By Kurt Mason & Molly Dalton, Contributing Writers
Looking to spruce up your dorm room or apartment? In need of a gift for friends or family? Well, you’re in luck because there is just the place for you—Happy Girl. Happy Girl is a small pop-up shop located on Route two, about five minutes away from campus. Driving by, it is hard to miss this shop because the building has a nice blue trim and is decorated with colorful products that quickly catch your eye. With handmade wooden signs, candles (which are Sallie’s best selling items), wax melts, jewelry, clothes, and much more, Happy Girl deserves a visit.
Sallie, the owner of Happy Girl, tells the story of how she got involved with the business. “I was a wedding planner back home in Mississippi and I ended up with a lot of linens and china and I needed a place to put them so I got a booth at an antique mall and it’s grown from there,” says Sallie, while petting her dog, Happy, who can be found running around the store fulfilling her duties as the Happy Girl mascot.
Sallie, who met her husband when they were in college together at Ole Miss, said that, “he’s from Farmington and he had a business opportunity so we moved here four years ago.”
Unlike some of the other shops around Farmington, Happy Girl is a true pop-up shop. “Yes, I am a true pop-up shop and I started out as a true pop-up. That means that I did zero advertising and I have zero money for marketing. I kinda follow the pop-up shop rules which are to find the best location for the least amount of money.”
In true pop-up fashion, Sallie only signed a short-term lease that was supposed to be May through October, but, when asked about if she might stick around, Sallie said that, “I might extend my lease, or I might pop-up somewhere else.” She continued by saying that, “I would really like to get closer to downtown, but, at the same time, this location is really good for me. Business is good, but I’m limited by the population and the isolation—It’s Maine and people shop differently here and it’s been a huge learning curve for me.”
Happy Girl isn’t Sallie’s only business venture in the Farmington area. “I have other booths as well; I have a Lake Girl, I have a Farm Girl (which is located down at the Front Street Mercantile), and I’ve got Happy Girl.” Sallie said about her other booths and that they are, “all different styles, just like the different sides of my personality.”
Kayla Girardin, a senior here at UMF, said that, “when I went to Happy Girl, [Sallie] was actually about to leave to get coffee, but she saw me pull in and opened back up for me. So, before I even entered the store, I had a good impression.” Girardin followed up by saying, “I bought a bracelet and a lanyard and I have been very happy with my purchases.”
Happy Girl is geared towards the college crowd because Sallie wanted to make sure that people could really enjoy, and afford, her amazing items. “Everything is really small, everything is really inexpensive, and everything has a sort of modern and vintage vibe with lots of things to put in your dorm room. Sallie was very open with her inspiration behind the pop-up shop by saying that, “I remember being in college and I remember my budget. My inspiration for Happy Girl is just kinda young and modern and it really is for happy girls and whatever style makes them happy.”
Sallie acquired her wide range of products through, “local vendors that do all the handmade things and the candles are a line that I brought from Mississippi that I grew up with. I sometimes have people call me and say, ‘I have this great piece, do you want it?’ and I also go to vintage shops and auctions.”
So, “whether you are buying for yourself, shopping for friends, or just having a treat-yo-self moment,” says Girardin, Happy Girl is the place to go. Oh, and when asked about price, Sallie said, “My price point is awesome! Or whatever you kids call it these days.”