miLES is a civic startup, comprised of designers, architects, event producers, social entrepreneurs and real estate professionals committed to activating urban neighborhoods as canvases for pop-up entrepreneurship. We provide entrepreneurs, creatives, brands, and neighbors with accessible space, talent, and tools to realize their visions within physical spaces. Inspired by and started in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, miLES enables the connection between people and spaces across neighborhoods of different cities, near and far. Together we transform underused storefronts to create new ways to work, shop, play and collaborate.
Since starting operations in April 2013, we have enabled 100+ pop-ups ranging ranging in length from 1 day to 6 months. The function and style of the popups have been as diverse as the people creating them. Past pop-ups include: a Teen art salon, the Museum of Beautiful People, Polpo Gelato Shop, Design Taco, Skillshare Classes, the Strangers Project, a brand showcase for Reebok, a non-profit photography exhibit, a Small Business Merchant Workshop, a sewing workshop, a short film festival, a Thai Supper Club, a Brunch Club, a chocolate & cookies shop, sample sales, an all-ages makerspace, a holiday gift shop, the Jack Kirby Museum, an indies electronics shop, a multi-storefronts neighborhood activation, and more.
Curious about how we got started? Check out our origin story video :)
Our clients and partners include a wide variety of large and small businesses and creatives across the public and private sector. Some examples include: Square Inc, OpenIDEO, New Museum, New York Economic Development Corporation, Howard Hughes Corporation, Grand Street (Acquired by Etsy), New York University School of Engineering, ETH Zurich, Reebok International, M&C Saatchi, IBM, Ogilvy, Impact Hub NYC, Airbnb and more.
We are all about prototyping, experimenting, and utilizing spaces as a way to collaborate and test new ideas. We're on a mission to cultivate a culture of doing as well as to enable individuals, small businesses, and private and public entities alike to diversify the use of commercial real estate in our neighborhoods and cities, one storefront at a time. We use short-term uses as a means for long-term action. We believe cities are made vibrant through active participation and we work to enable people to make their marks and realize their visions within the physical spaces that make up urban neighborhoods.
Our Pop-up Manifesto, below, captures our feelings on the spirit of pop-ups:
We are always open to chat with anyone that has a cool idea about spaces, projects, collaborations, or anything in between! We utilize spaces, in part, as a way to invite dialogue and action. If you think we'd be a good collaborator for a project or an idea you're working on, please get in touch with us!