Today I speak with Mo Bender, previously a vendor at the former Oregon Street Antique Mall, now the co-creator with Kate Barker — former owner of Oregon Street Antique Mall — of a pop-up in the same location called 1261 Vintage & Artisans Emporium. The pop-up opens today for the first time, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Hi, Mo! Welcome to ANC. There’s lots of interest in what’s happening at the north east corner of Oregon and Shasta streets near downtown Redding at the former Oregon Street Antique Mall. Full disclosure, my sister and I had a booth at the former Oregon Street Antique Mall since is inception five years ago.
First, can you give an overview of the new business?
Basically the new venue is about bringing talented people who create art in various forms with vintage, and giving our community a chance to see there is some interesting talent here that we don’t know exists.
It’s always exciting to see new talent and have new local retail options. Now, can you please describe exactly how a pop-up store works, and how did you get the inspiration for one?
My inspiration came from two pop-up shops. The first is in Chico, called Uptown Vintage Shabby. The creator is ChaCha Williams. The other pop-up creator is Nancy Tilford of Gypsy-Chic Vintage Market in Lincoln. You can find out more at www.gypsyvintagemarket.com.
Both of these ladies have been in business doing this pop-up venue for at least six years, and have proved to be a thriving business where you can open your doors to the public only a few days out of the month and do well if you put your heart into it. It’s hard to believe only being open a few days that these kinds of shops do well. It surprises me until you’ve experienced it first hand.
Our shop will be open just a few days a month, and the idea is that new stuff is added to keep the booths consistently full so the customers are always on their toes looking for that special item they thought would still be there.
What appeals to you about the pop-up concept?
These pop-up shops are intriguing because it’s all about making it a shopping experience and customer service all rolled into one. I want to add a twist to our pop-up by adding local artists and sharing the beauty of vintage, which is an art in itself, with artisans who create one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
What will be the biggest differences between the former Oregon St. Antique Mall and the new pop-up?
I’m not using the word “antique” – but we will still have antiques available. It will be more open; not as many booths open to start. I’m hoping others will want to open a booth and become a part of this new concept. There will be more items brought in more regularly. We will have an area where there are items discounted instead of sitting on our shelves for long periods of time. I’m looking at putting an area where you can listen to an album (vinyl) before purchasing it.
Most importantly, the public will get to see local art again. Oregon Street became known for showing local artists and their work. This is also something I want to bring back to our venue as well. I want this to look new and different each month, not tired looking as before.
There does seem to be some confusion and some questions about who exactly owns the building now, and why, if Kate Barker sold it, are the buyers allowing you and Kate to proceed with this pop-up venture?
I should disclose here, for the record, that I worked with Kate, and her husband, Phil, before he passed away a few years ago. I personally think Kate can sell her property to whomever she pleases. I’m happy for her retirement and new life chapter. But she will be marginally involved with this pop-up, correct?
Yes, I approached Kate with this concept and took her to see them first hand and she too was amazed at the concept. After talking with ChaCha Williams in Chico, Kate decided to let me try this, with her help. Kate is actually guiding me and teaching me how certain things need to work in running a business, and frankly, I was scared to do this without some guidance. Kate is so wonderful in helping me try this, and with her support I believe we can make this work. I can only hope the new owners will want to let me stay open and help me make this even better and bigger.
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
OK, back to the pop-up. What can shoppers expect from this space? Will it look different from O Street?
Our shoppers can expect new looks in the booths each month. I hope new artisans will want to pop in and show us new things they are working on. I’m hoping our shoppers will come away with feeling good and want to spread the word to come in and see what they are missing in this shopping experience. I currently met with Megan Yates, who has Yates Mini Farm. She makes wonderful soaps and candles and spins her own alpaca yarn, and she will have a booth that will have all of these items, with some vintage added to her mix of wonderful items she makes. This, too, is something that the booths will have; items our vendors make mixed in with their booths.
What kinds of vendors will be inside the pop-up?
Our vendors will be a mixture of older vendors from Oregon Street Antique Mall, and new vendors who want to try selling vintage and hand-made crafts. Maybe some vendors will just want to sell their art. For instance, Mark Vorous is a maker of industrial/steampunk lighting, and his work is amazing. He will be joining us. We are hoping a few other new shops would like to come for a one-day event, or stay for the full four days.
This space will not just be for shopping, will it?
No, In fact, currently art teacher Chuck Prudhomme is teaching art on Thursdays, and you can actually watch him teach his class as you pass by on your way to Woody’s Brewery. I understand we are possibly going to have another teacher join us to teach classes as well. So when the pop-up shopping isn’t open you can take an art class.
Mo, I don’t know how long you’ve lived in Redding, but many years ago, the beloved Morrison’s Discount Store used to open just a few days a month, so it was ahead of its time in terms of opening just a few days a month. I remember the frenzy as shoppers (like yours truly), marked the dates on our calendars and then lined up outside the building (across from the old Ice House) the day of the opening for the best deals. Is that what you envision?
I remember those days and I sure hope it will be that way. I remember waiting for the doors to open and getting some interesting things in there. I hope everyone will get that feeling of waiting for our doors to open and enjoy coming back each month to find something new and will continue to come back each month.
Do you still have some vendor openings, and if so, how can people reach you for consideration to become part of this pop-up?
Yes I do and I really want to here from anyone who wants to be apart of this new venue. You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on FB under Oregon Street Antique Mall, and please leave me your information and either Kate or myself will get back to you.
When’s opening day?
Today! This pop-up will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Then we’ll open again this month on September 20, 21 and 22.
What else would you like us to know?
I want everyone to give this new idea a chance to work. Even if we are only open for short periods of time, it can be fun and exciting. If this works, with everyone’s help, maybe the new owners will want to help make this venue even better.
Thanks, Mo. I wish you and everyone at this new pop-up the best of luck.
What: 1261 Vintage & Artisans Emporium
Where: 1261 Oregon St., Redding, CA 96001
Opening weekend: Sept. 13, 14 and 15
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact: Mo Bender: 530-941-1401