Shops in Springfield
Linda Renehan has taken her vintage treasures to several spots around the city - formally she was on Governor St. in Vintage Pop, though her store is now called Springfield Vintage while the Shimmy Shack remains in the previous location. Renehan says she has found the perfect fit in what was formally Bridge Jewelry (215 S 5th St). It started as a part of the pop-up initiative but is set to become her new, permanent location. It was her effort last year in opening a pop-up that helped demonstrate the potential. "I feel like I found the perfect storefront to compliment my business. The landlord is fabulous and is making my transition downtown awesome, " she tells me.
Clare Frachey, a young local artist and co-owner of DIY music venue Black Sheep Cafe, is hosting a crew of artists on the Old State Capitol Plaza. "Being involved in the arts scene is important to me, so I tend to seize opportunities that are presented to me more often than not. Doing a pop-up art show series downtown for the month of December not only creates interest in the downtown area, it spreads ideas in multitudes of ways. People walk by and see the work in the show, and they see that a once empty building is now filled with creative energies combining into a collaborative effort, " says Frachey.
Not too long after I profiled Roosevelt Pratt, owner of the former Fashion Afrique on Monroe St. - he packed up shop and headed for St. Louis. He's back in town and hoping to start anew. He's one of the vendors set up in the old Myers building. Pratt says the pop-ups are, "A great initiative following in the footsteps of many cities. Artisans are the spice in adding that neighborhood feel and it is hoped that DSI can follow leads of cities like St. Louis and Chicago where struggling artists can be housed in a co-op situation thus making rental non-prohibitive, " he says.
For those looking to become a bigger part of their local community - visiting downtown while the Holiday Walks and pop-ups are going on is a great start. While you're there, you can check out area fixtures like the much-loved Prairie Archives, Recycled Records and The Cardologist which has moved next door to Recycled (627 E. Adams), plus newer efforts like organic and locally-sourced grocer Milk & Honey Fresh Market, and vintage/fine-art purveyor Urban Sassafrass. There are plenty of other great retailers selling art and gifts for you to discover or re-explore on your next downtown adventure, not to mention a host of independent coffee shops and restaurants.