Good Ideas Are Popping Up All Over Miller
Thanks to a group of creative high school students and dedicated community leadership, life just keeps getting better in Miller.
In 2016, two Miller students left RuralX with a vision for pop-up shops for Christmas. That inspiration launched the town’s first Cozy Cabin Christmas, which was met with success.
This year, the holiday pop-up shops will continue in a new venue while students set their sights on their next post-RuralX project: an indoor pop-up movie theater!
“I met with the kids in September to toss out new ideas,” explains Tammy Caffee, Director of On Hand Development and the student supervisor. “They had a list of ideas they heard at RuralX that they wanted to try. They voted and chose three to work on. One was a living wall. Another was to create a green space on Main Street with tables and umbrellas. The third was an indoor movie theater.”
The students will meet on October 25 to further explore the idea of an indoor theater. They have a list of other small town theaters to potentially tour and have asked one of the owners of the Midway Drive-In Theater in Miller to get involved.
“For now, we are thinking of utilizing the high school theater, showing films, popping popcorn and seeing how it goes,” she says. “We are still in the planning stages so things will probably come together this winter when it’s cold and people are looking for things to do.”
Just because the students are pursuing other ideas from RuralX doesn’t mean they are abandoning their “Cozy Cabin Christmas” project.
“We are going to try to move the pop-up shops indoors to our community center because while it was a great idea, it was cold!” explains Tammy. “We’ve already had people from last year ask about it again because it’s been such a success.”
In fact, the event was so successful, a “Cozy Cabin Christmas in July” was held this past summer to kick off Miller’s Crazy Days, and the pop-up entrepreneurs saw some serious traffic.
“Two college students from the Crafty Cousins booth made over $1200 selling handmade soaps, bath balms and hand-painted signs,” says Tammy. “They are now taking online orders and have formed an LLC.”
The entrepreneur behind the pop-up bakery is also considering opening an actual bakery after her pop-up experience, and the Miller students ran their own store “A Tee for Me” and made $450 selling Miller t-shirts. Maybe this money will be used to fund the other two projects!
“It’s that ripple effect again,” says Tammy. “Rural X just continues to impact more and more people.”