Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 19, 2013.

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Transform an underused storefront this winter into a pop-up neighborhood hub with 7 themes: SHOW, PLAY, LEARN, SHARE, MAKE, SHOP & EAT!

BY PLEDGING NOW YOU CAN HELP INCUBATE 7 EMERGING IDEAS THIS WINTER & 50+ NEXT YEAR !

Think “airbnb for storefronts” (Fast Company) meets “community incubator” (The Huffington Post).

Imagine a shape-shifting storefront, one space, many possibilities: from an independent arts space one week to designer fashion boutique the next; from cooking classroom on Thursday to locavore snack bar on Friday. 

The miLES Storefront Transformer is a versatile set of furnishing and amenities to program any storefront - essentially a 6ft cube that can be easily transported and subdivided to roll through any storefront door. When unfolded, the Transformer provides functional elements such as shelving, partitions, tables, seats, stage, as well as infrastructure such as lighting, WIFI, power strips, speakers, projectors, and PA system so you have all the basic ingredients to create your own pop-up! 

With your support we will prototype and demonstrate a miLES Storefront Transformer in action this November and December. We will transform a vacant storefront in the Lower East Side to incubate 7 pop-up ideas. The storefront transformer will continue to operate throughout next year to incubate more pop-up ideas by you and everyone!

Made in the Lower East Side (miLES) open storefronts to possibilities by creating short-term multi-use spaces as community hubs. The miLES Storefront Transformer, designed by Architecture Commons, is a set of modular furniture bundled with support services that will enhance the mission of miLES. We make it quick and easy to turn underused storefronts into anything you can imagine. We give entrepreneurs and artists an easy and affordable way to showcase their work. The neighborhood gets a variety of vibrant programmed uses in a previously vacant space. Landlords get short-term rental income and increased visibility to help them find a longer-term tenant for their space. It is a win-win proposition for multiple stakeholders. 

Despite the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, there are still over 200 vacant storefronts in the Lower East Side. Rather than wait as landlords sit on these properties, miLES activates these spaces on a short-term basis to lower the entry barrier for creative, entrepreneurial and civic projects, with the potential of converting these into longer-term sustainable uses. This initiative will transform these storefronts in this socially and economically diverse neighborhood into community spaces, temporary homes for emerging projects, and provide economic opportunities for the local neighborhood. 

Started as an OpenIDEO challenge realization phase, and with the support of Fourth Arts Block, we began our pilot storefront in April 2013 and received over 100 requests for pop-ups of various uses. We have produced 14 pop-up shops, 20 pop-up classes, two design festivals, and even a pop-up film festival! We have worked with a wide range of clients from cultural institutions like the New Museum to entrepreneurs like Etsy sellers. Since then we have talked to numerous landlords, more and more co-op and smaller landlords are open to what we are proposing by popping up one month at a time and receiving income while they are still waiting for their long term tenants. But we still need more validation and support to recruit more landlords!

Your pledges will help us pay for the rent, insurance, logistics, and the fabrication of the miLES Storefront Transformer and validation for us to talk to more landlords to unlock these underused spaces.

We are empowering the community from the bottom-up and are disrupting the commercial real estate market. 

After the success of our pilot in April, more landlords have opened to what we proposed and we believe that this model is a viable, sustainable, and scalable means to activate storefronts across the world.

We need your help to demonstrate that the Storefront Transformer can facilitate the activation of underused storefronts and incubate entrepreneurs, creatives, and civic activists. 

Supporting our project now means we will be able to incubate more amazing ideas and create more pop-ups in the future!

ADDITIONAL DETAILS.

Prototype: Alpha by Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center 

Jack Kirby is the pre-eminent comic book creator of the 20th Century. Comic book characters and stories that Kirby created, alone and with co-creators, from Captain America, romance comics, Fantastic Four, X-Men. Thor, Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D, Hulk and others are all part of our cultural landscape, yet Kirby, who died in 1994, is relatively unknown. Our week will celebrate Jack Kirby as a cultural powerhouse who was born and raised on the Lower East Side.

