The highlights from Social Retail Summit #9

On a balmy summer’s evening in June, We Are Pop Up attended the Social Retail Summit #9 at Google Town Hall for a series of discussions about customer relations strategies for post-internet brands. Initially established in New York, the inaugural UK edition sought to delve into the reinvention of offline retail, its convergence with media and the changing disciplines of social marketing. Of the wealth of information covered, we have put together some highlights from the discussions just for you.

Alice Mayor, founder of We Built This City, a pop-up shop revolutionising London souvenirs, amazed us with the story of how the project progressed from Keynote presentation to a fully-fledged shop in a mere three weeks. “People walking past on Carnaby Street every day stopped and witnessed the project appear from nothing out of an empty space.”

She explained that opening both last Christmas and now for summer has been an excellent test for comparing between seasons, with interesting results – summer being a much more successful period specifically for tourists, with Christmas catering to locals buying presents for friends and family.

Peter Jeun Ho Tsang and Julija Bainiaksina, founders of The Dandy Lab, aim to go beyond the traditional form of retail and enhance the consumer experience using groundbreaking technology to augment physical retail space. They told us about one of the innovative ways in which they track success in-store – the metric of “experience per square foot,” which acts as an alternative data source based on creating value and making people smile (or not!) through this new approach to retail.

Daniel Peters, founder and creative director of BBS Clothing, a multi-brand business offering a curated selection of emerging and establish British menswear, emphasised the importance of creating a synergy between your online and offline presence. “Your website should mirror how you visualise the pop-up space and how you create the customer’s journey – you need to give things a realness.”

Keeping people engaged is also key – Daniel added that from his experience with organising promotional evenings at Selfridges, holding an exclusive event with a drinks reception and unique activities can lead to a 90% uplift in sales over three days.

Nicola Fry, Industry Manager at Google and specialist in the Fashion vertical, revealed some impressive Youtube statistics, including:

  • 1 in 3 millennials have bought a product as a result of watching a how-to video
  • There are two times the amount of UK views for fashion and beauty videos than there are women in the UK
  • A ‘haul’ video created by YouTube sensation Zoella, featuring her purchases from a trip to Topshop, has reached around 1.8 million views, amounting to the equivalent of 13 years of marketing engagement for the brand

Nicola added that the key points of maximising the potential of YouTube lie with understanding your brand and video category, building a community and understanding your audience.

Her top tip for creating video content? Head to YouTube’s newly launched Creator Hub for tutorials, tools and support.

Finally, we also heard from Brendan Courtney, co-founder of Frockadvisor, a social and customer service platform that supports independent retailers. He told us about their recent success, Fashion Independents Day. Taking place on May 28, it followed London’s most influential fashion bloggers as they supported the independent retailers of the city by visiting as many as possible and shouting about it on social media.

The campaign had a massive impact of 88 million, with 18.8 million people engaging with the event online. Thanks to Frockadvisor, he added, “it’s time for the artisan and indie retailers to step in and utilise their loyal following.”


Whether we’re talking about materialising an entire retail concept from deck to shop in three weeks, measuring the value of someone’s experience by square feet, or achieving 13 years of marketing reach in a 17 minute video, the world of social retail is evolving fast. It’s going to be an interesting ride for post-internet brands, with the Social Retail Summit eagerly scratching at the surface of the deluge of converging dispiclines to come.


Tart London – a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite

Founded in 2012 by friends Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, Tart London started out as a unique fashion shoot and show catering company, created to remedy the stodgy pasta bakes and limp-leafed salad offerings at photoshoots of yore. Committed to providing fresh, seasonal and sustainably-sourced ingredients, their bespoke and beautifully crafted dishes have passed the lips of the likes of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Lady Gaga and Cara Delevingne (to name but a few).

The accomplished pair are on the hunt for a permanent place to hang their pots and pans, but in the meantime they decided to test out their concept in North West London with a temporary Tart’s Kitchen restaurant, finding the location through We Are Pop Up. Setting up home at Studio 74 on Salusbury Road in Queens Park, the duo launched a residency for six weeks over May and June in collaboration with heritage British chinaware brand Wedgewood.

