Melissa Gonzalez

We are experiential retail strategists and pop-up architects™ who have produced over 150 brick & mortar experiences in major cities across the United States.

The Lion’esque Group was founded in 2009 by retail strategist Melissa Gonzalez, who is also founder of a brick-and-mortar wishlist platform Clark, co-founder of The MARKET, Chief Pop-Up Retail Architect of Loudoun Virginia’s Smart City development and author of The Pop-Up Paradigm: How brands build human connections in a digital age.

Melissa is also a regular contributor on ABC LA Radio with her segment #RetailWithMelissa as well a go-to retail expert on Cheddar TV and an active retail tech blogger.

Among our awards, in 2018 we were shortlisted in The Glossy Awards for Best Pop-Up/New Concept Store. In 2017 Melissa was awarded Design:Retail’s 40 Under 40 for her work transforming retail environments and in 2015 she was honored with the Retail Innovator Award for our work transforming the pop-up store environment by Retail Touchpoints. In 2014 our work was awarded the CLIO Image Award for experiential engagement, and we were finalists for the New York Design Award for marketing and branded experiences.


We are retail format pioneers – thought and execution leaders in pop-up retail – helping brands and developers re-think and re-format what’s possible in brick & mortar spaces.

We make it our mission to think outside the box so that your brand makes a long lasting impact with your target audience.

We scour the globe for what’s new, fresh and cutting edge, and bring innovative ideas to your retail activation.

We are an extension of your team from ideation to break-down, and have an extensive database of vetted vendors and partners for you to leverage.

We take the time to evaluate your options, plan the most effective strategy and are fully invested in your success today and in the future.


We help our clients reimagine in-store experiences

For brands

For Brands

Space38 - for property owners

For Property Owners

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We work with some of the best in the commerce world


  • Brandless
  • MargauxHero

  • IRL image

    IRL: In Real Life at Water Tower Place
  • organicport

    Organic Trade Association
  • MadisonPort

    Madison Reed Color Bar
  • MadisonReedNYC

    Madison Reed Pop-Up
  • The RealReal: Pop-Up Opening Event 2016.

    The RealReal NYC
  • thriveglobal

    Thrive Global
  • Ovadia

    Ovadia & Sons
  • Ollie
  • Packer US Open Pop-up Grand Central

    Packer Shoes x Asics
  • M.Gemi
  • Carbon38
  • Penguin Random House
  • leesa

    Leesa Sleep
  • Raden Hero

  • Food52
  • Daisy Marc Jacobs
  • Quero Shoes
  • MMHero

    Mizzen + Main
  • Packer-Puma Bloodbath
  • Sally Hansen #ManiMatch
  • boohoofeatured1

  • Ode á la Rose
  • Mira
  • Packer Shoes
  • Steiner Sports
  • National Peanut Board
  • Able Made
  • arianarocefellerfeatured

    Ariana Rockefeller 2014
  • J.Hilburn 2014
  • NFP Studio
  • Cat Footwear
  • Stantt
  • Sole Society
  • Julie Vos
  • Johnnie-O
  • Nora Gardner Spring 2015
  • El Mercado Peru
  • Queork
  • Ministry of Supply
  • J.Hilburn 2013
  • Ariana Rockefeller 2013
  • The Concept Collective
  • Prince Tennis


Erin McCarthy

“Partnering with The Lionesque Group to create IRL has given us real hard-evidence around who visits and how long they stay. Their tech platform, Field-Test has brought us rich data about what’s driving traffic, what is driving dwell times and what customer’s are looking to buy."

Erin McCarthy

SVP of Retail, General Growth Properties, GGP

John Knowles

“Helping you grow turns us on!” Melissa Gonzalez and I have been working closely together since 2009 helping each other build a business. Our individual skills and personalities have made us a good team looking to make a difference with what we have and what we can do."

John Knowles

Director of Marketing, The Roger Smith Hotel

Manya duHoffmann

"It has been very rewarding working with The Lionesque Group to rent our flexible space for pop-up shops. They have been extremely professional and diligent with their approach and have successfully assisted Refinery Hotel in executing short term and long term pop up shops."

Manya duHoffmann

Director of Sales & Marketing, Refinery Hotel New York

Veeral Rathod

"This fall we chose to open a pop-up in New York to test the market and to build brand awareness; working with Melissa and her team ensured that we achieved both goals as we acquired new customers and converted higher sales with our existing customer base."

Veeral Rathod

CEO, J. Hilburn

Ariana Rockefeller

"As a new designer, it was instrumental having Lionesque Group to guide us through pop-up preparations. From shop design to strategic partners like Songza, Melissa is hands-on with ensuring the brand’s voice and aesthetic leaves a lasting impact to both new and current customers."

Ariana Rockefeller

CEO & Designer, Ariana Rockefeller Designs

Lindsey Lindemulder

"Working with Lion’esque Group was one of the best decisions we made in regards to our first popup experience in NYC. Melissa and her team were awesome – always very responsive and super efficient at helping us problem solve any challenge. They contributed significantly to the success and smooth execution of our whole experience."

Lindsey Lindemulder

Marketing Specialist, CAT Footwear

Now Available!

THE POP-UP PARADIGM Via Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobles