Block 37 chicago

Block 37's 3rd Annual Search for the Next Great Pop-up Competition

Monday, September 26, 2016 Avante Edmonds

Ever heard of Peter Field? Ladies may not have, but I am sure you dapper gentleman have. This menswear designer and alterations expert has won the coveted prize of 1,441 square feet in Block 37 and 2,500 bucks to add the finishing touches.

A Pop-Up shop in one of the most trafficked malls in Chicago was the prize business owners were vying for. This downtown retail destination held open castings months ago to find the latest addition to primer stores. Now after a long tedious process, 108 North State Street is getting new blood. There were hardly any stipulations, so from jewelry experts to floral boutiques, any shop was eligible for consideration. Though the kind of shop was not regulated, there were some things the three judges looked out for. A strong following was taken into consideration. An enormous outcry for a pop-up shop on social media was acknowledged. The unique nature of the shop was taken into account as well. How does your shop set itself apart from the others? What makes it unique? Is it memorable? These questions were in full rotation at the castings.

Block 37 tapped some of the most accomplished self-made business owners in Chicago to select The Next Great Pop-Up Shop winner. One of these remarkable people is none other than Corri McFadden of eDrop-Off. It's been over a decade since she founded the well received online luxury consignment store eDrop-Off, McFadden has also delved into starring on VH1’s House of Consignment and writing for Refinery 29. So it is safe to say she knows a thing or two about maintaining and growing a business.

During the process of selecting the best pop-up shop, McFadden had a few guidelines she followed. “I look for someone who has a well thought out and strategic plan for operating a retail space. Operating a retail store is a business within itself, and much different than an online e-commerce business,” explained McFadden. Besides obvious exposure and priceless business advice from heavyweights, McFadden pinpointed yet another important benefit to winning this tough competition. “This competition is important because getting a retail space is incredibly expensive, and it is nearly impossible to get a short term lease to "test" your business. To be given the opportunity to "retail beta" your business is invaluable. Block 37 has an incredible roster of retailers, and to operate alongside them and build your client base is an insane opportunity! ” McFadden said.

Peter Field does have an online presence, however as the eDrop-Off founder explained, managing a brick and mortar is a different experience. “This gives the winner an opportunity to test the waters for their designs without taking on the risk of a lease or the cost of merchandising the store themselves. It’s also validation that a committee selected their products as the most marketable,” Susanna, competition judge and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Chicago magazine and SPLASH declares. If nothing else, having the confirmation that some extremely successful entrepreneurs in Chicago believe in your business, is a major confidence booster. Thanks to this competition Peter Field’s empire just grew exponentially. The first location for Peter Field’s menswear and alteration opened in 2013 in a small studio in downtown Chicago. In April 2015, Peter Field opened a second location in the Flatiron District of the Big Apple. Because men need to look good there too. This is the third annual event so make sure all you entrepreneurs apply for this opportunity of a lifetime next year.

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