MOUNT VERNON — “The Pop-Up,” a dedicated space on Kincaid Street to help entrepreneurs try out their business concepts, has its first tenant.

Amanda McLaurin will run her fiber studio in the space through September. The studio focuses on fiber arts and teaching, McLaurin said.

The business will have open retail hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and McLaurin will host all-day fiber arts kids camps Tuesdays through August, and adult workshops Thursday evenings through September. There will be drop-in crafts Saturdays starting at 11 a.m.

McLaurin said as a business owner, the main benefits of the pop-up space are subsidized rent and exposure.

“It seemed like a great opportunity to know this community more,” she said.

McLaurin, of Camano Island, recently returned from Indonesia, where she taught English for two years and explored the country’s textiles.

She said she hopes to use the three months in the pop-up space to expand her freelance teaching business. Some of her specialties include stitching, patching, macrame and pom-pom creation.

Mount Vernon Downtown Association Executive Director Ellen Gamson said a second entrepreneur is lined up for the space this fall. The association has a three-year lease with the city of Mount Vernon for the space, and is accepting applications on a rolling basis, she said.

“Our hope is by giving folks an opportunity to try things out, connect them to resources, and start from the beginning with the best chance of success, the result will be some exciting new businesses willing to sign longer term leases in the community,” she said.

The goal is to use the program to develop a pipeline of businesses to fill empty storefronts, several of which are currently being renovated, she said.

The Pop-Up is located at 325 Kincaid Street.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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