Bounded by Massachusetts Avenue and the Back Bay Fens, The Fenway has long stood as a distinct Boston neighborhood rich in art, music, and educational institutions that have made its 1.2 square miles a dynamic hive of interest and industry. And with the help of some eager, local movers and shakers will soon become known for more than just pricey beer and electric orange nachos.
For the past four weeks, Fenway folks have been flocking to the otherwise empty 1377 Boylston Street storefront, that currently houses Mom and Pop-Up, a month long, daily rotating pop-up of hand-picked local businesses and brands that bring a rotating mash-up of experiences, offering a twist on their everyday offerings.
“We had been playing around with ideas on how to host fun events that activate the neighborhood, draw more traffic down to the Fenway, and bring some extra energy to the community,” says Sabrina Sandberg of Samuels and Associates, who helped develop the Mom and Pop-Up concept. “We’re trying to infuse more independent retail, bringing in young and up-and-coming vendors, like Union Square Donuts, Secret Ships, and City Feed and Supply.”
Each week, Mom and Pop-Up features a line-up of an unpredictable mix of sought after local brands – this week saw a tasty limited run of sandwiches from Jamaica Plain’s City Feed and a ‘The Rat’ themed pop-up record store via Tres Gatos.
“There’s this kind of unplanned and unpredictable nature of the whole thing,” says Emily Isenberg, Mom and Pop-Up’s events manager. “It’s this unexpectedness and the fact that people have to keep their eyes open to know what’s coming up and be a part of it that makes the whole concept very exciting.”
Driven by the spirit of innovation that local Boston independent retailers and small businesses represent, Mom and Pop-Up represent the same eclectic vibe that neighborhood so clearly has.
“When you think of the Fenway from the many students and all of the different cultural infusion that exist, plus the sports and entertainment that exist on Lansdowne Street, we really wanted to reflect that and help celebrate that,” says Sandberg.
One thing is for sure, Mom and Pop-Up has a deep understanding of the bustling community and the different dynamic components it’s made of, and in turn has created a free forum for creative collaborations.
“From my experience, collaboration is always the best way to build more long term relationships,” says Isenberg. “So Mom and Pop-Up is kind of how we appropriated that collaborative spirit from an events perspective. We’ve come up with a way to host a mish-mash of smaller businesses together and provide a space where we can let people stretch a little bit further beyond what they’re comfortable with. Letting them test things out.”
Although Mom and Pop-Up will only officially run through this weekend and next, there will definitely be more to come from this creative space in the Fenway. To stay in tune with everything that’s happening this last week ad half, follow @thefenway on Twitter and Instagram, tag #momnpopup, and check in periodically on thefenway.com.