New businesses are about to start popping up in downtown Baraboo.
Looking to boost traffic around the courthouse square and give fledgling businesses a shot in the arm, Downtown Baraboo Inc. is sponsoring three “pop-up shops” for the holiday shopping season.
“It’s a way to add some excitement, some new shops during the holiday season,” DBI President Lacey Steffes said. “It gives them some exposure and creates more traffic downtown.”
With support from the city’s Business Improvement District and the project’s lead sponsor, the Cross, Jenks, Mercer & Maffei law firm, three businesses will set up shop in vacant storefronts. Lodge Coffee Roasters, Urbanwood Studio and From My Porch will open Oct. 7 during the fall Fair on the Square, and remain downtown through year’s end.
Lodge Coffee Roasters, which specializes in hand-roasted coffee, will get its first shot at operating a brick-and-mortar store, after starting with online sales and farmers markets.
“This presents a unique opportunity,” co-founder Ryan Ramnarace said.
The company plans to share its new space with local artists such as Tierra Jackson.
“We want to utilize the opportunity we have to give exposure to other artists and musicians,” Ramnarace said.
Jackson works in a variety of media, creating designs for posters, rubber stamps, tote bags and skateboards. She’s working on an updated version of her children’s book, “Crazy Carrot Curls,” and sells prints of her paintings.
She started creating art as a business 1 1/2 years ago, selling items online through Etsy and other sites. Jackson learned during a month-long exhibition at Con Amici Wine Bar that doing business from a public location has benefits.
“It was great to hear the feedback from everyone,” Jackson said.
Exposure was another plus, and it’s a key component of the “pop-up shop” concept.
“I think a lot of people in town don’t even know that I do this,” said Jackson, a graphic artist who has branched out into other media. “It’ll be a nice opportunity to sell local artwork as gifts.”
Urbanwood Studio designs and creates hand-sanded wood furniture. From My Porch sells repurposed home décor. Those two businesses, along with Lodge Coffee Roasters, saw their applications for “pop-up shops” selected by DBI. In addition to free rent, they’ll get access to advice from DBI members, including the law firm sponsoring the project.
“We’re hoping there will be a lot of collaboration downtown,” Steffes said.