Pouf! An importer transforms herself at Alewife
Shoppers used to seeing pop-up stores for disposable Halloween junk will have to recalibrate when they see Pouf!
The home accessories and fashion shop, which opened Saturday, brands itself proudly as a pop-up — its Web page and sign standing tall over the Alewife Brook Parkway make it part of the store’s name — but the wares inside are anything but plastic and polyester.
Instead, think of the Asian goods inside as the same kind of fine wood and cloth materials as you would have found at Mohr & McPherson, the high-end imports store that was until recently at the same 151 Alewife Brook Parkway location. And the reason to think that: It is.
The owner and operator of Pouf! is Mika Nakafuji, until recently the showroom manager at Mohr & McPherson, who knows the ins and outs of the imports business.
“When it was closing, I realized I needed a job,” Nakafuji explained Friday.
So she negotiated for with the owners for the 10 months remaining on their lease — “They’re cutting a little deal for me,” Nakafuji said — and, when the 10 months are up and the rent shoots up in July, she’s hoping the store is successful enough for her to keep running somewhere else.
“I would leave. I can’t afford the rent here,” she said. “I’m going to have to move to another location.”
But that means the stuff in Pouf is on the affordable side, with nothing over $750 — a lower price point than Mohr & McPherson.
While shoppers over the next 10 months can expect to find accessories, compact furniture and other items from several Asian nations, including from India, Japan and Thailand, what’s in stock now is mainly Indian, Nakafuji said. The exception is the jackets and dresses she’s fashioning from vintage kimonos, with the jackets already in stock and the dresses on the way.
Pouf! It’s a new store.
Pouf! Pop-up Store is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 151 Alewife Brook Parkway across from the Alewife T stop on the red line. For information call (339) 222-3057 or click here.