Blood, Sweat & Fears NYC by Chelsea Campbell

Blood, Sweat & Fears is a live magazine showcasing undiscovered talent across the creative platforms. Translating the printed page into a live event - Blood Sweat & Fears will bring to life articles, features and performances to create a living magazine. Blood, Sweat & Fears NYC will be the second edition of the live magazine, continuing from the London edition in 2010. Issue two of the magazine will feature artists living and working in NYC whose work features during an allotted time. Existing works are adapted to suit the environment or new works created specifically for the installation.

Brooklyn Brainery Takes Manhattan by Jen Messier and Jonathan Soma of Brooklyn Brainery 

Brooklyn Brainery is hosting a one-week crash course on everything from your grandma's favorite crafts to bookish intellectualism. Expect hands-on classes like block-printing and soap-felting, lectures on New York City history and your favorite foods, and real-life skills like storytelling and public speaking. It’s time to bring a bit of Brooklyn to Manhattan!

The Pop-Up Non-Profit - Creating a pop-up home for the street-based organization The Space at Tompkins by The Space at Tompkins

The Space at Tompkins is a non-profit organization committed to helping transient homeless youth and adults in New York City. During our week with miLES, we were excited to test the concept of co-sharing a space with different wellness programs and healthcare practitioners to show how many different ways a space can be used to support not just a single organization, but the community as a whole. This creative, collaborative solution to a work-space challenge opens new opportunities for us internally as well as creating chances to partner with other organizations that have goals which are complimentary to ours.

Makers Salon - One week of open workspace, hands-on classes, discussions and making experiences around the evolution of DIY and craft - from hand to machine to tech - by Kollabora with Guest Curator Hsing Wei from The Makery

From hand to machine to tech - the art of making has evolved to both keep up with and reflect our ever-changing world. While we have new tools and technology that can automate, the drive to craft something with our hands has endured out of necessity as well as out of desire. Join us for a week of open lab workspace, hands-on classes, project workshops, and discussions on DIY crafting and fabricating with traditional and new materials as we celebrate our love of creativity, collaborative making and learning!

stopTHINKshop Holiday pop-up shop by TYTHEdesign

stopTHINKshop is a pop-up store that showcases highly edited social good products that all make an impact. Beyond their aesthetics and function, every item in the curated collection has been consciously designed through the lens of sustainability and/or ethical production. The shop will highlight products whose commitment to creativity parallels their commitment to community.

Featherbed Lane by Ghetto Gastro

Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective and a guerrilla movement that is fueling the future of food. Our team is comprised of chefs: Lester Walker (Food Network Chopped Champion), Malcolm Livingston II (2013 STAR CHEF RISING STAR, 2013 ZAGAT 30 UNDER 30) and Dan Levin. 

Featherbed Lane will be a one-of-a-kind deli experience, taking cues from the South Bronx bodegas and Arthur Ave bakeries the we frequented coming of age in the 90s. There will be a mix of "hood foraged" candies, sodas, and sandwiches. The sandwiches will be made with homemade deli meats and charcuterie, bread will be baked fresh daily. House made pastries and frozen desserts will be served as well. After Hours, Featherbed Lane will transform into a private social club where we will host unique VIP experiences.

Additional Collaborators:

Architecture & Urban Strategy by Architecture Commons

Architecture Commons is a design practice advocating design for the masses. Using architectural production, we create of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary work towards creating a multitude of work that embody the nature of our pluralistic and multiplicitous society.

Journalism by Imagination in Space

Imagination in Space creates pop ups in New York City and London and covers the pop up world on ​imaginationinspace.com. They're currently gearing up forAmerican Dreams, a 10-day art pop up and live auction kicking off Oct 14 ​in London. To collaborate on​American Dreams or future projects, reach out to greg@imaginationinspace.com.

An app for the urban art explorer by Musey

MUSEY is a website and mobile app that connects audiences and artists. It even allows appreciative audiences to tip artists in real-time. Our mission is to help everyone see the value of the art and events all around them, while disrupting the existing relationship between art & culture and value.

