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Monica Semington's Monash Natural Blends, which sells aromatherapy products, is one of the initial pop-up shops at 1008 S. Cesar Chavez Dr. on the South Side.

Pop-Up MKE offers local entrepreneurs a chance to show their wares

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), in partnership with the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WBBIC), the City of Milwaukee, and MKE United, is collaborating on a new public/private partnership that focuses on entrepreneurship and economic development.

Pop-Up MKE brings limited-time businesses to three commercial corridors in the city, including South Cesar Chavez Drive on the South Side, North Avenue and North King Drive, and North and Fond du Lac Avenues on the North Side.

The businesses for the first round of pop-ups – coordinated in collaboration with the City of Milwaukee's White Box Grant program to improve storefronts along Historic King Drive, Cesar Chavez Drive, and the North Avenue and Fond du Lac Business Improvement Districts – have been announced. They are:

Monash Natural Blends aromatherapy products and In My City 365 clothing brand at 1008 S. Cesar Chavez Dr.; Beloved Masterpieces painting lessons and Natural "E" Beauty products at 339 W. North Ave.; and Asili Naturals body care products and Bella's Treasures boutique at 1615-17 W. North Ave.

"This is a great opportunity for businesses to test their market and products, while being supported to generate public interest in their business in a low risk, supportive environment," said Beth Haskovec, coordinator of Pop-Up MKE with LISC Milwaukee.

Launch parties for the first two locations were held last week and one for the North and Fond du Lac Avenues pop-ups will be held Saturday, June 16 from 2 to 7 p.m.

According to a LISC press release, Pop-Up MKE is just one part of a "larger initiative, funded by Chase, aimed at building capacity and supporting urban entrepreneurs, which includes additional partnerships like the Milwaukee Urban League and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin."


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