NASAA Notes: March 2020

March 2, 2020

Virgin Islands: Made in the USVI Pop-Up Store

The Made in the USVI Pop-Up Store sells handmade wares from creative entrepreneurs.

The Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA) and the Virgin Islands Enterprise Zone Commission, an entity of the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), have collaborated to sponsor a Made in the USVI Pop-Up Store. The initiative provides business development opportunities for artists, engenders creative collaborations and encourages residents and visitors to “buy local.” Booths sell original artworks as well as bath and beauty products, home décor items, clothing, gifts for kids, books by local authors, and artisanal food and beverages. All products must be made in the U.S. Virgin Islands and represent Virgin Islands culture or heritage. The market also serves as a hub for art-making demonstrations and other cultural events.

The initiative raises the visibility of the creative sector to the larger Virgin Islands economy. Artisans not only sell their products to private shoppers but also have gained exposure to wholesale buyers from the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland. Furthermore, pop-up markets offer a nimble strategy for enlivening underutilized commercial real estate and public spaces. First launched in 2018, Made in the USVI met with success during the winter holiday shopping season. In December 2019 through January 2020, the partners extended the pop-up dates and located the shop at a new site. Thirty creative entrepreneurs sold their wares. VICA and VIEDA work together to process vendor applications and promote the program. For more information on the state arts agency’s role, contact VICA Executive Director Tasida Kelch.

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