This weekend myself and my best friend Christie set up our first ever Pop up shop. We have talked in the past about doing craft fairs but this was the perfect alternative. A scheme of pop up shops in a local town to book for the day. We chose a small empty shop on the high street.
We booked it with at least 2 months to spare and I worked every spare hour out of my full time job to make new items for it. Other than being completely knackered and stressed, when it came to the day I felt nothing but ease.
The day itself was pretty quiet. Selkirk is quite a small town and most shops still close around lunchtime which drives people away from the town centre, So we struggled. But those who turned up were complimentary.
The only negative I received was from an older lady who came in with her friend. She stated clearly 'I'd like that rug in the window'. Which was one of my pom pom rugs, which I hadn't put a price on. I got up smiling, ventured towards it and said 'that will be £40'. And without flinching squaked 'What! I could knit that myself'' In a local Scottish high pitched tone.
Now, this is something I have prepared myself for many years for. Some people just don't realise how much time something takes to make, the materials, the skill. Yes it's making pom poms and attaching it to a backing, but the colour pattern is purposely positioned, and I make this in my my free time for many hours. Therefore I couldn't help but laugh at her reaction. Sorry that I am not charging the same as something straight from a factory but our shop is specifically catered to 'handmade goods'.
The rest of our customer base was excellent though. You need to remember you are there to sell something you put your hard earned time into and skills and that not everyone is going to like them.
Here was my set up...
And my lovely friend Christie. She is so talented. I envy her patience for embroidery and crochet skills. She always impresses me with her array of items she makes. I bought one of her Cacti because I wouldn't want to buy one from anyone else.
She is open for commissions at the moment before she starts her wonderful new career as a Primary Teacher. So hit her up HERE. Seriously She is amazing. Now look at her awesome display!
I bought the one on the left.
These were the work of Christie's family. A talented one at that.
My Fiance came along and put up a display of his photos to fill the space. He ended up being the first seller of the day. But he did well in engaging with the customer who bought 2 of his postcards based on the image of a painting her daughter had given her which was very similar. She was a lovely lady who liked all our items. And spoke about inheriting craft supplies from her mother who was in progressive stages of dementia. She was a wonderful first customer and we had a lovely chat with her.
She later came back with some of the craft supplies, she had mentioned earlier, when we were ready to pack up and it was the sweetest kindest thing ever.
Opposite our shop was an old shop called the Buttercup Dairy which still had amazing mozaic and tiling in its doorway so we all went and took turns at taking photos. I think it is used mainly to show the local common riding photos, as seen below.
Our shop had a bell but we kept the door open to try encourage custom.
Despite it being a slow day. It was a good experience. I have always had urges into setting up my own shop and this was a tiny taster. Working in retail, I have a good idea what it takes to run a business but I think we both knew after a few hours that our location was our downfall. It was certainly a good experience in setting up a stall and dealing with the unpredictive public. I hope to do another like this in the near future.