In August of 2004, people formed a line on the streets waiting to enter a building for Meow Mix cat food.  This empty building had just recently been painted orange and filled with “feline merchandise.” People brought their cats to try new foods, play games, and see what new products Meow Mix had to offer. With a café for cats to taste tuna-flavored food, tuna canapes for the humans to try, games for cats and owners, and even a live performer, the line was worth the wait. (we could say something sassy here about dogs not being invited)


The first pop up was dated back to December of 1298 in Vienna. Seasonal markets such as Christmas and Halloween continued to be popular, but not until recently have retail stores, restaurants, and even department stores such as Target started to value and implement the occasion of a “pop-up.”


Both companies and customers love pop-ups because the experience they provide. The more intimate setting provides a different kind of interaction between the store and customers. With performers, food and drink, new products, or activities, each pop-up is unique. Even more so, because the venue of any pop-up is continually changing, you can continue going to pop-ups by the same designer but feel like each event is a different experience. Even if all the products are the exact same, the environment and display of the shop can change the ambiance.


What really makes these events exciting is the fact that they are fleeting. You only have a certain window of time to experience any given pop-up. Many if not all of us have stepped foot into a Target store, but not many can say they boarded a boat on the Hudson River for the Target pop-up shop. The excitement of a once-in-a-lifetime experience pushes all of us to the door waiting to see what products and memories await.


Never been to a pop-up? Are you looking for a fun event in Houston? Look no further! Join us September 27 at studio 703 + RLD for a one day shopping event featuring local Houston artisans. From custom embroidered purse straps and jackets, to abstract art, to handcrafted candles and more, you will be impressed by this collection of handcrafted, one of a kind finds. Click here for more information about our upcoming event.



Hayes, Constance. “Stores That Pop Up and Go Away, on Purpose”.  The New York Times. December 7, 2004.

“Pop-Up, Retail”. Wikepedia.