Every year, Howie and Pam Frank surround themselves with all the latest Yuletide decorations that they’d like to have in their home for the holidays. The Nesconset couple owns a pop-up Christmas store business that started 14 holiday seasons ago on Long Island.
Everything Christmas began as a mom-and-pop pop-up in 2007 in Levittown and has since popped up through the years in Freeport, East Meadow, Commack, Bay Shore, Lake Ronkonkoma, North Massapequa, Oceanside, New Hyde Park, Lake Grove, Farmingdale and Roosevelt Field. It began franchising six years ago.
"After seeing the Halloween pop-ups, we thought, ‘Why not Christmas?’" Howie Frank, 58, explains. He notes he and his wife have three decades each of retail experience, so a Christmas pop-up seemed like a good fit. "My wife loves to decorate and I love the business aspect of it because it reduces the risk that a year-round business has. We’re only paying rent for the two busiest months of the year and we fill the store with what we’d like to have for Christmas in our home."
Pam Frank, 53, adds. "It’s really only decorating for Christmas that I enjoy. I love watching the children come into the store and seeing their reaction to Santa climbing up the ladder or a snowman popping out of a box. The adults love it too, because aren’t we all kids at Christmastime?"
The pop-ups usually open the Friday before Thanksgiving and close around the first week of the new year. Their offerings include artificial trees, wreaths, hats, stockings, lighted decorations, ornaments, stocking stuffers and discounted holiday boxed cards.
Howie says the couple takes care to curate whatever is new for Christmas, though the stores always carry more traditional selections as well. He says this year, the duo faced a new challenge when they were considering whether to stock things relating to the pandemic, such ornaments with families dressed in Santa outfits wearing masks and holding toilet paper, first responder ornaments, and Christmas and New Year’s-themed masks and hand sanitizers.
"At first, we weren’t sure how people would feel about pandemic items but we spoke to friends, family and over 2,700 Facebook followers and they all said customers would like [them]," Howie Frank says. "Most of them thought it would bring a little levity to the situation we’re all in."
This year, four Everything Christmas pop-ups are open at the following shopping center locations: 1510 Union Turnpike, New Hyde Park; 4250 Jerusalem Ave., North Massapequa, 2021 Smith Haven Plaza, Lake Grove; and 231 Airport Plaza, Farmingdale. Prices range from $3.99 for ornaments to up to nearly $150 for outdoor lighted decorations. Browse online at Everything-Christmas.com.