Michelle Workman Opens a Pop-Up Shop

Through Michelle Workman Home, Workman hopes to expand her brand to the locals in Lookout Mountain, TN, showcasing her strengths in retail and demonstrating to new clients how affordable interior design can be.

Kimberley Wray
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Interior of Michelle Workman Home pop-up

Chattanooga-based celebrity designer Michelle Workman launched a pop-up shop this week in Lookout Mountain, TN, called Michelle Workman Home

“We’re really testing the market to see if this is something the locals here are interested in,” she says. “So far foot traffic has been great despite all the rain. In fact, it’s been a little surprising. A lot of people are coming in because they’ve heard a lot about me, but we’re also getting a considerable amount of people that are literally just driving by and noticing us. They come in saying, ‘I didn’t even know you were here,’ and well, we weren’t!”

Sofa and table at Michelle Workman HomeThe 500-square-foot space fronted with plenty of windows is situated next door to a pharmacy in the affluent mountain-top community. Workman, who has long operated a shoppable website, has filled her pop-up location with furniture from various showhouses she’s done along with vintage pieces she’s been acquiring on her travels to Morocco, the Paris flea markets and estate sales across the U.S. There are also examples of her licensed designs with French Heritage mixed in, and rich, textural trims from her Queens Conquest collection with Pyar & Co.

To operate the shop through the holidays, Workman has set up a workspace within so that she can attend to design projects when not interacting with customers. “I’m literally right in front of people now, and I’m meeting a bunch of people I never have before,” she relates. “It’s a great opportunity to connect which is really important to me.”

Like a growing number of hybrids — design studios with retail storefronts — Workman is welcoming the opportunity afforded by the pop-up to demonstrate to locals how affordable working with a professional designer can be. “Some of my favorite clients of all time have not had huge budgets,” she says, “but they had huge trust and a real sense of joy in the process and that made it a wonderful experience.”

Like the third-grader who appeared in the shop earlier this week with her Dad. “She whispered something in his ear and he said, ‘We’re here for a wish capsule.’ I had decided if I was going to do this that I needed to have a few little gifty items and I had ordered these adorable little metal capsules with a piece of paper inside on which to write a wish. A couple of little girls came in the other day and I gave them each one, just because they were too cute. I guess they told their girlfriends at school!”

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