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Trenton, NJ

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Jacque Howard's Trenton 365 is a community building program that advocates for and endorses private citizens, nonprofit groups and businesses in the greater Trenton area. 

Lifestyle By Amans Brindled

Pop Up Businesses and more

Jacque Howard

February 2015

Jacque Howard – Pop Up Store

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one” John Lennon – Imagine Lyrics

I think pop-up Artisan Shops are exactly what Trenton needs.  Economically we have a lack of people who want to invest in the Capital City.  There are several reasons behind why Trenton lags behind in thriving businesses however this should not deter us from trying a variety of methods. 

We live in a global community and have more successful examples at our fingertips because of the progress in technology than at anytime in history.  Why not consider trying a new method?

In the past 18-24 months I have had several conversations with various people about the subject of abandoned commercial buildings in Trenton.  Because of my education and early professional experience I am always looking at the Art of Fashion.  Today “Fashion” is not just garments you wear but a complete market with the most famous designers/artists having hands in clothing, accessories, footwear, bedding, housewares, automobiles and much more. 

I like to use Ralph Lauren as an example.  He started his business selling ties and now he is the 155th wealthiest person in the world according to Forbes.  Have a look at this from his wiki page.

In 1966, when he was 26, he was inspired to design a wide, European-style necktie he had seen Douglas Fairbanks Jr wearing, but the idea was rejected by the company he worked for as not being commercially viable. He left to establish his own company working out of a drawer in the Empire State Building, taking rags and turning them into ties. He sold the ties to small shops in New York, with a major turning point when he was approached by Neiman Marcus, who bought 1,200.[10]
In 1967, with the financial backing of Manhattan clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, Lauren opened a necktie store where he also sold ties of his own design, under the label "Polo."[11] He later received the rights to use the trademark Polo from Brooks Brothers, however Brooks Brothers managed to retain its rights to the iconic "original polo button-down collar" shirt (still produced today), in spite of Lauren's Polo trademark. In 1971, he expanded his line and opened a Polo boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.[12]

Options or opportunities like this exist today and they will tomorrow as well.  The issue is will we see them, invest in them, support them or work harder for them to not exist or succeed.  Unfortunately I believe Trenton has more people with “power” working for things to not succeed.  Stay tuned for my post about “Power” in the near future.

Imagine pop-up Artisan Shops that could change monthly or within other short-term limits, here are a few suggestions:

Chocolates and other baked goods
            Happy Wanderer Bakery by Estelle Edwards Orr
            Vintage Sweets by Meaghan Callahan Singletary


Custom/Tailored clothing
            Men’s and Women’s fashions by Ray Vincente
            Custom Art Applied by Clifford Ward

            Functional Artwork
            Furniture by Megan Uhaze Wear

Or maybe a Butcher, Fromagere, Florist, Candlemaker Hot Sauce or a Barista!  Why not have your mobile device case turned into artwork like William Kasso did for me, or source products to other artists to create custom pieces like Anthony Fearron with his headwear and belts or hire a local DJ for your next event like DJ John Tangency or DJ Its Just Ahmad, maybe a mural in your home, office or as a gift by Robin Robinson, Kelly Ingram, Jonathan Conner aka Lank Williams Jr. or hire a food truck to cater your next event like Trenton locals Tim McRae of the “WTF-Where’s The Food Truk” or Adriano Redante of Braz BQ.

I can speak personally of the Trentonians listed in this piece and challenge you to find out yourself.  What team are you choosing to be a part of?  The inclusive one who seeks to edify or the one that sees or believes that nothing good can come out of or from Trenton?

Some people design, some construct, some coordinate, I come up with ideas and work to make them happen!  There is a place for everyone in the marketplace and the sooner we recognize and galvanize all of the pieces the better our community will be because of the evolution.