Eight new stores open in downtown South Bend

It’s not every day that eight new stores open up in downtown South Bend, but it happened today.

“Our store is called “Gifted” and it’s a coop of 15 different artists,” said Jeannie Kincses, from her new location at 225 S. Michigan. “You can’t to go a department store and buy our stuff because it’s all handmade or it’s vintage and made into something or up-cycled or something like that.”

Today Gifted had items including greeting cards, mosaics, soap, hair bows, headbands, hats, mittens and purses.

The eight new shops have all opened in what were previously five vacant storefronts.

It’s all part of the “Pop Up Shop” program that lets retailers move in temporarily on a rent free basis. The Premise is, having something in the space—is better than having nothing.

“Basically, Bicycle Gallery is, it’s a mix of fine art, and low brow art,” said David Martin, who opened his pop up shop at 127 West Washington Street. “Like this right here would be more like traditional tattoo art.”

Martin is an artist who has done tattoos to support his family, while establishing an audience for his creations on canvas. Martin’s art is now on display in the Four Winds casinos and hotels.

The Pop Up Shop program was launched in 2010 when the city offered up vacant space it owned to temporary retailers.

This year, all downtown city owned properties are spoken for, and all five Pop Up Shop locations are privately owned. “Everything from South Bend Brew Werks that opened up in the State Theatre for the home brewing and wine maker hobbyists can go get their supplies right here in downtown South Bend…over to hand crafted wood to rocking chairs,” said Tamara Nichol Smith of DTSB.

As part of First Friday festivities, all eight pop up shops will be open until 9:00 p.m. Friday night.

The list of Pop Up shops also includes Indiana Rug Co., As the Wood Turns, Mycentir Mosaics, Gifted, Gifts of Joy, and Shelly’s Angel Photography.

The Pop Up Shop stores will be open until December 29th. More information is available at:

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