FOMO Factory pop-up exhibit permanently closes after owner passes away

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Friday, July 19, 2019
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Founder of popular FOMO Factory in Houston passes away

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The FOMO Factory, a two-story, pop-up exhibit that was set to have a six-month run in Houston, has permanently closed its doors after its owner passed away.

The company apologized for the sudden decision in an Instagram post.

"Due to the death of our founder and owner, Rachel Youens, the FOMO Factory will be closing its doors permanently starting 7/17/19," the post read. "We're truly sorry about this necessary decision. If you have purchased tickets, you will receive an apology email explaining the refund process."

Many people have shared messages with the FOMO Factory, thanking Youens for their experiences and memories of her.

"Ohhh noo. For now I'm so glad I had the chance to experience this extraordinary place," Instagram user hellopalomaaa wrote.

"My heart is heavy to learn of the passing of Rachel Youens, founder of the FOMO Factory," Instagram user mflecknoe wrote.

"My sincere condolences and sympathy to Rachel Youens and immediate family. Rachel is a sweet person and I've had nothing but good interactions with her," Instagram user texascharmedlife wrote.

The FOMO Factory launched June 7 at the Houston Galleria as an immersive exhibit.

Texas native Rachel Youens created the concept, which featured 17 rooms, including the Birthday Room with a giant cake, and the Playground with a rainbow seesaw.

In a press release before the Houston opening, Youens said she was inspired to create the FOMO Factory after thinking back to the time she spent at a summer camp for grown ups, where she learned about the power of play.

The FOMO Factory wrapped up a five-month run last September in Austin, where it experienced sold-out crowds.

She'd said at the time that she wanted the concept to be more than just something colorful to add to an Instagram feed.

"These types of exhibits have come to be known as 'Instagram traps' designed specifically for likes," said Youens. "Of course our place is artistic and well lit, but we put the experience first."

"We offer the types of feelings and interactions that can't be captured in a photo. We want you to truly be transported to our world, and not just to create a crafted photo," she said.

It appears fans were truly touched by Youens' vision.

Many of them flooded the FOMO Factory's Instagram page with messages of love and support for Youens' family and condolences.

"I am so so sorry for your loss! Rachel was an incredible soul! May her soul rest in peace and give peace to her family and love ones," one user said.

"Thank y'all for wonderful memories-praying for your family. I didn't know Rachel, but she brought so much joy to this world," another person said.

"So sorry for the loss. Thanks to her vision, many people got to experience that child like wonder and awe. Everyone should be so proud of the beautiful art they created. My thoughts are with everyone in this difficult time," another user added.

"So sad to hear about Rachel's passing. Had the pleasure of meeting her and discussing logistics on several things. There is not much I can say, I know, to help alleviate the sorrow and grief of those who knew her and loved her. She was a bright and shining light and she will clearly be missed. The world was better because she was a part of it, she created something beautiful and fun for others to experience joy and love. In complete and utter shock. My heart goes out to Rachel's family, her friends, loved ones, business partners, employees, every single life her light touched, I'm hurting with you," user susloveshou wrote in the comments.

The company says it will work to make the closure as seamless as possible.