Rustic, open-plan and peppered with British wild flowers, the restaurant was a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite. Bespoke menus offered something different each day, staying true to their ethos of providing the freshest ingredients available. Breakfast options included avocado bruschetta with chilli and sage fried egg, or sweet potato pancakes. At lunchtime the kitchen offered succulent salads or noodle dishes along with seafood or slow-cooked meats. Afternoon tea involved an exclusive ‘Wild Strawberry’ spread served with champagne, presented on Wedgewood’s whimsical collection of the same name.

Along with sell-out supper clubs, Tart’s Kitchen was filled to the brim every single day, with the long communal tables hosting all manner of patrons from the fashion elite to the hungry public of Queens Park. At We Are Pop Up we know that when the right brand connects with the right space, a beautiful partnership can blossom – not unlike the dainty blooms dotted on each shabby-chic surface at the restaurant. Studio 74, with its high ceilings and exposed brickwork and beams, provided the perfect backdrop for Lucy and Jemima to offer their dreamy recipes and test the in-and-outs of serving a busy restaurant for the first time.

Lucy tells us that “opening a temporary restaurant has been the most fantastic experience. The whole thing has been amazing and very rewarding. We put a lot of hard work into it and it has paid off – on a good day it was full from the moment we opened until when we closed!

“Using We Are Pop up was great – it’s very clear and helpful. The experience has raised our profile to areas other than just fashion – before we were mainly working for fashion companies but with the pop-up we were working with the general public. The suppers when our friends and family attended were so much fun, but it was great to have people that we didn’t know there enjoying themselves as well – it made it extra rewarding.”

Finally, we couldn’t let Lucy go without asking what her ideal three course meal would be if she had to select from Tart’s smorgasbord of delights:

“Right now as a starter perhaps I would go for our fillet of beef tacos we did for one of our supper clubs, which came with lots of different dips and salsas and purees. It was a fun dish! Then the marinated and grilled rack of lamb, which was so flavoursome… To finish, the cardamon chocolate and spicy salted caramel pot with hazelnut praline.”

Keep your eyes and ears out for the opening of a permanent restaurant for Tart London, coming soon to a sophisticated space near you.


If you fancy your own pop-up in the amazing Studio 74, why not take a look at the space and send an enquiry here.

BADA – a springboard for new creatives and emerging designers

The British Art & Design Association, or BADA, is a space that aims to help establish new projects in London by providing a unique platform for independent thinkers and creative doers.

Based on 70 Paul Street, a stone’s throw away from Old Street Station, the space has brought to life six diverse and exciting pop-ups in the last eight months: Parallax LondonPorridge CafeOshun CafeMapsLook Like Love, and the current tenant, 1.N.1 Project.

As it’s one of our favourite East London spaces here at We Are Pop Up HQ, we caught up with Heidi Baletic, one of the directors, about the ethos of BADA, the eclectic mix of pop-ups it has hosted, and what to expect next from this springboard for new creatives and emerging designers

We love following the progress of some of the amazing pop-ups that started off in your space and are going on to do great things. Who has been your favourite tenant and why?

That’s a difficult one – we have had so many projects and they have all been so different! Maybe one of the most surprising pop-ups was the Porridge Cafe. They did amazingly well, had a fantastic marketing campaign and the pop-up was a great success. Now they’ve gone on to open another cafe near Victoria Station.

What do you look for when it comes to choosing which tenants you approve for the space? 

We always try to look for start-up businesses because we know it’s so difficult to find a space in London with it being so expensive. For the first six months we proposed a special offer for tenants, and for one tenant we provided the space free of charge. It was a group of young artists who wanted to showcase their work – this is the kind of project we like to support; new designers who can offer something interesting and exciting.



Is there anything challenging about running a space that is purely dedicated to hosting pop-up projects?

Hosting pop-ups in the space is fairly straightforward, but one of the most difficult aspects is juggling the dates. We had a very quiet January but by March we were fully booked for the year! It’s very busy but great to see so many projects working in there.

What is the most rewarding thing about hosting pop-ups in the space?

The main thing we want to do is provide opportunities for people and support those who can’t afford the high London prices. Shoreditch is changing – it’s becoming more expensive and difficult to find space. We want to keep our prices down and provide a standard that gives emerging talent the opportunity to showcase their work.

What’s really rewarding is that we are able to support a wide variety of different artists and creative people. It’s great to see such a mix of photographers, fashion designers and artists using the space in such different ways.


What’s next for BADA?

