South Main will soon add another business to its roll call when the historic Power House at 45 G.E. Patterson becomes home to a retail pop-up shop this Friday at 5 p.m.
The retailer, Debra Connor of beeTemps, won the chance to set up shop in Power House after responding to a request for proposals of pop-up shop ideas from the Downtown Memphis Commission. Connor's beeTemps will offer affordable luxury home furnishings and accessories.
"[The beeTemps] concept is not one you see in Memphis," said Leslie Gower, spokesperson for the Downtown Memphis Commission. "I've seen it in Atlanta and other markets like that, but this is the first time I've seen something like this downtown."
The Downtown Memphis Commission sent out the request for proposals in late March, seeking retailers to take over the former Power House art gallery space for up to three months. They received 12 submissions, ranging from an art gallery to a vintage clothing store.
"There were some really great proposals, but [beeTemps] was an opportunity to get a market that was on our target list for a long time," Gower said. "Our intent was to offer it to a retailer that would bring in a new product niche to South Main."
As it turns out, Connor had been searching for a pop-up location for about six months when the opportunity came along. She had been holding trunk shows and home shows in the meantime.
"The idea was that beeTemps would be a temporary hive open three times a year," she said. "So I was thrilled to get the pop-up shop."
Gower said Connor was an obvious choice because she already has a built-in clientele and inventory from her home shows and because her shop, with its table dressings and vases, will be compatible with the nearby Memphis Farmers Market.
Connor has committed to spending 30 days in Power House, with the option of staying open for the full 90 days. Once the beeTemps pop-up shop is over, Gower said the Downtown Memphis Commission will offer the space to a different concept.
Downtown Memphis Commission sublets the Power House space from the Memphis Area Transit Authority, and Gower said the pop-up shops are a good way to keep the space occupied. She also hopes to use beeTemps to ramp up overall business in the South Main area.
"One of the stipulations is for [Connor] to be a magnet and to drive customers to other South Main businesses," Gower said. "She'll be working closely with the South Main retailers."
BeeTemps will be open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for at least the next three weekends.