Fabrication by MachineMade

Design manufacturing from prototype to production. With designers, architects, and pro makers in mind, MachineMade.com allows users to digitally explore a variety of machine services (CNC Milling, CNC Routing, Laser Cutting/Engraving, Waterjet Cutting) and materials, providing a mix and match capability to simplify the process of fabrication and product realization.

Press:

Fast Company CoExist: Want to Open a Pop-up Shop? The Storefront Transformer Box has everything you need

Fast Company CoDesign: A Modular Kit to Transform Empty Storefronts into Pop-Up Shops

GOOD: Storefront Transformer: A Kit for Pop-up Community Hubs

ThisIsStory: GoodSTORY: miLES Storefront Transfer Project

PSFK: Pop-up Store Kit Transform Vacant Lots into Useable Spaces 

Treehugger: Pop-up transformer converts vacant storefronts into "community incubators" (Video)

Untapped Cities: miLES Project Aims to Revitalize Lower East Side with Vacant Storefront Transformations

NYCEDC: This awesome Kickstarter incubates small businesses, creatives and community projects through storefronts

Bedford + Bowery: It happened: A Pop-up Popped-up in a Pop-up

The Lodown: Made in the Lower East Side: Kickstarter Campaign to Transform Vacant Space

Bowery Boogie: Recap: FAB! Festival on 4th Street

DNAinfo: Group Raises Money to Help Pop-ups Open in Vacant Storefronts

Columbia Spectator: miLES to go: New Startup Launches Kickstarter to fund Pop-ups

ULI Urban Land Institute New York: Pop-up Retail Activating Underutilized Spaces Across NYC

Arup Connect: Changing Neighborhoods, Transforming Storefronts

Frame Magazine: Storefront Transformer by miLES: Modular System Facilitates Community Pop-Ups

Inhabitat New York: Mobile Pop-Up Shop Kit Transforms Vacant Storefronts into Instant Community Hubs

ArchDaily: Kickstarter Campaign to Activate Vacant Storefronts in New York City








ArchDaily Innovation Challenge:  Professional Category Winner



Past miLES Pop-ups:

New Museum Ideas Festival - Wise Words Pop-up Exhibit

Brownfish Pop-up Film Festival

NYC Design Week - StopTHINKshop Pop-up Shop

Forma de Ser Spring and Mid-Summer Pop-up Shop

The Good Life Pop-up Shop by Brooklyn Soda Works & KNO Clothing

ABACAXI Pop-up Shop

New Design High School Pop-up Shop

51 Inc Pop-up Shop

Global Goods Partner Pop-up Shop

Fair Fashion Pop-up Shop

Kids Pop-up Shop by Maker's Toolbox & Christina Soriano

Damsels in Design Pop-up Events

Skillshare Pop-up Classroom

Trade School Pop-up Classroom

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We had demonstrated a lot of demand with pop-ups. However, on the supply side, landlords are still predominantly favoring a long-term lease model and we are in constant competition with long-term tenants for the same properties. We had a few storefronts lined up that we can use for our two month pop-up this winter, but the actual storefront that we will use for November and December can only be secured last minute. Therefore we have not revealed the actual location of where we will be popping up!

For pledges that are in the "Create your own pop-up" category. For the One-day pop-ups, miLES will be assigning a time that for these a storefront that we specify in the LES, certain limitations apply for the uses. For the Weekly and Monthly uses, we will be assigning the time for our Storefront Transformer to be delivered to your location. We will not be responsible for any legal implications of operating your programs with our furniture at your location.

FAQ

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miLES

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    GIFT: A custom designed digital thank you note card. Your name will be listed on our website as an original supporter and we'll keep you up to date via monthly newsletter! - by miLES

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    GIFT: Jack Kirby "Street Code" mini comic - by Jack Kirby Museum

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    GIFT: A custom designed limited edition notecard with miLES mascots (they are VERY cute). Your name will be listed on our website as an original supporter and we'll keep you up to date via monthly newsletter! - by miLES

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    EXPERIENCE: A Fast pass allows privilege to skip the line and/or call for exclusively expedited orders during the "EAT WEEK" - by Ghetto Gastro. Stay MIGHTY HEALTHY!

