In the spirit of fostering a deeper connection to faith beyond the pews, St. Vladimir Parish in Red Deer embarked on a unique religious education initiative in collaboration with the St. Macrina Store, operated by the Eparchy of Edmonton. This article delves into the one-day popup event run by the parish’s Knights of Columbus.
The following article examines this particular St. Macrina Store Pop-up project, but feel free to use some of the ideas, not use others, and come up with your very own creative ideas as well.
Empowering Catholics with Purpose
The Knights of Columbus first started with a mission statement and a name for the project. The initiative, named the St. Macrina Store Pop-Up, aimed to empower Catholics to live their faith not only within the confines of the church but also at home, in their parish, at work, and within their community. With the holiday season approaching, the parish envisioned providing local Red Deerians with a unique opportunity to keep Christ in Christmas by offering a spiritual-focused store for friends and family. After creating the mission, the Knights of Columbus sent a project pitch of their idea of a pop-up store to take place in the Parish on October 15 for a December 3 store launch. The pop-up took place immediately following the Divine Liturgy on December 3, 2023.
Strategic Pre-Launch Advertising
The Knights of Columbus executed a pre-launch advertising plan that kicked off on November 5 and continued until the launch day on December 3.
The parish employed various channels for promotion, including bulletin announcements, social media posts, email announcements from Fr. Jim, classic catalog sales, and strategically placed signs within the parish. The collaboration was also highlighted on the Eparchy of Edmonton’s social media accounts to announce the pop-up date and partnership.
The bulletin announcement in both Ukrainian and English was as follows:
One social media posts a week was made lining up to the event, with more once the event was a few days away. Social media posts were created using a template in Canva, a free design program. The image was accompanied with the following text in the post:
Unwrap the Holiday Spirit at the St. Macrina Store Pop-Up!
Join us on Sunday, December 3rd for a one-day-only St. Macrina Store Pop-up Store, brought to you by our Knights of Columbus. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover a wonderful selection of Eastern Christian items.
Pre-order Special: Enjoy free gift-wrapping
Pre-orders come with complimentary gift wrapping!
Enter for the chance to win our Faith Formation Basket!
No purchase is required to enter!
Pick up a catalog at the front of the parish for a sneak peek, but keep in mind that the full inventory will only be revealed on December 3!
Catalogs were designed by a member of the Knights of Columbus to feature a few items. A display was made at the front of the parish one month before the store pop-up to encourage awareness, and give parishioners a general idea of the items that would be showcased. Catalogs were printed on white gloss paper from Staples using a home printer to give it a professional look.
Innovative Visual Display
The Knights of Columbus made a plan in presenting the store aesthetically, showcasing professionalism through a carefully curated store display. Featured items had a distinctive price holder, utilizing wooden blocks and printed one-side business cards, with categories like top recommendation, beginner read recommendations, family recommendation, and more.
To make a unique project, the Knights of Columbus included a pre-order program with complimentary gift wrapping, a Faith Formation Basket draw, and a unique “Mystery Book” offering wrapped in Kraft Paper to surprise and delight guests. Mystery books were wrapped with a basic description of the book without mentioning the title of the book. Pre-orders and complimentary gift wrapping was not a very popular feature at the parish, but maybe in yours.
The Faith Formation Basket, a curated assortment of spiritually enriching items, became a centerpiece of the event. Visitors had the chance to enter the draw, with additional entries available for those participating in the buy-a-book program. Consider creating a theme to a gift basket giveaway for your pop-up store.
A clear ballot box was employed for the Faith Formation Draw, emphasizing inclusivity by allowing participants without purchases to enter.
Measuring Success and Store Process
The success of the initiative was gauged through various metrics, including pre-orders, launch day purchases, draw entries, and feedback.
The store process involved collaboration with the Eparchy of Edmonton, from the initial proposal to obtaining inventory and prices that the Eparchy gave. The Eparchy provided moveable store boxes, and after the event, the parish returned the items along with all cash and receipts, ensuring a transparent and accountable process. Receipting was efficiently handled via receipt pads purchased at Staples for $13.
This entire idea had cost the local Knights of Columbus $30 to do with the cost of paper, receipt pads, and price holders.
Logistical Essentials for a Seamless Event
To ensure a seamless pop-up, ensure you have a well-prepared checklist, including a $100 float with various denominations of money, ballot entry forms, a cash box, receipt books, and paper bags for gift items. Consider having one table for the displaying of items, with one item each on display. Extra inventory was kept under the table hidden by the blue table cloth. If an item was purchased, a replaced was put back on the table. It is suggested to have another table for order taking and receipting. Two volunteers to run this project is suggested.
In conclusion, this simple yet effective one-day pop-up event has left a lasting impact on the parish and its members, providing a meaningful and spiritually enriching experience.