Back in November 2011, when Oakland restaurant entrepreneur Alfonso Dominguez and Oakland planner/artist Sarah Filley convinced local commercial real estate owners in Old Oakland that allowing a curated set of local artisans and retailers to set up show for the holidays in their empty storefront as a "popuphood," they didn't have an inkling what wild success they were about to create.
Not only did the project get enthusiastic attention from national media, including The Wall Street Journal, several of the businesses that were given free space to showcase and sell their work during the holidays went on to sign permanent, long-term leases for the spaces they'd borrowed.
Thrilled by popuphood's runaway success, Dominguez and Filley have a new problem they're trying to solve that they'd like both the Oakland/Eas Bay community and everyone who cares about innovative retail solutions to support-- they'd like to create and share a popuphood tool kit--a web-based, downloadable set of guides, templates and best practices that would make it possible for urban entrepreneurs in other cities like Detroit, MI, Philadelphia, PA and Austin, TX to take the principals and practices of Oakland's Pop Up Hood and put them to work in their city.
"We have been inundated with calls from developers, government officials and citizens asking us to replicate our innovative retail strategy on their block, in their neighborhood and in their town," says co-founder Sarah Filley. "This tool kit has an affiliate model that can scale the project out."
Like popuphood, the popuphood tool kit is meant to be a boot-strapped, community-driven project--but with a twist. To get the money to pull this project together, Dominguez and Filley have turned to Kickstarter to raise $25,000 to fund their work. From now through July 6th, the duo are putting out appeals on the net, via social media and through their community networks.
According to Dominguez: "$25,000 will allow us to share our model with developers, municipalities, retailers and citizens who want our innovative approach to turning vacant properties into vibrant economies. We will create an online and downloadable “toolkit” which outlines our approach. "
As with any crowd-funded project, the hope is that this new iteration of Pop Up Hood will receive small donations from people who wish to support the idea, and larger donations from potential beneficiaries of the project, both those in the Bay area and those further afield.
If you want to get more information or donate:
Kickstarter: From Vacant to Vibrant