New Pop-Ups Launch At Lab 1270

The Union Market Retail Site Offers Neighbors Local-Made Products Each Week

Lab 1270 on the 1300 block of Fifth Street NE. (Photo courtesy Union Market)

Union Market’s new Lab 1270 retail space launched on Nov. 14 in time for holiday sales. The lab is a test space for local DC pop-up retailers. The site on the 1300 block of Fifth Street NE — catty corner to the market — gives each of the six to 10 small businesses a chance to test out the neighborhood market and collaborate with other new designers.

Shoppers can stop in Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jennifer Maguire, director of strategy at Union Market, said each vendor in the shared space works with about 50 to 200 square feet, depending on the size of products. Four to six will stay permanentely through January, and two to four will rotate every week or two weeks.

Local photographers and artists will also display their work in the back of the store space. Photographer Gary “Master” Williams launched his gallery on Nov. 19.

“Washington isn’t just about politics anymore. People here are celebrating being a part of the city and being a part of new projects,” Maguire said. “We wanted to have a space where all those people could come together and share their passions.”

After January, Lab 1270 will look at the success of the pop-up experiment and determine whether or not to continue working in the space.

Sarween Salih of S3 Active clothing started her business in April. She previously worked in consulting with Deloitte, but wanted to venture out on her own and follow her interests in fashion and athleticism. She now works with 10 boutique activewear sellers to bring their product to DC.  

She worked a few pop-up markets around DC, but feels her space at Lab 1270 will expose her business to more customers and a consistent market.

“All of the brands I’ve curated to date have been brands I’ve personally used or worn and have a good experience with,” Salih said. “I’m being selective.”

Ron Edwards of Ron David clothing launched his business in September. He noticed a hole in DCs market — stores in the area didn’t offer luxury wardrobe items at a reasonable price. He now sells no more than six of one item — dresses, shawls, blouses — each priced at less than $200. 

“From my experience, I think the community has been looking for something like this,” Edwards said. “Past NoMa, there isn’t a great retail space to shop. Every weekend we are so busy.”

The space gives artists and designers a blank canvas on which they can develop their business ideas, he said. 

Ron David clothing at Lab 1270. (Photo courtesy Union Market)
Thursday Boot Company at Lab 1270. (Photo courtesy Union Market)