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    GIFT: Beautiful simple notebook with miLES Stamp Logo. Your name will be listed on our website as an original supporter and we'll keep you up to date via monthly newsletter! - by miLES

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    CREATE YOUR POP-UP: Limited edition of a 30+ pages Digital Pop-up Guide by miLES documenting our experience with working with pop-up hosts. Applicable to pop-up retailers & designers who wants to pop-up. Spelling out the elements you need to make your pop-up a success. We want everyone to create their version of a pop-up! - by miLES

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    GIFT: Jack Kirby "Street Code" spread poster - by Jack Kirby Museum

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    GIFT: Limited edition "I WANT ________ IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD" tote bag with miLES Stamp Logo. Your name will be listed on our website as an original supporter and we'll keep you up to date via monthly newsletter! - by miLES

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    GIFT: Jack Kirby "Pioneer Heroes" poster - by Jack Kirby Museum

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    GIFT: Survival Kit - A Half & Half gift bag - you get a shirt, a patch and a zine and a homeless traveler gets a pair of socks, underwear and dignity items - Pick-up in-store by The Space at Tompkins

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    GIFT: Gift Bag by Kollabora: Buttons, Sunglasses, Tote, Stash Bags, Knitting or Sewing pattern - Pick-up in-store by Kollabora

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    GIFT: Your own "miLES Pre-inked Stamp"! Your name will be listed on our website as an original supporter and we'll keep you up to date via monthly newsletter! - miLES

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    GIFT: Special gift bag of limited items selected from "SHOP" week - Pick-up in shop by TYTHEdesign

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    EXPERIENCE: 2 tickets to any class at the miLES storefront during the "LEARN" week and a special gift from Brooklyn Brainery. - by Brooklyn Brainery

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    EXPERIENCE: First viewing of the miLES Storefront Transformer on the very first day of use. Feel free to transform it in anyway you want. This is the only chance to play with the Storefront Transformer before our Curators set foot on it! Your name or business will be printed on our "Thank You Wall" on a 1"x 2" Wallpaper. - by miLES

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    EXPERIENCE: Private session with Pop-up Yoga Founder - by Pop-up Yoga NYC

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    4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)

    CREATE YOUR POP-UP: Two sessions of half-hour phone consultation with the founder of miLES. Ideal for people that would like to create their own pop-up or people that are passionate to create their own pop-up neighborhood! 1st half hour will be to get basics of popping up and thinking through your idea, 2nd half hour will be a month or two later to check the progress and see how to tackle hurdles. - by miLES

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    EXPERIENCE: A "EAT WEEK" VIP member card will offer you the same access as the Fast Pass in addition to allowing you and a guest attend 2 of the Featherbed Lane private social club VIP experiences - by Ghetto Gastro. Dont get left out.

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    EXPERIENCE: Exclusive test-run of the storefront transformer on the first weekend of use with a time arranged by miLES. You get to bring your team or business to imagine how it is like to pop-up in a storefront in the LES. Your name or business name will be printed on our "Thank You Wall" on a 2" x 4" Wallpaper. - by miLES

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    EXPERIENCE: During "EAT WEEK" take your passion for food to the next level. The chef Gods at Ghetto Gastro are customizing a sandwich just for you and giving you naming rights. The sandwich will be the featured as the special of the day and listed on their menu. Imagine hundreds of New Yorkers lined-up to get a "Jackie LT" Too cool for school if you ask us! - by Ghetto Gastro

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    EXPERIENCE: Your choice of a maker evening class - by Kollabora and The Makery

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    EXPERIENCE: Your choice of a maker evening class with 3 friends - by Kollabora

