Rosedale Center has found a new use for vacant store space — a pop-up for social influencers. Inspired by the popular collective of TikTok stars that formed the Hype House in Los Angeles, ShareSpace will be a 10-day creative space to offer influencers, aspiring internet marketers and shoppers a chance to connect and collaborate in the former J. Crew retail store that closed last month at the mall.
ShareSpace will be run by Twin Cities influencer and content strategist Sarah Edwards, who plans to offer an array of marketing strategy sessions such as panel discussions on “using your platform for good” and the legal implications of being a social influencer as well as interactive experiences with local brands such as Prairie Organic Spirits.
“When we say ShareSpace, it’s sharing ideas, sharing connections, sharing community, sharing resources, sharing a little bit of everything and creating a space where everyone feels like they can come in and they leave feeling a little more inspired,” Edwards said.
The space will be the newest offering of Edwards’ rebranded creative-marketing agency Some Great People. Edwards, who has 15,000 followers on Instagram, has consulted with Rosedale Center leaders in the past as the shopping mall has experimented with retail concepts. She has also helped with brand activation and marketing for other clients such as ergonomic company Ergotron and dating app Bumble.
“Sometimes the word influencer gets a bad rap because I think sometimes unfortunately the Kardashians have ruined that word,” Edwards said. “When I think of influence, I think of people actually influencing communities, growing communities, building these cool events and attracting people with their authenticity and voice.”
The J. Crew space, located on the first floor in center court, is being divided so that two new retailers on either side of it will each take half the space. Rosedale Center hasn’t announced those new retailers yet, but earlier this week the mall said bubble tea store Chatime and Tradehome Shoes will open in other parts of the mall in April and May.
The J. Crew space’s front half, which is about 3,300 square feet, will be home to ShareSpace from March 6 to March 15.
“It was the perfect opportunity for us to take a space and do something creative with it instead of just going into construction phase,” said Sarah Fossen, Rosedale Center’s director of marketing and experience.
Fossen said Rosedale Center wanted to emphasize the business of influencer marketing over its social aspect. Although inspired by Hype House, ShareSpace users won’t live together while they create content.
“[Edwards] brings together brands and brings together people and connects people in a way that we feel like is something people are all interested in doing right now,” Fossen said. “Whenever we post something, we want the most likes, the most shares. We really want to be able to push our things out in a meaningful way to tell our story.”
Influencer marketing is projected to hit more than $10 billion in spending this year, according to industry publication Adweek. Business Insider estimated influencer marketing spending could reach $15 billion by 2022.
Christine Scherping, vice president of Minneapolis public relations firm Maccabee, which has worked to cultivate relationships between brands and influencers, said ShareSpace sounded like a good idea. More influencers are building their brands outside just one primary communication channel. For example, influencers on social media have also started participating in more in-person events, Scherping said.
“There is a trend overall with influencers talking and building communities and taking that in person. … It really only helps that engagement,” she said.
Other aspects of ShareSpace that visitors can participate in include a candy and snack wall sponsored by Wiley Wallaby and Sweet Chaos, a pop-up retail store with local designers, a workout session with Okon Fitness and interactive video booths and activities with Celebrity Cruises.
Rosedale Center, which is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle, has experimented with numerous marketing and retail strategies in recent months as it has worked to revitalize the Roseville shopping mall. Rosedale Center partnered with more than a dozen influencers for its holiday marketing. The mall’s latest revamped food court, Potluck, debuted late last year. Next month, the mall will host a F1RST Wrestling event in the former Herberger’s department store.