Nov 13, 2023 - News

Houston Street holiday business pop-ups open this week

A three-pane glass storefront with holiday-themed decorations painted on the windows.

The pop-up's festive storefront. Photo: Courtesy of Centro San Antonio

Three small business owners will have a risk-free chance to operate a brick-and-mortar store this holiday season through a Centro San Antonio initiative.

Why it matters: The program serves as an incubator for San Antonio businesses, promotes shopping local during the holidays and revitalizes vacant downtown property during a season of increased foot traffic.

What's happening: Centro will host a grand opening for the Holidays on Houston pop-up shop at 5pm Thursday at 175 E. Houston St. with live music and warm treats.

State of shop: Women-owned online retailers Dezynr, Two Artsy and Perrito Lindo will sell their products in person there through December.

  • Nadia Ramon, Dezynr's owner, sells handmade accessories.
  • Karen Morris offers candles and wax melts through her shop Two Artsy.
  • Alexa Castillo sells dog apparel and goodies at Perrito Lindo.

How it works: The participants, who are sharing the same downtown storefront, were selected through an open call and interview process.

  • Downtown property owners donated the rent-free space.

Be smart: Past years' program alumni Mariam Diallo-Bah and Austin Alegria have gone on to open permanent storefronts.

What they're saying: The program is "an amazing opportunity for my small business because it brings new exposure to my product. It's a great way to invite people to support local," Ramon tells Axios.

Between the lines: Centro organizer Kailey DeLuca says the program is designed to help owners navigate decisions like whether or not to open a physical store.

  • "We really see ourselves as a gateway for entrepreneurs who want to open a space but aren't quite ready to sign that 5- or 10-year lease," she tells Axios.

Plus: The entrepreneurs will receive a membership to Geekdom, a collaborative startup community with resources including co-working space and access to events.

  • Geekdom's programs director Matthew Espinoza tells Axios the membership will help participants connect with other local entrepreneurs.

What's next: DeLuca says the pop-up shops are part of a larger list of forthcoming holiday-themed activities on Houston Street.

If you go: The shops will be open 11am-7pm Thursdays through Saturdays until Dec. 30.


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