5 Musts for a Successful Pop-Up Shop

Are you a fabulous maker and creator of gorgeous things? 'Yes...'

Fancy popping up as a pop-up shop for a weekend in our bijou basement space surrounded by fancy French macaroons, squishy mallows, crazy cakes and tasty treats? 'umm...macaroons you say...'

What if I told you the space is for FREE?? 'HELLZ YEAHZ! When?! Is tomorrow too soon??'

The above is kinda, probably maybe, vaguely similar to my email exchange with Sophie from Crown and Glory (off-the-hook hair accessories brand) when I had the idea of inviting creators of cool things to pop-up in our beautiful space that fit in with our brand well. I have never met Sophie before but connected through the weird and wonderful world of Instagram and it was a first for the both of us - Anges hosting, and Crown and Glory popping.

Pop Up Shop Kensington

During the planning stages of the pop-up, neither of us realised we had decided upon a bank holiday weekend. When the realisation hit, precisely the day before the pop-up my heart sank. I worried so much - 'Is anyone going to come? Kensington is so quiet during bank holidays! I've never done anything like this before! Oh this could be so embarrassing - Sophie and Gareth (Mr C&G) are going to think this is a big steaming pile of poo especially after all their efforts'. 

Luckily all their efforts paid off (and THEN some!). With great sales for the both of us over what could have been a quiet weekend, I was so happy to have our first pop-up be so successful and also for becoming good friends with Sophie and Gareth through this. They've already ear-marked their next pop-up at Anges and I cannot wait to have them back!

 Pop Up Shop Kensington

Crown and Glory came all the way from Cornwall, and set up the coolest floral 'head-candy shop' complete with assorted faux flowers in all colours imaginable in candy jars, pick-n-mix boxes and scoops galore. When I saw their set-up I was bowled over by how amazing it all looked, and also by how QUICKLY and neatly they did it!

Pop Up Shop Kensington


Pop Up Shop Kensington

and two hours later...Tada!

Their pop-up ran from Friday, 21st May, till Sunday 23rd May, where customers (from 4 years old all the way up to 70!) popped in, squealed 'WOW', chose their favourite flowers and foliage and watched Crown and Glory whip up their very own bespoke hairband/fascinator/clip/crown right before their own eyes while they enjoy a coffee and cake! It was loads of fun, interactive with a bubbly buzz and vibe.

Pop Up Shop Kensington

 We even saw some known friendly faces pop in - Anneli Marinovich Photography, Rock n Roll Bride, Foxes Events, and The Wedding Stylist! 

 Pop Up Shop Kensington

Floral crowns not just for the ladies - pooches got in on the action too!

Crown and Glory also took the opportunity to host their first ever Glitterati party (if you are into fabulous accessories, and which cool chick isn't, check out their Glitterati subscription boxes!) where they treated their members to an evening of fun, colour, plenty bubbles to Quaff and Sweet Scoffs such as bling brownie bites, cake-lings, macaroons and mallows catered by yours truly of course. Kensington has never seen a bigger burst of COLOUR!

 Pop Up Shop Kensington

So if you are a cool maker of super cool stuff and are considering popping up, at Anges, or anywhere else, you may find the following useful - five handy hints, a guide if you may, on how to make the most of a Pop-Up shop:

1. Mind the Rent!

A pop-up offers temporary visibility so you should carefully consider what you can afford to sink into rent. Think about WHY the property is up for a pop-up? Chances are because it has been left empty without a commercial tenant. It will most likely be a completely blank space where you would have to invest a considerable amount to make it not look $hit and by forking out a fat rent you'll have much less to play with to make it look good. The MOST you should consider paying is a contribution to bills and admin and an amount feasible for you to absorb in your worst-case-scenario projection. 

Kensington Boutique

PS: Our space is decked out to the nines, and is not a stand-alone pop-up shop...'cuz we're in it duh! On the weekends our bijou basement is not a 'private gay club' (according to local folklore...), or a wedding consultation boutique, we like to invite cool folk like Crown and Glory to pop-up!

2. Negotiate a commission

This way both parties have a vested interest. If the pop-up space provider believes in you and your brand, this is what it should be about. Unless you're a Nike or a Coca-Cola (if you are, and are reading this blog, Whoa! Thanks for reading! But this isn't for you because you can do whatever you want with your bottomless refillable marketing budget) your goal should be to gain exposure WHILE you MAKE MONEY. Show the landlord how you intend to do this, and in turn how you will make THEM money, and negotiate a percentage that lines up both your interests. 

3. Gamble with pride

If you have to gamble (will you make any sales at all? how can you be sure? Yup, it's a gamble) gamble in style. Show off your work with pride and spend your budget in making your pop-up look great to stand a chance. A lazy effort will yield rubbish results. By creating a welcoming environment and displaying your product in the best way possible you're showing your customers you care despite it being temporary and they will be left with the best impression of you and your business.

Pop Up Shop Kensington

Crown and Glory made the most of the space available and created an inviting and colourful atmosphere

4. Marketing Marketing Marketing

This does NOT by any means have to cost you your arm or your leg. Make a 6 week social media campaign plan - it's FREE! Take beautiful imagery and schedule your social media posts starting with a couple in week 1, ramping it up to 1 per day by week 3, and then going nuts with multiple posts in the last week before your pop-up! Work out what feels natural to you and be regular. Too little, too shy, you might as well not bother, and too much, too aggressive, you'll annoy people. Spread the word to your friends - if it is exciting, and you're excited, then they will also be excited!

Pop Up Shop Kensington

 Crown and Glory designed attractive flyers and sent us some crowns to flaunt prior to their pop-up

Don't forget visual merchandising! Something as simple as a small attention-grabbing A-board and window stickers would do it. Flyers are great too - distribute them in the local area in the week leading up to the pop-up. If you are unable to do it yourself pay someone else to do it as there are plenty of companies that offer the service at competitive rates. And display your prices clearly - I know that's an obvious one but can often be overlooked (people are shy when it comes to money chat - the less they have to ask the better).

Pop Up Shop Kensington

5. Have a HOOK

You may have the most unusual widgets, totally unique wares, but by offering something that's a perceived value-add, it's only going to work in your favour. Personalisation? Sample sale? Bespoke? All these are GREAT hooks that will make you stand out in a market otherwise SATURATED with STUFF.

Pop Up Shop Kensington

Crown and Glory had a bespoke hair accessory pop-up offering alongside some off-the-shelf items

There you have it. I am always on the look out for creators of awesome sauce and would love to invite them to pop-up in our beautifully decorated space RENT FREE. So if you are in fashion/jewellery/accessories/gifts/homeware industry and have lots of pizzazz waiting to burst onto Kensington get in touch! You could be our next pop-up!


Reshmi xoxo

1 Response

Anneli Marinovich

Anneli Marinovich

May 31, 2015

Totes amaze!!!! Loved this pop up and looking forward to seeing more at Anges heaven! Thanks for including our flower faces in your post lady! xx

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