Over the past year there have been lots of changes to the layout of the space with different projects needing different set-ups, but for the next step we’ve been thinking about securing another space in Shoreditch. It will have the same idea behind it of supporting new talent by providing an accessible space – we want to reach out and provide even more opportunities for those without somewhere to grow their creative business concept.

How have you found using wearepopup.comWhat has it meant for your business?

When we first started thinking about renting the space we started to look for what kind of options were out there. We came across We Are Pop Up having already seen some others, but we looked through the profiles of other landlords on your site as well as the tenants and thought ‘We can definitely see ourselves using this!’

Using the We Are Pop Up platform has been extremely successful for us. We’ve had so many requests from so many different types of people and projects. We found We Are Pop Up very quick and easy to use. It has enabled us to reach out to a number of artists, designers & brands with great concepts. Thank you so much for all of your help making We Are Pop Up so accessible!


> Read more about BADA tenant New York-based photographer Ricky Chapman in an interview we took during his exhibition Parallax last November.
> We met the duo behind the Porridge Cafe and found out how it came to being when they popped up in BADA earlier this year.


Looking for the perfect versatile space for your next pop-up project? Enquire at BADA.

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What to expect from your first pop-up: for early-stage brands

Launching your first pop-up requires a healthy dose of communication, plenty of planning and more than a dash of dedication. For those of you just starting out with an exciting new brand, trying out a fresh new business concept or making the transition from successful Etsy profile to real life shop, there are a few useful pointers when it comes to your first foray into the world of pop-ups.

We Are Pop Up has put together our top tips for what to expect from your pop-up for early-stage brands along with the help of two expert space directors. Elisicia Moore is the director of Petit Miracles Hub in Shepherds Bush, an incubator for entrepreneurship and local businesses providing support for young brands making their first steps into the wide world of retail. Uros Pecek is one half of the husband and wife team at the helm of boutique Nellie Atelier in Notting Hill, which is dedicated to nurturing emerging fashion designers from around the world and offering them a platform in London.

Be clear about what is being offered

Find out exactly what the landlord is and isn’t offering right from the start. This is especially true for ShopShare – will they help with your shop fit? Will they be managing your stock for the duration of the pop-up? Who is going to sell your items? Will you be included in the store’s promotional activities? Will they provide an in-store launch event? Details will be included in the listing for the space you book, and if you have any further questions do check in with the landlord. 

If you are taking over a whole space, make sure you know exactly what is included with the venue and what you need to source yourself. Make sure you have a clear idea of the amount of support you will receive and how much you will have to do by yourself – you don’t want anything to be forgotten by thinking the other party will be sorting it out.


Communication is the key when it comes to popping up. Often the landlord will have plenty of experience and expertise – don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice if there’s something you are stuck on. Elisicia tells us that when new tenants arrive to set up in her space, there is much to learn and pop-ups provide the ideal setting for this.  “They [new tenants] need to allow some room to grow. I brought in an expert to teach them about things like ‘share value,’ ‘guarantee’ and ‘limited company,’ and they realised how much they had learned.”

The Kiosk Cooks

Be considerate

When it comes to food pop-ups, make sure you are conscientious about noise, waste and alcohol. Are you opening late in a residential area? Take care not to disturb the locals or upset the council. Have you thought about how much waste you’ll create? Get to grips with the rubbish collection times and keep the space and its exterior clean and tidy. Will you be selling alcohol? Make sure either you or the venue have the appropriate licensing and of course be responsible when it comes to consumption. You can read more on licensing for your pop-up here 

Ask the right questions

This is really important not only for when you pose questions to the landlord but also when you focus on your own goal for the pop-up. Uros explains that it’s crucial to ask yourself questions like “What am I trying to do here? What do I want to get out of this? Where will I be going next?” Elisicia adds that “more serious people ask more serious questions. I can tell who will do well from the questions they ask – these have the higher conversion rate and are the footfall drivers.”

The takeaway here is to set out with clear objectives for your pop-up, which could include driving brand awareness, testing product price-points, experimenting with brand messaging or purely sales. Keep your eye on your initial objectives daily to measure what’s working and what’s not. If you’re hitting targets, how can you do more of what’s working, and if you’re not, why is that? What can you iterate in to drive different results? You could change up the store layout, merchandising, prices, branding, how you interact with customers throughout the buying process, social media and so on – if it’s not working, be bold and make changes, don’t just to more of the same. 

