The pop-up shop has revolutionized retail opportunities for small businesses. No longer faced with prohibitive overhead costs and long-term leases, entrepreneurs can test their concept in market — and the results have been incredibly successful. We sat down with six alumna of thisopenspace pop-ups to discuss their retail strategies, glean their wisdom, and talk shop about their individual companies. This is interview 1 of 4.
Keighty Gallagher started Tight Club in 2012 to make fitness accessible for the “notso-typical” athlete. She grew the company from the “Coach House” (her home garage) to the “Field House” in less than a year, bringing with her a devoted crew.
What’s one word to describe yourself?
Why did you start with a pop-up strategy?
I decided to launch our pop-up in January 2015 to practice what it would be like to run a real fitness studio … By doing a pop-up, I was allowed to experiment with exactly what I wanted Tight Club to be without a major buyin. Short term leases are amazing and it was such a great opportunity to see if my idea would work.
What was the process of finding a permanent space like?
I teamed up with Tammy Lam at HQ Commercial, and we worked together to find the perfect spot that suited my needs. It wasn’t an easy find, though. Each place we looked at had its pros and cons. I learned so much about zoning laws, design criteria, and what to ask a landlord when we looked at these spots … Once we nailed our design we then had to present our drawings to the city. It took four weeks to get our intake appointment. Once the city had our drawings we had to wait for our permit to build, and once we got that we were off to the races. To sum up the whole process, we got our keys last May, we got our building permit September 3, and we opened December 7.
What’s the biggest challenge of being a business owner?
Time management and mental endurance. When you’re starting off, distraction can’t exist. Stay focused, be a robot, take care of yourself, and give yourself time off to recharge — or else a week after you open your doors you’ll be burnt out.
Best class for Tight Club newbies?
Booty Luv or our beginners Run Club. Both are fun social group classes that will focus on building a foundation to movements you should be incorporating anyways, but the intervals are a bit longer than Tight Sweat or The Athlete so you’ll have more time to learn proper form. Buyers beware, Booty Luv will get you pretty sore, but that’s all part of the fun!
Any plans for future expansion?
I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve 😉 But first I’ve gotta nail this whole “being a business owner” job.
Articles in this series: