A group of friends, all artists, wanted to have a home show, hang out and sell art.
From this idea, Gathering, the local pop-up shop, was created in February 2013.
Owner Talia Halliday said each time the group opened at an artist’s home and featured about seven artists, she knew she wanted it to be bigger and better each time.
“Basically, I wanted it to be a full-time, real-time shop, but I wanted to start small, so that’s why we started as a pop-up,” Halliday said in an email.
A pop-up, unlike a traditional shop, only opens up for a finite amount of time.
In the past year, Gathering organized three one-day events in February, May and August and one one-month event for the holiday season.
Featured goods vary from handcrafted jewlery, bath and body products, kids’ toys and clothing, woodworking pieces, illustrations and knitted and crocheted work.
“It really came to be because I know a ton of awesome artists that I think our town would love, and I wanted to give them a venue to show their work because, as of yet, one did not exist for the type of art and craft we are showcasing,” Halliday said.
For each pop-up shop event, Gathering typically puts out a call to artists and craftmakers using Facebook and its website.
Artists can apply to be part of the shop through the website.
A group of jurors review applications, and the group bring in artists who meet the aesthetic for the shop, Halliday said.
“We’ve had an amazing reception from the citizens of Bloomington,” Halliday said. “We’ve had great support. People are excited to find handmade items they can’t find anywhere else.”
It’s now more common for people to want to know the story behind the things they buy, to know the people behind them, which is exactly what Gathering allows for them to know, Halliday said.
Gathering is now moving to become Gather — a full-fledged store.
The store-front will represent more than 70 handmade indie makers.
“At Gather, we hope to host monthly craft nights, workshops, skill shares, lectures and classes,” Halliday said. “We want to host gallery nights, meet-the-maker events, trunk shows and even a Last Minute Gift Show at the end of year.”
The Bloomington Open Studios Tour will be the final time Gathering will have a presence as a pop-up shop.
The pop-up will partner with the I. Fell Building and Bea’s Soda Bar for the Open Studios Tour.
Gathering hopes to be established as a full-time store in downtown Bloomington in the Fountain Square Mall.
The pop-up shop has a Kickstarter page to raise funds to become Gather.
“We hope to continue our amazing relationship with Bloomington and hopefully start a relationship with the University once we’re a permanent fixture as well,” Halliday said.