Friday, September 17, 2010 , Updated 9:22 a.m., November 11, 2010
UPDATED: Micro-boutique marketplace called IndieGenius opening in Bishop Arts District
Local designers will sell clothing, jewelry, home décor, vintage, furniture, and more.
UPDATE: The boutique opens today, Thursday, November 11.
A new shopping mall will pop up very soon at 7th and Zang in Dallas' Bishop Arts District, spearheaded by the folks behind Urban Bazaar. It's called IndieGenius, a 5,000 square foot facility that will house 50-90 boutiques for local designers. And it's air-conditioned.
The concept is like an antique mall, in that designers will rent a space within a large building. Sizes range from 4-feet by 4-feet ($90 a month) to 10-feet by 10-feet ($375 a month). But the concept is “very clean,” says founder Julie McCullough Kim.
The tenants McCullough Kim hopes to attract are designers who can't afford to have their own shop or who don't have the manpower to staff one. IndieGenius tenants will be required to keep volunteer hours, so designers won't have to work their booths full-time. "We want to make it affordable for everyone to get a start," McCullough Kim says.
Tenants move in during October and the hard launch will be November 4, the first Thursday in November.
McCullough Kim is the founder of Urban Bazaar and the Oak Cliff shop Make, and she says designers and customers both had a need for a new marketplace in town. The space will serve as a showroom for some designers who, for instance, might only sell their wares on Etsy. “These are designers who have the product that people come looking for all the time,” she said. “[Customers] say, 'Where do I find these folks? I know they're online, but where can I feel it, touch it?'”
About 28 designers have been selected to have boutiques inside the marketplace, with room for 30-50 more. All designers involved must sell locally-made or supplied items.
“This is a neighborhood that supports independent sellers,” McCullough Kim says. “They come here, and it's what they expect out of Oak Cliff. It's got that renegade feeling to it. It's not a chain. People ask all the time, 'Is there a mall around here?' We want to be that product for them.”
Local stores like Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters will also sell their products inside the marketplace for shoppers. McCullough Kim plans to host workshops for designers with topics like How to design your own logo and How to do small-business taxes.
The main focus is to give small business owners a place to sell their stuff. “We would be flattered if this was an incubator of sorts for some people, who can later open their own store,” she says.
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