Hatchet Coffee transforms into creative pop-up shop


Megan McCulloh

Decorative embroidery loops are among the most popular of goods sold at Pop Up Boone each month.

Georgia Privott, A&C Reporter

Every five to six weeks, Hatchet Coffee transforms into a gallery of individuality and artistry. The walls and tables are decorated with handcrafted ceramics, intricate gold jewelry and upcycled vintage clothing. 

In June 2018, local artist Megan Kelley created this museum of creativity known as Pop Up Boone.  

A ceramic artist herself, Kelley began Pop Up Boone as a place to sell her work. 

“I did a pop up in Asheville two or three times and it hit me, like I could totally create this in Boone,” Kelley said. 

Asheville’s Show & Tell Pop Up is a seasonal 10-day event featuring local and national crafts. Kelley said she wanted to make Boone’s pop up different than Asheville’s with a more simplistic, elegant aesthetic and a close-knit vendor community. 

“The first pop up was meant to be a one and done thing, and it was during the summer, too, so it was strange that it was so successful,” Kelley said. 

Kelley said her motto for keeping the pop up going is to never stop creating.

“One of the best pieces of advice in terms of creativity is ‘iterate,’ which means, create something, and then create a new model of it, and then try it again and again,” Kelley said. “The more things that you put out, the closer and faster you’re going to get the things that you want.” 

The atmosphere Kelley created is unlike normal craft shows, where the vendor is face to face with the customers. Instead, customers are invited to explore tables of more than 70 vendors’ art pieces. 

“I wanted to create a space where community is being built. I want the vibe to always be a celebration of creativity, both for the vendors and the customers,” Kelley said.

One vendor, senior communication sciences and disorders major Sarah Grace Hargrove, said Pop Up Boone gave her thrifting business a chance to grow.

“I really had this passion for a long time,” Hargrove said. “Pop-up has allowed me to come in as someone who didn’t know anything about advertising; I’ve been able to thrive here.”

Hargrove is the owner of Raining Sunshine Co., where she finds thrifted clothes and upcycles them.

Hargrove said ever since she was 8, she has remade clothes to fit her style.

“I wanted to create a space where community is being built. I want the vibe to always be a celebration of creativity, both for the vendors and the customers.

— Megan Kelley

“I wanted to look like Nancy Drew, and I had a lot of older sisters’ clothes that were too big for me, so I would fix them,” Hargrove said. 

After the first pop up, Hatchet contacted Kelley to offer a permanent space for Pop Up Boone. 

“One of the owners used to be a ceramic artist, and he has this passion for craft; he loved the idea of a pop up versus a craft show,” Kelley said.

As coffee lovers and artists alike explore the shop, they can make their own creations at the DIY zone, a table filled with watercolors and molds. 

While painting with friends at the DIY zone, junior recreation management major Maddie Burdett said she comes to Pop Up Boone to get inspiration from other artists. 

“I don’t always have the money to buy things, but it’s just a fun space,” Burdett said. “It’s cool to see all the unique stuff that Boone has to offer.” 

A year and 12 pop-ups later, Kelley said she will pass Pop Up Boone on to someone else because she is ready to do something new.

“One of my core values in life is to be consistently challenged. I seek newness in the chaos and there are not enough new things happening in my life now,” Kelley said.

Whatever comes of Pop Up Boone, Kelley said she wants it to stay an outlet for people who want to try something new.

“If you really want to create something and you have an idea, No. 1 thing is to begin and keep trying,” Kelley said.