A Pop Up Market inside the Foundry building at Liberty Center gives shoppers an opportunity to buy products created by local digital entrepreneurs.
The market, a partnership between the mega retail center and StartUp Cincy, runs Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 24 during Liberty Center’s regular hours.
Wendy Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse, a startup accelerator, said the partnership is “a new challenge” for its digitally native brands, entering the retail scene in the midst of the holiday shopping season.
“Normally found through clicks on the web, these StartUp Cincy brands now have the opportunity to engage with our community in a retail environment,” Lea said.
We stopped by to check out the five vendors. Here’s a closer look at each of them:
1. GoSun Inc.
GoSun sells various sizes of its GoSun Stove solar oven, which consists of a double layered glass tube with a vacuum in between.
That results in food that can be cooked in various ways at up to 550 degrees, but a device that stays cool the touch on the outside.
“It’s a perfect insulator,” said Grace Romeo, a designer for the start-up. “Basically, the reflectors reflect the sunlight into the tube, and then the tube converts that energy and traps it inside” where it’s then converted into heat.
The founders of this outdoor winter jackets and apparel company use space-age material solarcore aerogel to create an insulating foam inside their merchandise.
The items they offer are also waterproof and seam sealed.
“We’re trying to find new apparel products to put this insulation in, and create new categories of things that are extremely thin but have the warmth of a winter coat,” said Nicole Martesen, an OROS product developer.
3. Soapy Soap Co.
Anthony Duncan of Soapy Soap Co. said he and the company’s two other founders started making soap using all plant-based ingredients, making them vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and in compliance with Halal regulations. As it has evolved into a business, they’ve tested out various recipes and worked to develop their own way of making soap.
“Typically it takes soap about two months or so to be ready and safe to use, but we speed it up in our proprietary process we call ‘The Volcano Method’ where soap foams up like a volcano,” Duncan said.
Customers can make their own customized soap via www.DesignMySoap.com. Soapy Soap products also include lip balms, essential oils and sprays.
4. Zeus and Blu
After consulting with holistic veterinarians on aromas and essential oils to address different conditions with dogs, Zeus and Blu created products to combat a dog’s dermatitis, anxiety and flea-and-tick invasions.
The business is the “baby” of the five Pop Up Market businesses, having launched last week with offices in Cincinnati and manufacturing in Central Ohio. It is looking to find manufacturing space in the Cincinnati area.
The goal of this handmade jewelry is to bring beauty to the wearer, said founder and designer Elizabeth Olson.
“The biggest compliment that I’ve gotten is for people who put on earrings or necklaces and will text me or email me and say, ‘I just want you to know that whenever I wear them, I feel beautiful,’ ” said Olson, who has been designing jewelry for 17 years, but only recently opted for a revenue-generating venture.
The jewelry caters to women who want to polish off a uniform they have to wear to express their artsy side, she said.