The Unforgettable Story of My First Ever Pop-Up Shop

OMG. It's been 5 years since my very first pop-up shop and let me tell you, it was one heck of a day I will never forget.

A friend of mine invited me to set-up a booth at a small fashion event she was hosting in an apartment complex clubhouse. Now a few things were running through my mind like, "I didn't even know these things existed" and "heck yes, this sounds awesome" and "oh no how am I going to do this?”.

So here’s what went down:

1. I was working in San Francisco at the time and the event started at 6pm in my hometown of Salinas, which is about 2 hours away. So I had to plead with my manager to allow me to get off early and rearrange the schedule for that day.

2. The night before I jam pack my VW Beetle with everything I could possibly need, including bins of my inventory, a two-tier clothing rack, jewelry stands, hangers, tissue paper, shopping bags and who knows what else.

3. Hooray. I'm off at 2:30pm and I'm on my way to the event and then, of course, I'm stuck in traffic.

4. I finally arrive an hour late so now I'm in hustle mode and have to unload and set-up while the event has already started. Luckily, I had some help from friends and boyfriends of friends.

5. Then I realize how unprepared I actually am. For one, the two-tier clothing rack was still in the box, loose screws, instructions and all. Secondly, all of my inventory was still in the plastic packaging and I had no idea where I was going to set-up my jewelry.

6. Now here comes the fun part. There's actually a ton of shoppers in my booth! Sounds awesome right? I thought so too until people started asking, "How much does this cost?". Now I thought I was being practical by bringing a handy dandy binder with a list full of all my items and their set prices. Nope. Not practical at all. I would frantically search for each item until I gave up and just threw out a random number.

7. "Young Money Monika it's time to make sales." Well when you're locked out of your Square App because you're anxiously trying to remember your password, things get pretty stressful since you can't accept any payments. So again, luckily a friend of mine came to the rescue and let me borrow her phone and card reader.

Now can you see why this was one heck of a day I will never forget?

Even while I'm writing this post I cringe a little inside but I can still look back and laugh and smile at this experience. It was completely worth it because I learned so much from this one day of trying something new and going out of my comfort zone. I wasn't afraid of failing. I was fearless. I wanted to know what it was like to actually have a mini-store for the day. I wanted to share my boutique with other people and grow my business and that's exactly what I did.

So if there's something you're passionate about but you're afraid that things just might not go as planned, well you're probably right. But that's okay. Because you'll be doing what you love and learning from your experience and only growing from there.