Pop-up project participants pursue permanent spaces - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pop-up project participants pursue permanent spaces

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This fall, many people gave dozens of new Birmingham businesses a chance. The revive project filled empty storefronts and fulfilled lifelong dreams. It also brought back an iconic message that it's nice to have you in Birmingham.

The doors to the Burger-Philip building on Third Avenue North are once again open.

"This is the store I dreamed of- the size of it, the way the columns look," said Milo Beloved, owner of Harold & MOD.

Upscale furs can still be found on the rack. It's part of the vintage clothing inside Milo Beloved's store.

"It's kind of a battle for us to be able to find a place we can afford as a new business and works well for the image we want to portray," said Beloved.

Harold & Mod opened in March as a pop-up shop in multiple places. REV Birmingham's revive the street life project gave the business and 30 others a jump start by providing them retail space for five weeks in five different neighborhoods.

"We're happy to have our store open," said Beloved. "We're actually grown a lot of new customers."

While most of the pop-up store fronts are now empty, there are still some permanent additions to the community. On one block of Woodlawn, there's a new mural and a telephone booth repainted and re-purposed into a book lending library.

"I think the big surprise for us was the way the community got behind us," said Atticus Rominger of REV Birmingham.

Rominger says seven of the businesses are now looking for a permanent space.

"Part of what was so exciting about this- it was a lot of things people didn't think of, didn't dream of," he said.

That includes Beloved collaborating with other business owners to produce local products like crystal chandelier necklaces and shaving kits with soap made from beer, and to sell them in one place- a truly local department store.

"I was kind of dreaming about it today and thinking about Harold & MOD store and having Freshfully as a food court," he said.

Despite the help, Beloved says high rent remains an obstacle for many small Birmingham businesses.

Little Forest, Freshfully, Alabama Funk, Hoppers Hollow and Take Cover are part of the Harold & MOD store.

The other businesses looking for permanent spaces include Doughboys Doughnuts, East 59, Baking Bandits and Digs Designs.

REV Birmingham plans on holding another Revive project in the future.


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