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    CREATE YOUR POP-UP: Limited edition of a 100+ pages Physical Pop-up manual produced by miLES documenting our experience since April 2013 from all angles from design to logistics and working with landlords. We will also put in a section of our research of other projects in San Francisco, New York, and London. Applicable to pop-up retailers, designers, landlords and anyone interested in this space! We want everyone to create their version of a pop-up! - by miLES

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    EXPERIENCE: Join the miLES family as a VIP guest during our 7-weeks pop-up! We will cook up a special VIP experience for you every week. Your name or business will be displayed on our "Thank You Wall" on a 4" x 8" Wallpaper during the 7-week pop-up. - by miLES

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    SPONSORS: We will integrate your product or services in 1 week of our 7-weeks pop-up shop. You will have a chance to showcase your product or services in action. Your brand and logo will be visible in the storefront. - by miLES

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    SPECIAL SERVICES: A private 2-hr tour with a curator during "SHOW WEEK" with an added create-your-own-hero drawing class or a lecture/discussion about Jack Kirby - by Jack Kirby Museum

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    FURNISH YOUR ONE-WEEK POP-UP: [miLES Storefront Booster] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, we boost the use of your storefront, office, or co-working space by renting our Storefront Transformer for your use for ONE-WEEK. (We are not responsible of securing or paying for the space). We deliver our Storefront Transformer to your New York City location for a week! Be it a storefront, office, or even your apartment! You can just test it out, or even produce your shop, class, exhibit, anything you can imagine. We can also help you with programming entrepreneurs, creatives or civic projects vetted by you, and help with social media efforts for your event and keep all of our followers know where our traveling storefront transformer is currently at! This could bring extra traffic to your business and loads of fun! (LIMITED TO NEW YORK CITY ONLY!) - by miLES

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    SPECIAL SERVICES: One month of finding and consulting services from miLES of matchmaking a venue for your pop-up. - by miLES

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    CREATE YOUR ONE NIGHT EVENT: You can produce your own ONE-NIGHT pop-up event during our winter pop-up. - by miLES

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    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    CREATE YOUR ONE-DAY POP-UP: [miLES STOREFRONT INCUBATOR] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, you can produce your own ONE-DAY pop-up using miLES Storefront Transformer in our Spring Pop-up Incubator Program. Included in the program are 1 one-on-one session to talk about your pop-up idea, 2 class sessions of basic pop-up training, securing the neccessary permits for your pop-up, and a 1-day of your pop-up in a LES or EV storefront. Your pop-up will fall on a Thursday, Friday, Sat or a Sunday, the best days of the week for retail. By pledging early you get the early-bird special for this pop-up program. We will let you test-drive our Storefront Transformer for a day at our location for YOUR POP-UP! You can just test it out, produce your shop, class, exhibit, anything you can imagine. On the day of your pop-up we provide staffing, general liability insurance, and help you with social media efforts for your event! - by miLES

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    SPECIAL SERVICES: Private group class for up to 15 people with a list of selection from Brooklyn Brainery. - by Brooklyn Brainery

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    CREATE YOUR TWO-DAY POP-UP: [miLES STOREFRONT INCUBATOR] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, you can produce your own TWO-DAY pop-up using miLES Storefront Transformer in our Spring Pop-up Incubator Program. Included in the program are 1 one-on-one session to talk about your pop-up idea, 2 class sessions of basic pop-up training, securing the neccessary permits for your pop-up, and a 2-days of your pop-up in a LES or EV storefront. Your pop-up will fall on a Thursday, Friday, Sat or a Sunday, the best days of the week for retail. By pledging early you get the early-bird special for this pop-up program. We will let you test-drive our Storefront Transformer for a day at our location for YOUR POP-UP! You can just test it out, produce your shop, class, exhibit, anything you can imagine. On the day of your pop-up we provide staffing, general liability insurance, and help you with social media efforts for your event! - by miLES

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    SPONSORS: We will integrate your product or services in our 7-weeks pop-up shop. You will have a chance to showcase your product or services in action. Your brand and logo will be visible in the storefront. - by miLES

