First let’s talk about what a Pop-Up actually is. A pop-up is a shared experience that typically uses empty retail space to provide a short-term brick and mortar experience. Pop-ups have been generally used in retail. The idea of a pop-up [a.k.a. flash retail] is that it is short-term and meant to give the retail experience to new businesses or on-line businesses considering a brick and mortar store. Pop-ups have typically occurred in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
In my case, I am attempting to expand my practice into a brick and mortar location as an after school program for all students. I am holding a series of ‘Pop-Ups’ targeting skills needed for school, like handwriting, computer skills, vocational skills, etc. My hope is to educate members of my community on what an occupational therapist does and how occupational therapy can help.
Recently, I participated in a retail holiday pop-up at Source the Station. While the Pop-Up provided retail space for local emerging small business, I participated by providing free kids crafts. We used many school related cognitive and fine motor skills to complete simple make and take crafts. I was able to meet and get to know many local families and they were able to get to know me. It was a valuable and unique experience that I could not have had anywhere else.
I thought about how I could build on this idea to increase the size of my local practice and support my idea. I came up with Pop-Up OT! I was lucky enough to have a friends offer space in their law office for my first Pop-Up. My first one is focusing on handwriting. I will be educating parents on all there is to know about what it takes to have good handwriting. Pop-Up OT! Handwriting with Ms. Eleanor is my very first endeavor with this method of community awareness. I will let you know how it goes.