Promote yourself

If you build it, will they come? The space is not in charge of your footfall – you need to drive that yourself, particularly when it comes to ShopShare. You are being given access to an established customer base, but if nobody knows who you are or where you are located then you may miss out on a huge potential audience.

As Elisicia tells us, “the impact of social media is infinite.” She explains that one of the main misconceptions about ShopShare is that customers will magically appear just because you’re there. Brands often don’t make the most of the unbounded (and free) power of social media platforms. “You have to tell people your story; tell them that you are here. Even get out on the street – give out flyers, let people know what you are doing.”

Likewise, Uros emphasises that “it’s not about the shop, it’s about the brand. Have you thought about promoting? What about on your website? At least one post on social media? This is the bare minimum you need to do. Advertise, advertise, advertise.”

The Balham Kitchen

Don’t expect to always make a huge profit

If you are using a pop-up to test a new brand or business concept, don’t expect to always make a huge profit. Remember: this is an experiment. There is no concrete rule for pop-up success – even if you have employed your best visual merchandising techniques, got your sales patter down to a T, and had the most eye-catching marketing campaign out there, you may still not make a high volume of sales the first time around. 

However, making money is not necessarily the best marker of success in this situation, as Uros explains: “sales are not necessarily the most important thing – you may only break even. The planning, execution, and marketing are key. It’s all about learning.”

Learn from the experience

One of the main benefits of a pop-up is the ability to test a concept, measure your progress and learn from the result. Even if sales are low, this does not make your pop-up a failure. Your brand awareness will have increased, so sales may continue beyond the life of your temporary store if people like what you do and go on to search for your products online. Many pop-ups find that the impact on their sales actually happens beyond the pop-up, seeing a 12-25% uplift in online sales after the pop-up which then sustains.

If you learn from the challenges and the things that didn’t go so well, then ultimately the experience will have been a positive one.

Now you know the basics for what to expect for your first pop-up experience, why not find the perfect space on and get the ball rolling.

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Local retailers are now global retailers: 5 reasons to travel your brand

As a brand, your consumers want product mash-ups, retail remixes, and special guest stars. They don’t define themselves as either “online”
 or “offline”. Now you don’t have to either.

With spaces available in the major shopping destinations across the globe, there’s never been a better time to be where your customers are. And where they’re not.

In speaking to our customers and watching how they grow their brands using pop-ups across the globe, there are recurring themes on how and why more businesses are turning to pop-ups. Here are our top 5 reasons to pop-up abroad:

1. Reach new audiences.

New customers are waiting for you in every city – find locations in the world’s top 15 cities in terms of population and purchasing power*. With pop-ups, brands can access new customer bases in new cities easily, and quickly grow their concept by moving and adapting.

In the summer of last year, Danish fashion brand Ganni opened a 6-month store on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch to showcase their AW14 collection. Their simple yet elegant, high quality collection already had a dedicated following back home but they wanted to test the waters in London. Safe to say, their much-coveted Scandinavian aesthetic was a roaring success.

Danish brand Ganni pop-up on Redchurch Street, London.


2. Create a buzz.

Stake your claim as the ‘new brand in town’ and use this to your advantage. By popping up in a new territory, your brand, products and offer will be culturally fresh and exciting to the local demographic. 

When online fast-fashion retailer decided to open its first standalone store, they opted for two weeks in New York, rather than a location in its native UK. Fans of the brand were able to shop them in real life for the first time, and a programme of events and special guests ensured there were queues around the block. When asked why they choose to keep the retail short-term and go international, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder Carol Kane was quoted in WWD as saying “if I talk about our product strategy, it’s of newness.  Why would I open a store when I can open a country?”

boohoo opts for New York first pop-up


3. Try before you buy.

The beauty of a pop-up is that you can test different locations easily – now even further afield. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and try something unusual or expected in a completely new location. Choose somewhere that complements your unique brand and your style, and learn from the response.

Major Italian notebook brand Moleskine, after opening their first stand-alone UK stores in Canary Wharf and Covent Garden last year, decided to launch additional pop-ups in satellite locations. By testing the waters with temporary retail locations the brand was able to evaluate the new consumer market before fully committing to rent further long-term sites.

