The coolest things pop up when you least expect them to, right? This feature is no exception to the rule!
Alison Murphy runs Concord Handmade, a pop-up holiday shop. During the holiday season, Concord Handmade is a pop-up shop located in downtown Concord. Alison sets up in a different location each year, and features handmade goods from over 50 New England-based artists. When it’s warm outside, she sells handmade goods out of a converted 1970’s camper.
For Alison, 33, the thing she loves most about working in NH, and Concord specifically, is the community.
“Concord Handmade has been around for eight years, and I feel in that time, I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people in the state,” she said. “I have made great friends with the artistic community, other business owners, and customers over the years. I value this connection that I don’t feel would be possible in larger cities.”
Alison started Concord Handmade because she’s always dreamed of opening a brick and mortar shop. However, the year-round commitment felt daunting. She’s an artist and has sold goods at craft fairs for years.
“The idea of a pop-up shop is somewhere between a craft fair and a permanent storefront, which is just right for me,” she said. “I started the mobile shop because I wanted a way to continue Concord Handmade throughout the year, while continuing the unique shopping experience that my customers have grown to love.”
Because her business model is nontraditional, Alison said she relies on the “adventurous spirit” of folks in NH to want to shop Concord Handmade.
“To my friends, I brag about the bizarreness of selling handmade goods out of a camper,” she said.
Alison, who’s a one-woman show, encourages those interested in starting mobile shops or pop-ups. She’d even be more than happy to offer advice on how to succeed.
“There are a few mobile shops in NH, and we all work together to make the mobile shopping experience more commonplace,” she said. “Concord Handmade is constantly evolving, and couldn’t be what it is without the support of the community.”
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