Franklin Parish Pop Up Shop

When stormy weather dampened the annual Franklin Parish Catfish Festival and resulted in a cancellation, a group of young women with ties to the parish decided to make the best of the situation by offering an alternative for vendors who had planned to be at the festival.

The Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop was held May 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Winnsboro Farmers Market site. And although rains came, the sun peeped out long enough to make the event a success.

Looking at the success of the smaller event, organizers Brittany Lance, Sunnie Wicker and Elizabeth Barlow are now looking at the possibility of making the Pop Up Shop a quarterly event.

They plan to give it another test run July 13.

Lance is originally from Wisner and now lives in Shreveport. Wicker, a Winnsboro native, lives in Mandeville. Barlow, who is also from Wisner, lives in Lake Charles. Their ties to their home area and a desire to give back are what fuels their interest in pursuing similar events for the future here.

Lance creates t-shirts and work in vinyl. Wicker, who owns Moon Blossom Art, is an artist who focuses on Louisiana-based themes on canvas and Barlow offers her skills to handle the business and organizational end.

When they reached out to vendors about participating in the Mother’s Day event, Lance said she was surprised at the response.

“We originally planned for just a small event. But, it has really gotten a great response,” Lance told The Sun during the planning stages for that event.

“The first event was very successful, especially given the weather,” Lance said. “We had a really good turnout.”

Lance said the Mother’s Day Pop Up was the first time she had helped organize such an event. Some 16 vendors showed up offering everything from custom jewelry to unique dips.

Wicker was also pleased with the response to the first event and the response to the planned July event.

“We already have 20 signed up,” Wicker said.

Wicker said when they started thinking about doing something post-Catfish Festival, she was surprised at how many local vendors were involved in the festival.

“We went from three or four people to 40,” she said.

Barlow said the awareness of local vendors who had created crafts and other items with a uniquely Franklin Parish theme was a big part of their desire to do something to help out by offering the May event.

She said she, too, is pleased with the response to the July event.

“We’ve already got more vendors than we had for the last event,” she said.

If all goes well with the July event, the Pop Up Shop could be something to look forward to on a quarterly basis, with an October event on the calendar this fall. The three women have a list of about 40 vendors who have expressed an interest in the project.

Spaces are still available for the July event. Information can be found on Facebook where the Franklin Parish Pop Up Shop page has been created. Booth spaces are $50 each and forms and other information are available on the page. The deadline to reserve a space is July 3.

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