Screenshot 2015-06-11 19.27.10
Moleskine pop-up at BOXPARK, London


4. Be at every international industry event.

Establish a presence at every fashion week in the world’s capitals; never miss another high profile trade show or festival simply because it’s overseas.

Last November Malaysian designer Pearly Wong booked a Berlin pop-up showroom through We Are Pop Up, for her latest collection of ethical, multi-functional men’s and womenswear. Within a month, she was launching Day 1 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, showing her A/W15 collection to a full-house audience. Pearly Wong now plans to continue building her brand in Berlin as well as expanding to other cities and fashion weeks.

pearly wong
Pearly Wong – from pop-up to Berlin Fashion Week star


5. Launch in new cities cheaper, faster, and easier than ever before.

At We Are Pop Up our mission is bringing down the barriers for taking your brand to the next level. Last summer we got together with Boulevard Berlin to create the ‘From London With Love’ Pop Up Village. Eight exclusive emerging designers from London each took on their own pop-up store to debut in Germany. The brands included Fashion Meets Music, Fourth & Main, JOY, MONOCHROME, Alice’s Pig, Something About Elizabeth, Bwoy-Wonder who showcased their streetwear, vintage and eco-fashion for men and women as well as shoes, accessories and jewellery to a German audience for the first time. 

This month @WeArePopUp took 8 British fashion labels to Berlin. Here's the result. Featuring @AlicesPig @LoucheLondon @Something-About-Elizabeth @FourthAndMain @FashionMeetsMusicPopUp @MonochromeLDN @HymnLondon @FollowTheLegoBrickRoad Find them all on
London-based MONOCHROME took their street-style to Berlin with a pop-up


Whether you’re considering Summer in NYC, Fashion Week in Paris or Christmas in Copenhagen, you can discover and book the latest international spaces on We Are Pop Up here. 


*Source: Centre for Retail Research. World Shopping Capitals 2011 Survey – Which City is the Biggest Shopper? 

Ask the experts – how do I make my pop-up stand out from the crowd?

I’ve just booked my pop-up location and I’m ready to start installing and decorating the space. With lots of competition out there, how can I make my project stand out from the rest?

More and more pop-up retailers are reimagining the way that we browse and buy in order to offer something that is more than ‘just shopping’.  By creating a unique environment within your pop-up – through anything from an innovative floor plan to flamboyant lighting installations – you can create an exciting, memorable experience for your audience.

We spoke to Calypso Rose, Director of The Indytute, Eve Reid, Visual Retail Specialist at Metamorphosis, and Daniel Peters, Founder and Creative Director of BBS Clothing about their expert tips on nailing your visual merchandising, creating a unique in-store experience and ultimately making your pop-up pop.

Grab people’s attention

The first thing that your potential customers will see is the outside of your space from the street. You need to grab their attention as they walk past. Eve recommends that you “think about how you can use your façade and windows creatively to capture your customer’s imagination and focus their attention on your products.”

“Your window display doesn’t need to be a complex set-up,” says Daniel, “but do remember that this is the first interaction that a passer by will have with your brand – it’s the perfect way to encourage them to browse and hopefully make a sale.”

Calypso adds that it’s a great idea to “collaborate with an artist to help with your window. Having a moving element in your shop window really makes people stop and look.” 


Create an atmosphere

Daniel explains that it is important to “take your customers on a journey through the space. You want to make people feel like they’ll find something new on every single pinpoint that you’ve chosen to build.”

But it’s not just about the layout – there’s so much more. Eve advises that “when building a great atmosphere you must consider smells, the music choice and volume, lighting. Even the store’s temperature is key as the customer won’t stay long in somewhere that is too hot or cold.”

For a quick insight into how your audience will experience you pop-up, she suggests that you “place a blindfold over your eyes and walk in your store as a customer – how does it feel and sound?”

Tell your story

It’s all about the story!” Calypso tells us. “From adding snippets about how you started, to your product labelling, to going all out and putting it on a huge sign behind the till. If you’ve had recent press, don’t be shy.  Let people know.” Likewise, if you are curating other labels, “find out the story behind the brands you stock and make sure your staff can re-tell the story.”

Adding to that, Eve explains that “successful brands create a strong visual connection with their customers through a series of visual touch points. It’s about visually conveying what your brand represents and showing your taste, style and personality through the following things:

  • Your choice of colour
  • Your choice of images
  • The way you package things
  • The type of products you choose to sell
  • The way in which you merchandise
  • The type of tickets you use
  • Your choice of props
  • The way you and your team dress

Top tip: check out our previous Ask the Experts post on the best ways to build your brand identity within your shop.

