BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Two budding fashionistas are hoping a new Bed-Stuy pop-up shop they're opening for the month of May will make enough of an impact to serve the community indefinitely.
Ose Ogbemudia, 28, and Colleen Wadley, 30, are local Bed-Stuy designers looking to get their foot in the fashion door by selling crafted and curated clothes to women of all sizes at the new Bedstuy Popup Shop.
The two women, who met at a church function a year ago, reconnected just two weeks before launching the shop. They were walking through the neighborhood thinking about the work they were doing when they passed an empty storefront at 275 Malcolm X Blvd.
"We were saying, 'it's such a struggle,'" Ogbemudia said. "We walked by, and Colleen said, 'that could be your shop.'"
The two contacted the shop's owner, who was intrigued by the idea of a pop-up, and the two women quickly got to work.
"It was crazy," Wadley said. "That's the hardest I've ever worked before."
Both designers take vintage clothes that they find in places like the South or Midwest and repurpose them. Ogbemudia, for example, focuses on creating clothing with "flair" for plus-sized women.
For now, the store is focused on women's fashions and jewelry, though the two designers are looking to expand to men's clothes and beauty products, and even reaching out to artists and chefs to join in the pop-up to sell their goods.
The shop is part of an initiative by the Bridge Street Development Corporation to encourage landlords to create economic activity by renting storefronts on Malcolm X Boulevard to small business owners looking to start pop-up shops, according to Patch.
Bedstuy Popup is just the first, and other micro-business owners can share their space for $100 a month, according to the site.
"It's a temporary space for the artist to showcase their talents," BSDC Economic Development Director Kenneth Mbonu told the site. "Also, it is about them demonstrating their business skills as well."
The two designers, who both quit more steady work to venture out into fashion, hope they can become successful enough to call the location their permanent home.
"I can't see myself working for someone again," Wadley said.
The Bedstuy Popup Shop is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., throughout the month of May. For more information, email email@example.com.