RTP

[RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 26, 2024] – Boxyard RTP, the first dining and retail destination in Research Triangle Park (RTP) today announced the third cohort of PopBox recipients. PopBox is a dynamic initiative, in collaboration with Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, stewards of Research Triangle Park (RTP), and NC IDEA, providing a 320-square-foot space within the Boxyard RTP development to host rotating pop-up style shops.  

Three small businesses have been selected to receive a $6,750 micro-grant from NC IDEA and the Research Triangle Foundation along with professional services and counseling from Durham Technical Community College. This innovative program and comprehensive support aim to empower small businesses by offering exposure to the brick-and-mortar environment and equipping them with essential tools for growth and sustainability. 

The 2024/2025 Boxyard RTP PopBox cohort recipients are: 

Layla Christie, with Gold Clover Company, handcrafts 14k gold-filled jewelry. Every necklace features natural gemstones set in a balance of a dainty aesthetic and a hallmark gold chain, blending the beauty of the Earth with the flair of the wearer’s individual style. 

Adanna Omeni, with 1 Blossom 2 Bloom Floral Design, works with a small list of carefully chosen local farmers, sources the freshest local blooms, wildflowers and seasonal greenery and curates a custom experience for the buyer. They are a growing floral brand that can be found at local pop-up markets around the Triangle and beyond.  

Emily Wall and Megan Snow, with Disco Differences, is a unique vintage/secondhand shop established by two passionate women committed to fostering education, advocacy and community integration opportunities. Disco Differences welcomes everyone and strives to promote a sense of belonging for individuals with disabilities.  

Sarah Mixter, program manager at NC IDEA says, “The collaboration between RTP Boxyard, NC IDEA, and Durham Technical Community College exemplifies the mission of the NC IDEA ENGAGE Grant program by providing entrepreneurs with the resources they need to thrive. The PopBox program is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to explore growth and connect with a broader audience. The program helps reduce risk for small businesses by providing physical space, mentorship and the resources required for success. Together, this collaboration fuels creativity, drives economic growth and contributes to the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Research Triangle Park region.” 

Launched in 2021 amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the PopBox program has successfully facilitated the entry of seven small businesses into the market. 

“PopBox is a great opportunity for small businesses to expose themselves to a different clientele,” said Aaron & Garrett, owners of Secondhand Concession Stand, participants of PopBox. “We never would have opened a brick-and-mortar location if it wasn’t for the PopBox program. Just having that experience and getting a taste of it was amazing.” 

Boxyard RTP looks forward to collaborating with Gold Clover Company, 1 Blossom 2 Bloom Floral Design and Disco Differences, supporting their journey as they contribute to the vibrant economic landscape of North Carolina. 

For more information about the Boxyard RTP PopBox program, please visit https://boxyard.rtp.org/popbox/. 

About Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina  
Since 1959, the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina (RTF) has served Research Triangle Park in its mission to facilitate collaboration among our region’s industries, universities, and workforce and create economic impact for the residents of North Carolina by attracting the world’s most innovative companies and top-tier talent to North Carolina. Comprised of 7,000 acres, its boundaries are centrally located among Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. RTP is home to 55,000 employees and more than 375 companies and national labs, including Apple, BASF, Biogen, Cisco Systems, EPA, Fidelity Investments, IBM, LabCorp, Lenovo, Eli Lilly, NetApp, NIEHS, RTI International and United Therapeutics. For more information, visit https://rtp.org.   

About NC IDEA: 
NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to equitably empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the Foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. 

Media Contact for RTF   
Kelly Propst  
VP of Marketing & Communications  
propst@rtp.org