The Dandy Lab, December 2014

Showcase your products well

Dedicate plenty of time to your visual merchandising. Here Calypso breaks down some important things to think about:

1. “Test, test, test. Watch the flow of your customers in your store and don’t be scared to have a big change overnight. Rotating stock is an excellent way of keeping the store looking fresh.”

2. Be clear and don’t clutter. “Anything tucked up high or on a bottom shelf won’t sell – give each piece some space. Make sure your customers can tell in an instant what the product is. Complicated products are hard to sell!”

Daniel agrees – “Try not to litter your space with rails and fixtures that make the space feel cramped, as this may encourage a customer to walk away before even getting through the door.”

Top tip: take a look at our Top 10 inspiring pop-up shop design boards and the great projects on for visual inspiration. Pinterest is an incredible resource for ideas too. 

Make it interactive

Eve suggests that you “think how you can make your merchandising interactive: allow your customers to touch, taste, smell, and play with your product. 92% of sales come from touch. Are there ways in which you can encourage customers to interact with the space? Collect thoughts and feedback.”


If you want to take a leaf out of The Indytute’s book, why not curate an in-store workshop or lesson. Calypso explains that “putting a talk or a workshop into your space brings in a new crowd, encourages collaboration opportunities, gathers data and is fantastic for fresh new content.”

Amazing fact: having a workshop in your window can increase sales by up to 800%!

Be creative & resourceful

You don’t need a huge budget to create your in-store experience. Daniel tells us that “I work with a selection of chosen set designers and builders who are in tune with my vision. We work toward creating a unique shop that is born from an itemised budget that encompasses all of the required fit-out pieces.”

Make the most of friends and other designers by asking them to pitch in – Calypso says “if you have a great space there are always people looking to collaborate – I love the We Are Pop Up ShopSharing idea, its excellent!”

Top tip: visit as many other shops as you can for inspiration. From Liberty and Selfridges to your local independent retailers and pop-ups, ideas and new styles are all around you. 


Indytute logo

From poker to ping pong, baking to biking, The Indytute runs brilliantly inspired lessons of all shapes and sizes. @Indytute

Metamorphosis logo

Metamorphosis is a dedicated Independent Retail Consultancy specialising in visual merchandising, brand delivery and retail performance improvement. @MetamorphosisGr

BBSC logo

BBSC, Best of British Shop Clothing, is a curated home for British menswear, providing a platform for both emerging and established designers. @B_B_S_Clothing



Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

BBSC – a curated home for British menswear design

Daniel Peters is the founder and creative director of Best Of British Shop Clothing, known as BBSC – a retailer of new, emerging and established premium menswear. 

Two and a half years ago Daniel organised his first pop-up in order to gain exposure for some of his friends’ emerging menswear brands. BBSC now operates successfully both online and offline – with six pop-ups under his belt, his seventh is currently underway on 3 D’Arblay Street, Soho, in collaboration with WÅVEN.

We spoke to Daniel about where he turns to for inspiration, his journey with pop-ups, and how BBSC strives to give emerging designers a platform alongside those more established in the constantly evolving world of menswear.

How do you find yourself here today and what was your motivation behind the brand?

I guess the starting point was choosing to do a pop-up to support some emerging menswear friends who I could see weren’t being given enough opportunities in a sales capacity in the UK. So I thought why not start a conversation with the customer for them? The first pop-up was supposed to be the only one, but that has subsequently turned into six in two and a bit years. It’s quite a fun place to be and has now turned into a business that actually turns over some profit.

Here at We Are Pop Up we are also passionate about supporting new and emerging brands as well as those that are more established. Why is it important to you to provide a platform for menswear labels that haven’t already made their mark on the industry?

I’m super passionate about fashion as it is, but I think menswear is something that’s evolving and turning into its own beast. It’s great to see and support, and also to encourage that growth if I can in some way by working with emerging designers. I try and give them a platform and pair them alongside both new and established brands such as Aquascutum or a brand like Lou Dalton who do runway shows. Everyone needs to be mixed together in that way.

As BBSC aims to showcase British designed and, where possible, manufactured menswear, are there any aspects of the British industry you look to for inspiration? What other British stores and brands do you admire?

