When Deb Brown and I spoke at the RuralX Summit, one of the ideas we mentioned was the tiny business village, where businesses pop up inside of storage sheds in Tionesta, Pennsylvania.
Dylan Fulton and Camden Breitling, high school students from Miller, South Dakota, heard that idea and ran with it. Together with some supportive adults including Tammy Caffee, they planned and held an event called Cozy Cabin Christmas.
They convinced a storage shed retailer to play host to four temporary businesses during their community’s month-long Christmas on the Prairie celebration. The businesses were:
- a photo booth
- local-themed vintage t-shirts and license plates
- holiday baked goods
- Asian food
A great implementation of the Innovative Rural Business Models, these pop-up businesses are Tiny, Temporary, and Together. They are small and short term, so more people can try them, and they all benefit from being in the same location.
This projects also includes all 3 Idea Friendly elements:
- Take Small Steps – a quick small project that you can test immediately is better than any number of grand plans that never happen
- Gather Your Crowd – it served as a public declaration of the kind of town they want to become
- Build Connections – they connected to the existing holiday event, connected the businesses to each other, and connected the community with new potential businesses
I’m sure a lot of conversations happened around the fire ring, too, building a sense of community.
Tammy sent along these photos, via Dakota Resources. I hear there’s already talk about next year, though maybe in summer when it’s warmer.
Deb and I will be back at the RuralX Summit in July 2017. Come join us.
If you want me or both Deb and me to speak at your event and spark some change in your community, tell me about it here.
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