A pop-up shop will open in Long Island City soon to help promote Queens-based manufacturers. NY1's Tanya Klich learns more about what we could expect from the 'Made in Queens' store.
This Forest Hills-based hat maker says an online Etsy shop isn't enough to jumpstart Reginae, her one-year-old business.
"I'm so excited to be able to grow a local following — and Reginae is plural in Latin for Queens and so really my heart is in this borough," said Shari Romar.
She says 'MadeInQNS' may be the answer.
The pop-up shop is coming to Queens Plaza South in June.
The mini retail hub will be there for a full year — but each month, they'll change the store's theme as well as its merchants.
The Queens Economic Development Corporation's co-retail project, will feature 20 local vendors, with products ranging from fashion to food.
"There's so much talent here at the food incubator or just in manufacturing, we see them every day," said Sante Antonelli, director of Business Services at QEDC. "And one of the biggest issues is 'How do I get in front of my client?'"
This Long Island City jeweler launched in 2005 but says he is looking forward to shining more in his hometown.
"I do a lot of shows in New York and all different states but never had a chance to show my work to my community," said jewelry designer Michael Darouiche.
The QEDC is still negotiating the lease for the pop-up. But they’ve already launched an open-call for entrepreneurs to help fill store shelves.
The application process is open to all New York State businesses, but applicants from Queens will have a leg up.
"What we're looking for is Queens-centric- if it's food, if it's jewelry, if it's accessories, whatever someone is making, it's not grand scale, it's not mass-produced, it's local," said Antonelli.
Merchants will pay up to $1,000 for one month of 30 square-feet of space.
Romar says these are costs she can wrap her head around.
"It's certainly much more affordable than signing a lease on your own store and having say, a yearlong lease," Romar said.
"In a spot as popular as Queens Boulevard, it could be $10,000 or a lot more than that for the month," Antonelli said.
The QEDC will test 'Made in Queens' for one year, and may open more 'co-retail' shops throughout the borough.