Imagine you’re in town for a few days on business. You’re in meetings all day followed by even more business chatter at dinner. When it’s time to head home you realize that you haven’t shopped for that special gift for yourself, or your loved ones back home. Well, if you’ve ever been to a city like Atlanta, you know just how daunting an effort that can be. Besides the notion of having to navigate your way around the big city, there’s always that underlying fact that there is simply no time to go shopping. Of course, you could stop by the lobby gift shop, but there’s nothing there that you can’t find anywhere else. Besides, gift shops are so yesterday.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could shop for unique finds from the comfort of the hotel? Not only would this save time, but it would eliminate all of the guess stress work of finding the perfect gift.
Well, that’s exactly what Marriott Hotels and American Express had in mind when they teamed up to create a unique and innovative shopping experience for guests. Offering travelers with genuine, locally-inspired experiences, Marriott and AMEX have re-imagined the future of travel with their new Travel Brilliantly – Shop Small® Pop Up initiative. Here’s the concept… Promote local businesses and provide a unique shopping experience for travelers and guests where they can explore neighborhood shops without leaving the lobby. What a brilliant idea!
Recently I “popped in” to the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta to preview this new “gifts-to-you” concept and I must say that I was truly impressed. Not only is it literally “out of the box”, but the space felt very intimate and uber chic. Set inside a cool showcase-style mini-boutique, local retailers display a unique collection of exclusive finds that travelers won’t find anywhere else. Showcase shoppers could also gain a little insight on the pop-up shop and the featured retailers courtesy of a touch screen display situated at the shops entrance. Fabulous!
Local lures on display at the pop-up showcase include:
Guffey’s, a custom clothier that offers a distinct selection of dress and casual clothing for men. Eco Denizen, an eco-friendly retailer that features unique handmade products and gifts ideas. blabla Kids, who offers contemporary artisan-crafted hand knit dolls and apparel, as well as toys, rattles and more for kids. TRIO Custom Clothiers, who offers affordable bespoke tailored suits, shirts, and other garments for men. Crafted Westside, a collective of talented artisans and designers offering unique jewelry, apparel, accessories, art/décor, and bath and body products. Tweeds, a men’s shop offering handcrafted men’s clothing and accessories. Uptown Pups, a doggie boutique that offers fun, unique, and affordable pet products. And, Young Blood, a fabulous boutique that features beautiful hand-crafted, jewelry, art, and creatively inspired pieces for the home.
I caught up with Young Blood Boutique’s co-owner Jessie White for a quick Q&A about the boutique, her inspirations for YBB, and their aspirations for the future.
What is Young Blood? How do you describe your business to someone who is entering your store for the first time?
“We stock a curated collection of goods from independent designers and artists from all over the US. We have everything from jewelry and art prints to apothecary and home goods. And, we’re always adding new lines to the shop to keep it fresh.”
What do you love most about your business?
“There’s so much! It’s pretty great to hang around jewelry all day…but a lot is due to our artists and our customers. The designers and artists we work with are not only talented but they’re all really kind, solid people. It’s rewarding to be able to work with them so that we can all continue doing what we love each day. And, our customers are the best. Many of them have been coming to Young Blood for years and we’ve had the opportunity to watch them get married, meet their children, or hear about their business ventures or travels. It’s fun to be able to see the ways in which the things they find in the shop fit into their lives.”
What made you decide to get involved in the pop-up shop, and how has it been so far?
“It’s been great and we’re honored to have been invited to participate. The pop-up is a unique way to reach out to travelers who may not otherwise get a chance to venture too far out into the city. It’s always been one of our goals to turn new people on to the benefits of buying independently made goods. We’re excited some folks in other cities are getting Holiday gifts from Atlanta this year!”
What’s on the horizon for Young Blood?
“We’re fortunate that our customers and our community have been very supportive and the shop is growing a lot. There are a couple different directions we could go next year and we’re currently trying to figure out which one feels right. One thing we know for sure, we want to bring even more new art and design to the city. There is so much exciting stuff out there!”
Marriott’s pop-up shop is much more than a concept… it’s an amenity rooted in convenience. Afterall, shopping on-the-go should be fun, stress free, and most importantly accommodating. Now that’s brilliant idea!
Stop by the main lobby at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta to check out all of the local retailers on display and be sure to pick up a few pieces that you can’t live leave without. 😉
The Pop Up Shop will showcase thru November 30 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel located at 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE in Atlanta, GA. Visit HERE for shop hours and additional details.
Disclosure: This post reflects an editorial partnership with American Express and Marriott Hotels in support of the Shop Small® Pop Up initiative. All thoughts and opinions are my own.