Travis and Lauren Hardy operate their Small Room Collective pop-up out of an Airstream Globetrotter.
Cara Robbins

If you’ve been longing for a shopping experience where you can see and touch one-of-kind, vintage, or handmade items — rather than browsing non-tactile sites like Etsy or eBay — you may want to consider “pop-up” shopping. Over the last 10 years or so, this trending phenomenon has encouraged a number of small, independent retailers to travel to various locations across the country with their wares, selling them at one-off events.

This Saturday, area-based marketing and promotion company Cool Summer Presents will host Anacota Exchange, a pop-up shopping event that will feature vendors like Small Room Collective (, Make Smith ( leather company, the Lower Lodge (, Chaparral Studio (, and Adesso ( handmade jewelry, among others, in the parking lot of the French Press on the corner of Anacapa and Cota streets.

What makes pop-up shopping so irresistible is not merely the transient nature of the venue itself but also how retailers can transform an ordinary space into a stirring and vibrant bazaar for customers of all sorts. The Austin, Texas–based vendor Small Room Collective (SRC) is recognized in the pop-up world by its gleaming 1963 Airstream Globetrotter trailer; owners Lauren and Travis Hardy wish to promote artistic movements and create an appreciation for products that aren’t necessarily carried by corporate retailers.

“SRC aims to connect people and also desires to connect with and support local businesses and independent artists on a national level,” said Lauren Hardy. “The artists, music, local venues, and friends we’ve met through our travels are becoming our biggest network of support.”

Santa Barbara–based vendors attending the event have also made their mark on the pop-up scene with their dynamic craftsmanship and eye for detail. Artisans like third-generation leather craftsman Steven Soria, who owns and operates Make Smith, will be showcasing some of his premier handmade leather goods, and dynamic artist duo Nathan Hayden and Hannah Rose Vainstein of the area boutique the Lower Lodge, will sell an array of vintage clothing, medicine bags, and beeswax candles at the event.

Anacota Exchange sounds like an excellent excuse to sip coffee and peruse an array of unique creations.


Anacota Exchange takes place Saturday, April 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at 528 Anacapa Street, at Cota Street. For more information, visit


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