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    SPECIAL SERVICES: [FOR LANDLORDS] We offer to survey and do a new set of floorplans for your storefront, so that you can better market it for your next short-term or long-term tenant. (Equivalent of 5 hours of a registered architect's time). We can also suggest a pop-up at your storefront that could help bring foot-traffic if your storefront is vacant. - by Architecture Commons PLLC

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    FURNISH YOUR ONE-MONTH POP-UP: [miLES Storefront Booster] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, we boost the use of your storefront, office, or co-working space by renting our Storefront Transformer for your use for ONE-MONTH. (We are not responsible of securing or paying for the space). We deliver our Storefront Transformer to your New York City location for a month! Be it a storefront, office, or even your apartment! You can just test it out, or even produce your shop, class, exhibit, anything you can imagine. We will help you with programming entrepreneurs, creatives or civic projects vetted by you, and help with social media efforts for your event and keep all of our followers know where our traveling storefront transformer is currently at! This could bring extra traffic to your business and loads of fun! (LIMITED TO NEW YORK CITY ONLY!) - by miLES

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    SPECIAL SERVICES: Consulting services by Architecture Commons PLLC for customized furnishing options for your future pop-ups with miLES. - by Architecture Commons

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    SPECIAL SERVICES: Consulting services by TYTHEdesign including layout, graphics, and signage for your future pop-up with miLES - by TYTHEdesign

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    2 backers Limited (6 left of 8)

    CREATE YOUR ONE WEEK POP-UP: [miLES STOREFRONT INCUBATOR] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, you can produce your own ONE-WEEK pop-up using miLES Storefront Transformer in our Spring Pop-up Incubator Program. Included in the program are 1 one-on-one session to talk about your pop-up idea, 2 class sessions of basic pop-up training, securing the neccessary permits for your pop-up, and a 1-week of your pop-up in a LES or EV storefront. Your pop-up will start on Monday and end on Sunday. We provide 4-days of staffing, full week of general liability insurance, and help you with social media efforts for your event! - by miLES

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    1 backer Limited (6 left of 7)

    SPONSORS: We will integrate your product or services in our 7-weeks winter pop-up shop and our spring pop-up shop in Apri, May, or June. You will have a chance to showcase your product or services in action. Your brand and logo will be visible in the storefront. - by miLES

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  • Pledge $2,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    FURNISH YOUR TWO-MONTH POP-UP: [miLES Storefront Booster] Just like the 7 pop-ups in this campaign, we boost the use of your storefront, office, or co-working space by renting our Storefront Transformer for your use for TWO-MONTHS. (We are not responsible of securing or paying for the space). We deliver our Storefront Transformer to your New York City location for a month! Be it a storefront, office, or even your apartment! You can just test it out, or even produce your shop, class, exhibit, anything you can imagine. We will help you with programming entrepreneurs, creatives or civic projects vetted by you, and help with social media efforts for your event and keep all of our followers know where our traveling storefront transformer is currently at! This could bring extra traffic to your business and loads of fun! (LIMITED TO NEW YORK CITY ONLY!) - by miLES

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    SPECIAL SERVICES: You and ten friends will co-curate a customized culinary experience with the Ghetto Gastro team. Get on your surf board and ride this wave! - by Ghetto Gastro

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    SPONSORS: We will integrate your product or services in our 7-weeks pop-up shop and in our pop-up shops throughout 2014. You will have a chance to showcase your product or services in action. Your brand and logo will be visible in the storefront. - by miLES

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    CREATE YOUR POP-UP: You get to be the FIRST OWNERS of a special limited edition of our Storefront Transformer 1.0, you can chose TWO functions out of the FOUR that we have designed, consider it the slim version of our full design. You get to brag about it, paint your name all over it, etc. Who knows, this may worth a few folds down the road when it becomes a collectible item! (LIMITED TO NEW YORK CITY ONLY!) - by miLES

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Funding period

- (30 days)