Pop-Up Shops Open For Fashion Week, Downtown Tampa

In an attempt to bring good retail karma to downtown Tampa, new pop-up retail shops are opening in association with Fashion Week Tampa Bay.

Karma: The Shops at Franklin, located in The Vault at the Franklin Exchange building at 611 N. Franklin St., will celebrate a ribbon cutting ceremony by City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Thursday, Sept. 20th, at 3 p.m. Karma will focus on the local independent businesses.

“Retail is seriously lacking in downtown,” says Monica Varner, owner of Elan Event Studio and organizer of Karma. “Downtown could really use some shopping to get folks out of their offices during the day; not to mention, downtown just needs energy, in general. A pop-up shop might spark some vendors to try the downtown retail market with low risk.”

With pop-up retail shops currently increasing in popularity in major metropolitan cities such as New York and Los Angeles, as well as during Fashion Weeks throughout the country, Varner thought it would be interesting to have a block of stores and people choosing downtown Tampa as a shopping destination in an attempt to promote more business.

“A big goal is to spark interest in retail, show that there is an interest in it and encourage retailers to open a shop and move into downtown Tampa,” she says. “Retail therapy is good karma for downtown and the pop-up shop is a good tie into Fashion Week, helping designers get some additional exposure in showing their products.”

Clothing, handbags, jewelry and other accessories will be featured at Karma: The Shops at Franklin, as well a massage and hair salon, tying in local retail to the week-long Fashion Week Tampa Bay event which will consist of multiple runway shows, boutique vendor exhibits and fashion-focused activities.

“I'm just trying to change downtown Tampa, one event at a time,” Varner says.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Monica Varner, Elan Event Studio
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