MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – First there was MEM-FIX last month supporting Memphis' Crosstown neighborhood, next is MEM-SHOP bringing holiday shopping to Overton Square, all while giving local entrepreneurs support starting their businesses.
The momentum surrounding the Overton Square project has been building for months.
From December 6th – 23rd shoppers will get to see what Overton Square can be as a shopping destination.
It's a city initiative called MEM-SHOP and starts Thursday. It includes an independent artist market in the large atrium that had a former life as an ice skating rink and reception hall. Other businesses will temporarily fill prime retail space in the front off Madison.
When the Mayor's team approached Loeb Properties, who owns Overton Square about MEM-SHOP it was a no brainer. For small businesses it's a chance to test-drive Overton Square and see what it would be like to do business here.
"We are sort of under construction so we are not really ready for long term tenants but we have great space," Anna Holtzclaw with Loeb Properties said.
Mix that with local businesses looking to grow, and organizers hope there is a success that goes beyond this temporary setting especially considering the support the artists will be getting.
"It's 12 days in December during the day," Mary O'Kelly with MEM-SHOP said. "Some people have kids, some people have jobs and most here are going to be people employed elsewhere."
As a MEM-SHOP artist, they can be in business without even being here. Now they just hope you show up ready to get one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts in Memphis' come back neighborhood.
There will also be a tree lighting ceremony with Santa this Friday, December 7th, plus classes that last the 12 days. For more information, go to the following links: