The retail site serves as a social and creative space where a diverse variety of entrepreneurs of all ages can sell their wares and gain experience to jumpstart their own business in the city.
Fall River artisans and makers featured
“Supporting local artisans and makers at the Viva Fall River Pop Up Shop also allows you to connect with their stories and products differently than you would in other shopping environments,” said Christopher Messier, retail manager at the Viva Pop Up. “The creativity and passion that they bring to their work defines the Pop Up Shop experience.”
The shop currently features about 25 vendors, and floors and shelves are stocked with everything from pieces of fine art and prints to handmade jewelry, candles, pet products, organic skin care products to apparel.
For those with a sweet tooth, the shop is home to a selection of confections from Dorothy Chocolates. Other Fall River-based businesses that can be found there include Mission Cold Brew, which is located in the Tower Mill. There are also books for sale from the Fall River Historical Society, and items from Rhode-Island-based Rheds Hot Sauce, a popular vendor at Fall River Farmers and Artisans Market.
For places that are already established in Fall River, Rego said they want to be an “extra outpost” where people can get the product. For those local entrepreneurs looking to get their foot in the door, it’s meant to serve as a business incubator.
“This is not just a store, this is like a community experiment.. we want to help people share knowledge, test their assumptions, get new clients,” Rego said.
Viva Fall River’s goal, she said, is to create a pipeline of supporting locals on their entrepreneurial journey. Pop-up vendors, many who have been recruited from Fall River Farmers and Artisans Market, now have the opportunity to see what it’s like to be in a store, without the financial risks associated with owning their own store.
Setting up shop in downtown Fall River
Rego said her hope is that with support and guidance, the group can encourage some of their vendors to set up shop at one of the many vacancies throughout Fall River. “We want to set people up for ultimate success,” she said.
Vendors sign on for 60-day agreements, and commission from sales at the pop-up are split 70/30 (70% to maker 30% to Viva Fall River). It is a partnership, Rego said, so the more the makers promote themselves the more successful they’ll be.
“It’s less about making money at the store and more about making a community and making steps toward bolstering the local economy,” Rego said.
Beyond retail sales, the shop also hosts workshops for entrepreneurs and special events, and makers offer classes for the public. It is also a resource to learn more about what’s happening in Fall River, including its robust manufacturing industry, Rego said.
“People often focus on Fall River’s manufacturing past, but there’s a robust manufacturing present, with luxury soft goods and large-scale technical production happening in the city,” Rego said.
Rego said the group strives to open the eyes of residents and visitors to “the full extent of what goes on in Fall River — instead of what they think goes on here” — and to help local entrepreneurs imagine what can be.
“This whole shop is about challenging perceptions,” Rego said. “By the time people walk out that door hopefully they walk out with a bag of great things by local makers but also hopefully they walk out with a far more positive outlook on Fall River and a feeling of hope.”
Those interested in securing a spot at the pop up can email
email@example.com and set up an appointment with the retail manager.
Viva Fall River Pop-Up Shop, at 333 S. Main St., is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.