, the people ofHolyokedeserve the most. Residents decisively chose to spend locally, keeping their dollars in the community. Over 100 shoppers ventured downtown to visit the shop, spending time and money while enjoying Manuel Silva’s steel drum serenade.  On Sunday night, after the three day sale was over, the store was nearly cleaned out and sales had totaled over $3700 – with ninety Percent of that going right back into the artists’ pockets. Holiday Holyoke will receive no money for organizing the sale; the rest (10% of sales collected) will go to start a fund for future pop-ups inHolyoke.

Said Cynthia Espinosa, one of the shop’s organizers, “Holiday Holyoke became a step towards an inclusive community; art work met community organizing. It was a very hopeful event that gave that extra warmth feeling that you get during the Holidays. It made me proud to be fromHolyoke and to giveHolyoke something different, that warmth feeling that I felt, that we feel, during the Holidays”

This pop up shop is now a memory, but it will hopeful serve as an inspiration for similar creative economic initiatives in Holyoke. The success at Holiday Holyoke can be seen as proof that the City is craving spaces just like this.

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