Pop-up space provides business opportunities in Shire of Dowerin

POPPING to the shops in Dowerin these days can be a wonderfully mysterious event.

One week, locals and visitors might find a shop full of beautiful handmade pots and macramé, the following week they could peruse the latest fashions, then the next they might find a beautician willing to tend to all their beauty needs.

And THAT is the beauty of the pop-up shop, a multi-functional space in the main street of Dowerin that offers locals and tourists a huge variety of goods and services that otherwise wouldn’t exist, according to Shire of Dowerin chief executive officer Andrea Selvey.

“It really is a space that is only limited by one’s imagination,” Ms Selvey said.

The newly renovated Dowerin Pop-Up Shop is the ideal blank space for all different types of small businesses looking for short-term occupancy.

The newly renovated Dowerin Pop-Up Shop is the ideal blank space for all different types of small businesses looking for short-term occupancy.

“We wanted a wide range of small businesses to have the opportunity to access and utilise the space, particularly those that will complement existing businesses already along the main street.

“It’s a unique hire space that offers a blank canvas for anyone wishing to use it, and we’ve already had several fantastic businesses take it up.”

The Dowerin Pop-Up Shop was a previously unused, run-down space along the main street and owned by the Shire that attempted to lease it out but didn’t receive much of a response.

At the same time, like many small shires in the Wheatbelt, Dowerin was looking for creative ways to attract new businesses to continue to inject vibrancy into the main street.

Then-community development officer Louise Hagboom put forward the idea to turn the space into a pop-up shop, after anecdotal evidence suggested there were many small businesses around Dowerin that would be interested in participating.

Micro-businesses by nature neither have the volume or the capacity to run their own individual premise, so it was clear a versatile, short-term pop-up space would be ideal.

It was ready by the start of this year, with the terms being set at a $50 pop-up shop membership fee.

“We knew there were many creative people in the area who were interested in a short-term shopfront,” Ms Selvey said.

“We wanted something that added some activation to the main street and was also a point of difference for Dowerin.

“As far as we know, there are not too many pop-up shops in the smaller towns of WA, but it’s a creative, low cost way to activate unused spaces.

“It’s so lovely to walk past and see members of the wider community in the pop-up shop supporting small, talented local businesses.”

One such business is Pots and Tangles, owned and operated by Dowerin local Tammy Minson, who offers macramé hangers, everlasting seed bombs, cement planters and potted succulents.