I generally find inspiration in art for the most part. I think we have such a thriving art scene in the UK with a lot of great talents who are up-and-coming. Also visiting somewhere like Tate Modern is interesting, especially when you compare it to Tate Britain. They are so different but such beautiful spaces to be in and feel some kind of energy from which you can then build into something.

Looking at some great British retailers, Liberty is a store that everybody should look at, if not to buy something then just to have a wander round. You can get lost inside – it’s one of the best department stores in the world.

With brands I look at what Burberry has done and how they have championed being British as an amazing thing. They’ve sold the idea of being British to the international market. They package that very well, from the products down to the people that they engage with or work with, right the way through to how everything is so meticulously planned and executed.

Seeing as you offer your curated selection of menswear products from London-based pop-up shops, is there a particular area of London that inspires you?

With London you can walk through a street anywhere and there’s so much to see just from looking at the architecture. We’ve got such great buildings here, so when somebody asks me “what should I do in London?” I generally say just walk the streets, but make sure to look up. Often we only look at eye level, so the moment you look up and see something on top of a building that you weren’t expecting, it can change your perception about things both spatially and visually.

Your ShopShare with Dandy Lab in Covent Garden was such a success that it featured in GQ Magazine’s top 4 menswear pop-ups for the festive season – what were your highlights and why was ShopShare the right choice for you?

ShopShare is great because it allows you to collaborate and do things that you might not have been able to do on your own. You always hope that your ideas are as good as they can be, but pairing them with someone else’s vision and identity can offer you a much stronger package for the customer to react to and engage with. It’s like they say, sometimes two is better than one.

For me that shop was a highlight of mine in terms of my career – being given the nod from somewhere like GQ makes you feel as if your hard work is paying off. I didn’t get that at the beginning, so it gave me something to work towards. Looking at the shop and at customers’ reactions to the space, it was great to have my visual merchandising come into play. For people to interact with it the way I wanted them to and for customers to actually comment before they would leave the shop on how great the space was was a nice feeling.

What has been your biggest challenge with BBSC and what did you learn from it?

There have been many difficult challenges! My first pop-up shop was pants, but it was a learning curve. I see all of my pop-up experiences as learning curves. How I refine my aesthetic for building my ideal brand is not going to be perfect every single time, which I actually think is great because it gives me something to adapt to and develop.

Also, you never know if customers are going to walk through the door. How are you going to encourage them to attend? That’s always a challenge. It comes through visual merchandising and marketing as well as product selection and believing in the brand that you are building.

What was the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

It’s a case of sticking true to your guns but also being able to take on board constructive criticism. You’re not always going to be right. I’d like to think I am, but I’m not. So if I can take on board somebody’s feedback and engage with my brand in a better way then that’s perfect.

‘Always think customer’ is one of the biggest things I can say that I learned from being on the shop floor at H&M and which I carry through to what I do now. I think of who I’m selling to, what do they want, how do they engage with it and so on.

What can we expect from BBSC next?

Big things! I’m in the process of repackaging and relaunching the concept from Autumn/Winter15 to really deliver what my true brand identity is. We’re going to have a really great compact selection of brands, with a really focused, edited collection. I’m looking at doing international pop-up shops and seeing whether there’s a ShopShare element in that in order to talk to an international audience. Maybe even the Americas and parts of Asia.

You can visit Daniel’s latest pop-up on 3 D’Arblay Street, Soho, in collaboration with WÅVEN. Open until Wednesday 10th June 2015.

As part of our Ask the experts panel we got the lowdown from Daniel of his top tips on transitioning your brand from online to offline. Why not take a look here.

Find BBSC on Twitter / FacebookInstagram

Ask the experts – how do I staff my pop up?

I’ve booked a space for my pop up and I’m starting to think about launching, but I don’t know how I should staff the shop. What’s your advice for hiring a team and what are the main things I should be thinking about?

Trying to choose how or who to hire can seem like a difficult task – especially if this is your first experience of taking over a physical retail space. We turned to the experts and asked Karli Dendy, Captain of the Brighton Etsy Team and Co-founder of Designosaur, Carina Filek, Director of Elevate Staffing, and Angela Millar, Retail Managing Consultant at Four Seasons Recruitment, for their insider tips on how to staff your pop up.


