At Startacus we are not ashamed to admit that we've got a bit of a thing for the whole pop-up phenomenon, from pop-up shops to pop-up restaurants - we love them all! So you can imagine how excited we were to discover a couple of clever ladies in Hanley, Stoke-on-trent, who have made the daring decision to turn their pop-up shop into...wait for it... a Stop-up Shop!
Number 26 Pop up Shopcame to life for two months this summer with the aim of bringing a bit of excitement and colour to the town’s high street. Its quirky mix of vintage clothes, colourful knick knacks and various other goodies proved such a hit with the locals that co-founders Rebecca Jones and Roxanne Nicholls have decided to stay! The new unique 3 floored Number 6 Stop Up Shop opens its doors on August 17th and will feature a host of independent local retailers. We caught up with Rebecca and Roxanne to hear about their experience so far...
With the incredible success of the pop-up shop and now the imminent arrival of your three floored stop up shop on 17th August, how will you guys ensure that you stay true to your ethos, and don't become just another high street store?
Well, all the businesses that are joining us are small independents. A lot of their stock is hand picked to suit customers’ needs, designed by themselves and even handmade from scratch. Customers will be able to come and get a personalised gift for their loved ones, for any occasion, made to order - all under one roof.
Was it always the plan to use the pop-up shop as a way of eventually establishing a more permanent business, or was there a moment over the last few months where you thought “we might be onto something here”?
Yes, the pop-up shop was a starting point to let people know that something new was about to happen. The two months in the pop up shop allowed us to give a taster of what was to come in August and to also hear people’s' feedback. With it being so different and unique to our town, people were getting really excited to hear our plans and we were really overwhelmed with how successful it went.
There is so much talk nowadays about failing shops and the death of the British high street, but clearly your success proves that it’s not all doom and gloom out there. What advice would you give to someone planning to start a pop-up shop or permanent store?
To work together - including lots of local businesses within the pop up shop helped us out with most aspects of the shop. Everyone involved will tell their friends, their families etc, thereby spreading the word much quicker than just one business alone could. Also, supporting one another and creating opportunities for one another is great for business. Having a negative attitude towards retail does not help either, businesses do need to keep up with social media trends to help with marketing and sales. The death of the British high street may on the verge of happening but the independents can yet take over.
Obviously the move into becoming a stop-up shop is an enormous one. What are you most looking forward to over the coming months and what is your biggest concern?
We are looking forward to seeing all the shops open for business! It will be nice to see people around the building and seeing their reactions to all the artwork around the walls which we've spent hours doing! We haven't got any major concerns, if we come across any problem within the building, we will work together to solve this. We've worked so hard to make this happen we will not let a concern overshadow what we are creating.
We think it’s brilliant that you guys are turning your temporary store into a more permanent one. What advice would you give to someone who is considering doing the same thing?
It's a big job to take on yourself, so team up with another business to lighten the load and share jobs. With the two of us working together and including other businesses, it's been good to have input from lots of different people and to discuss plans.
Thanks Startacus !
Cheers Number 26 Stop-up, it was great chatting with you! We think it's fantastic to see how successful your start-up has been, and I'm sure lots of people will take inspiration from your story and wise words of advice!
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