LISC National

Innovative “Pop-Up MKE” retail spaces open for business in three locations


Program Overview - Download PDF.


Entrepreneurs showcase a variety of products
and services from painting classes
to custom beauty products


Contact: Beth Haskovec, 414-930-1175,, 414-380-4680, LISC Program Officer for Commercial Corridors

Pop-Up MKE, a public and private partnership focused on economic development and entrepreneurship, is proud to announce the first round of businesses selected to occupy three vital commercial corridors near downtown Milwaukee.

Entrepreneurs selected reflect the local community, and offer unique products and services. “This is a great opportunity for businesses to test their market and products, while being supported to generate public interest in their business in a low risk, supportive environment,” said Beth Haskovec, Coordinator of PopUp MKE with LISC Milwaukee. By June 8, 2018, all three PopUp Mke locations opened for business.

Pop-Up MKE is coordinated by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WBBIC), the City of Milwaukee, and MKE United. Pop-Up Mke is part of a larger initiative, funded by Chase, aimed at building capacity and supporting urban entrepreneurs, which includes additional partnerships like the Milwaukee Urban League and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.

Pop-Up MKE collaborates with the City of Milwaukee’s White Box Grant program to improve storefronts along Historic King Drive, Cesar Chavez Drive, and the North Avenue and Fond du Lac Business Improvement Districts for the business owners that will be selected for this short-term, retail opportunity with long-term rewards.

The following businesses are featured in round one: 

Monash Natural Blends provides a variety of custom-made aromatherapy products to enhance your emotional and physical well-being. Their ingredients originate from ethical and sustainable companies that provide organic and wild-crafted products.

In My City 365  A Milwaukee positive clothing brand that empowers one to be self-confident and proud of their city.

Beloved Masterpieces offers community painting lessons, to inspire self-expression through the arts, and community building that leads to healing. 

Natural "E" Beauty is a brand of beauty products that focuses on encouraging everyone to embrace who they are naturally. It is a virtual platform that empowers people to define who they are and understand their value.

Asili Naturals offers all-natural skin and body care products made with fresh plant-based and cruelty-free ingredients. Free of harmful and synthetic chemicals and made in the USA.

Bella’s Treasures offers clothing, jewelry that inspires beauty, fun energy, life and happiness. Bella's Treasures is a boutique that brings back that old school flare.

Launch Party: Saturday, June 16th from 2-7pm- 1617 W. North Avenue- Asili Naturals:<wbr/>events/620548998321620/

More information on business hours and products can be found on Facebook @POPUPMKE.

A Ribbon-Cutting for the program was held Wednesday, June 13th with public officials, partners, and investors.

Press coverage:<wbr/>local-news/young-black-<wbr/>entrepreneurs-relish-<wbr/>opportunity-to-open-stores-<wbr/>for-free<wbr/>up-mke-announces-opening-of-<wbr/>three-shops<wbr/>story/money/business/2018/06/<wbr/>13/six-milwaukee-businesses-<wbr/>open-pop-up-shops-near-<wbr/>downtown/697612002/<wbr/>industries/banking-finance/<wbr/>pop-up-retail-initiative-<wbr/>welcomes-first-four-start-up-<wbr/>businesses/<wbr/>market/articles/pop-up-mke.<wbr/>html<wbr/>story/money/real-estate/<wbr/>commercial/2018/06/08/<wbr/>milwaukee-south-side-<wbr/>buildings-get-big-upgrade-win-<wbr/>design-award/664087002/<wbr/>story/money/real-estate/<wbr/>commercial/2018/06/08/<wbr/>milwaukee-south-side-<wbr/>buildings-get-big-upgrade-win-<wbr/>design-award/664087002/

Featured Business Profile

Lauren Gilbert, Beloved Masterpiece LLC

By Micaela Flores

Lauren Gilbert, owner and founder of Beloved Masterpiece LLC, has a strong passion for art, and a master’s degree in education. When she put her love of art and education together, she discovered it was a powerful elixir for addressing life’s challenges. She first got inspired to start her business from her late mother, who made sure art was integrated into their childhood. 

Beloved Masterpiece LLC offers community painting lessons for every age group that help inspire self-expression and community building that leads to healing. “We all have the choice to heal, and we must take the responsibility for the healing process”, said Gilbert. She found herself using art to express herself, and later it became an integral part of her teaching style. Lessons draw from a wide variety of themes. 

Gilbert hopes her business will help spread beauty in the community, as well as become a place to build connections among other African-American entrepreneurs. The Pop-Up MKE program has helped Gilbert polish her business skills, “I’m grateful to be working with different people and organizations that genuinely want to help”, said Gilbert. Beloved Masterpiece LLC hopes to give classes, and become a space in which local young artists can come and create art, as well.