Buff City Soap Opens Permanent Storefront on Main Street After Successful Open on Main Pop-up Shop

December 1st, 2017

The DMC's "Open on Main" and "The 101" lead to more than pop-up retail opportunity on Main Street.

The DMC’s first retail incubation strategy launched in Q4 of 2016 as "The 101." In that model, the DMC offered prospective shop owners very short time periods – a day to a few days – to test their retail concepts. The initiative was ultimately successful and allowed the DMC to evaluate market conditions and level of interest in the entrepreneurial community. The 101 trial also helped confirm that many potential vendors needed more time to fully execute their concepts. 

"We created the Open on Main program to give more operational time to each retailer, from two weeks to two months." said Jennifer Oswalt, president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission. "We also grouped our pop-up locations in the same vicinity to compound the activation and enhance overall vibrancy." 

Pop-up becomes permanent.

Since May of 2017, 23 vendors have occupied the four different Open on Main spaces, including Nick Kunkel, owner of Buff City Soap, who occupied the 86 N Main location during July and August, 2017.  At the end of Buff City's pop-up lease, Nick approached the DMC staff about helping him find a more permanent spot on Main Street.

Photo below: Buff City Soap's pop-up shop during the OPEN ON MAIN Initiative.

Buff City Soap

Bringing the programs full circle, Downtown's newest retail addition, Buff City Soap, now resides at 101 S Main Street, the space that held the DMC's first pop-up shops. Although the building owners originally wanted to recruit an office tenant for the space, they became open to exploring retail tenants during "The 101" program run. It is safe to assume that neighbors and those just passing by are equally enthusiastic about this new retail addition.  

“I just love the way the whole street smells now,” stated Susan L., frequent visitor to South Main. “I can't wait to try everything!”


Photos above: Buff City Soap's newest storefront on Main Street was used for DMC's pop-up initiative, "The 101", in Fall/Winter 2016.

More about Buff City Soap

Buff City Soap offers artisan soaps and other products that soothe, moisturize and condition skin using all-natural ingredients and exfoliants like gardenia petals, lemon zest, shea butter, charcoal, poppy seeds, crushed walnut shells and tea tree oil! 

Each bar of soap is baked in the Bartlett, Tennessee factory and in their stores. They also have gift bundles that are perfect for weddings, party favors, or fundraisers. Customers can choose from shampoo bars, body butters, bath bombs, shower fizzies, facial scrubs, beard balms, and so much more. You can even customize your products with your choice of ingredients. The possibilities are endless! Come by the Downtown location and see the magic for yourself.

Downtown Location:
Located at 101 S. Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10am-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-9pm, Sunday: 10am-6pm

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