The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority’s Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC), in partnership with the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA), will open a “Made in the USVI” pop up shop on St. John July 1 through 10 at No. 5F in Cruz Bay near the ferry dock.

The pop up shop features items that represent V.I. culture or heritage made by licensed small manufacturers and artisans in various industries. Products will range from locally-made USVI-themed home décor, fashion items showing U.S. Virgin Islands’ pride, books on USVI history, cookbooks featuring recipes for local dishes, USVI-themed photographs and paintings, self-care items such as body lotions, soaps, scented candles and more.

The initiative to is meant to assist local, licensed small manufacturers by increasing their opportunities for business exposure and growth in the USVI and outside of the territory. In 2018, both organizations jointly initiated the “Made in the USVI” pop up shops to assist small manufacturers with locally-made products.

According to statistics from Pop Up Republic, a retail marketing database, the pop-up shop industry was valued at $50 billion in 2016. Pop up stores allow businesses, including start–ups and online businesses, to connect with potential customers while business owners “test the waters” of having a brick-and-mortar store.

The EZC also launched a “Made in the USVI” Pop Up Shop website in March 2021 where individuals can visit the website and shop for locally-made products at www.madeintheusvi.com. Several businesses are featured on this website, which is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration through a federal grant from the State Trade Expansion Program to assist small businesses in exporting their products globally.

The St. John pop up shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To learn more about the Made in the USVI pop up shop on St. John, visit the “Made in the USVI” Facebook page, contact the EZC by email at ezc@usvieda.org or call 340-714-1700, ext. no. 1811 or contact VICA by email at vicastt@yahoo.com or call 340-774-5984.