Ballard Blossom Provides New Pop-up Space for BIPOC and Women Owned Small Businesses
On July 1, Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) Director Pamela L. Banks and Deputy Director Tina Inay met with Ballard Alliance Executive Director Mike Stewart and Senior Development Manager Devin Reynolds to tour the old Ballard Blossom retail store. Currently, this location is serving as a small Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) business pop-up incubator space.
In 2018, the original Ballard Blossom proprietor moved when the building was slated for demolition to build a 7-story hotel. However, the pandemic’s economic impact stalled the development of the hotel. With support from OED, Ballard Alliance worked with the property owner to transform and activate the space for a new purpose. Last summer, Ballard Alliance’s Ballard Public Art Committee selected five artists to cover the building in murals – each mural sharing a message that is connected through floral elements as a nod to the former building tenant.
After the development of the murals, Ballard Alliance realized that the space could temporarily host pop-up small businesses before the building is demolished. Since April, Ballard Alliance has successfully partnered with seven small businesses to fill the space, turning the formerly vacant building into an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to have commercial space. All seven of the current businesses are either BIPOC-owned, women-owned, or both. Prior to this new endeavor, none of these businesses had a brick-and-mortar space of their own. The Pop-up small businesses include:
- Nomad Boxing Club
- Ruby Laine Apparel
- Zuri’s Donutz
- Emerald City Flowers
- Aviv Jewelry
- Truffles & More
- Mirage Beer (coming soon)
Ballard Alliance’s long-term goals include growing and scaling these successful pop-ups into a traditional retail space within the district. As the city at large—and OED specifically—implement immediate and longer term economic recovery strategies, reimagining how commercial spaces are used will continue to be a strategy for economic recovery and community resilience.
Drop by the Ballard pop-up business incubator space at 1766 NW Market St. And support small businesses.