The holidays are arriving and so are many pop-up stores. Nestled between Mayfield Bakery and CVS in Town and Country, the Kilgoris Project pop-up store is one of a kind.
Started by Jon and Caren McCormack, the Kilgoris Project aims to help families in the village of Kilgoris in Kenya through the sale of artwork.
“The Kilgoris Project educates and cares for school aged children in rural Kenya, and we partner with the community for development. We currently run 10 schools and serve 1,300 children in and around the village of Kilgoris in Kenya. We provide quality, holistic education close to home.”
Each year, the Kilgoris Project opens a pop up store during the holiday season. What began five years ago as a fundraiser in a living room has now grown into a flourishing retail store.
“The store actually started really simply from an effort to bring back local crafts and as a way to raise awareness for the project and do a little fundraising,” Caren said. “Now, we get to support local artisans from Kenya and all over the world. It’s a wonderful fundraiser; it’s a chance for our community to come together, to volunteer, to build awareness.”
The Town and Country location opened for the first time in Palo Alto on Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 10.
It features a dazzling display of handmade artifacts and decoration pieces.
“We have a lot of items from Kenya, ranging from beaded holiday Christmas items, to fiber nativity sets, a wonderful line of sustainable jeweleries, bags, items for kids, for the home, gifts for everybody for all occasions,” Caren said.
Anne Shaw, a customer at the store was able to complete her gift shopping for the season.
“I really liked the wooden bowls and cloth bags,” Shaw said.
Through their work, the Kilgoris Project has had a grand impact on the local Maasai people and sees the power of the impact.
“The impact is direct and tangible. Things go to fund direct operations in school. We feed two meals a day to 1,300 children and last year we served more than 400,000 meals.”
For anyone looking to help further the Kilgoris Project mission, Caren recommends learning more about the project and purchasing small gifts to give to family and friends during the holiday season.
“We’ll be back again this time next year sometime in the area,” Caren said. “We do this once a year, but we’d love for people to know about the store and get on our list, to know when we’re coming and where we’ll be.”