First things first, Karli suggests the following handy checklist to get the ball rolling:

How many keys do you have?
Will you alternate who opens and closes the shop?
How will you hand over the keys?
How busy will your shop be?
How big is your shop?
If your shop has multiple floors you are going to need one member of staff per floor (at least!)
Will you need one, two or maybe more people manning your shop at one time?
Weekends will be busier, you may need more staff.
Are there any local events which will increase or reduce your footfall?
Will you give lunch breaks or will you have shifts that are shorter?
Who will cover the lunch break?
Don’t forget your staff can’t come when the customers arrive and leave when the doors close, so plan preparation and cleaning times before and after opening times.

Angela adds that “your level of involvement day to day with your pop up will define what level of candidates you require.” Think about hiring a manager if you aren’t going to be in the shop every day and consider what level or interactive experience you want to create for your customer. “The level of service you would like to deliver will have an impact on how many people you hire.”

You also need to consider the size of the space. As Carina explains: “Don’t overfill small spaces with too many staff. It would be better to have less staff covering multiple points rather than overcrowding an area. Similarly, don’t skimp on staffing!” Make sure the team has enough support between them to encourage engagement with customers.


When the Brighton Etsy Team popped up over the Christmas period last year, their shop was made up of a collective of 25 designer makers – “some already had full time jobs, and could only work weekends, others were mums who could work in the daytime but needed to leave to make the school run. Some people would prefer to come in once for a long shift, whereas others would find it easier to come in for a few short shifts.” Don’t worry – it is possible to plan around complicated schedules like this! Karli recommends using a scheduling site like Doodle which does all the hard work for you.


Whether you design and make your own pieces or curate others within your store, you are essentially the embodiment of your brand. To make sure that your staff represent it as well as you do, make sure you have a serious training session before the launch. Show your products to the team and get them to read up on the brand story on your website.

Karli recommends that “if you don’t have an online resource, get each maker [or brand] to create an article about themselves and their products to include in a big “fact file” which can be left in the shop to help with swatting up.” Carina adds that “face to face, hands-on and brand immersion training really is invaluable and provides strong results. This allows staff to provide a brand advocacy that a digital briefing document can’t deliver by itself.”

Think about your target audience. Angela tells us that “your team should be brand relevant and relatable to your customer.” Carina also emphasises that “having staff that share the brand and concept passions will allow for a more organic engagement, resulting in memorable consumer moments.”

The strength of your brand identity is also important. If there is an interesting story behind the concept, your team are more likely to be able to convey it to customers. Angela adds that “the more passionate they are about your brand the more they will sell it on – only hire people that are naturally excited about what you are trying to do!”

Final tips

Angela recommends that anything you can do to make your staff feel empowered and positive will yield good results all round: “what else can you do for your team that will make them love working for you? A high energy, fun work place can be appealing and a strong reward scheme works well.”

Finally, Carina explains that “honest and engaging staffing results in increased brand perception in the hearts of your most valuable customers, and an experience they wish to share with their peers.” Ultimately, don’t forget about staffing! It can often be overlooked, but “having proactive, engaging, passionate and on-brand staff can be a real asset to a pop up.”



The Brighton Etsy Team are a friendly, supportive, location-based team of over 700 Etsy sellers based in Brighton and East Sussex. Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Elevate Staffing specialise in delivering innovative bespoke staffing solutions for live events and brands in the UK and US. FacebookTwitter

Four Seasons Recruitment is a market leader in luxury retail and fashion recruitment, established for over 30 years. FacebookTwitter


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Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

Nellie Atelier – paving the way as a platform for new brands

Having already played host to four pop-up fashion brands and with plenty more in the pipeline, Nellie Atelier is redrawing the template for using retail space in a way that reflects the needs of today’s emerging designers.

Nellie Atelier is a unique fashion boutique located on London’s beautiful Kensington Park Road. The owners pride themselves in selecting exciting, ready to wear fashion collections from talented brands and designers, all chosen for their quality and craftmanship.

Whether created by an emerging designer or an established family manufacturer with a seasoned heritage, every single garment that they stock has a story to tell. We Are Pop Up spoke to one half of the shop’s husband and wife director team, Uros Pecek, about how these unique stories emerge, and how Nellie Atelier is dedicated to nurturing new independent retailers through We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare.

What it’s all about

Originally from Slovenia, Uros was previously involved with trading UK brands’ excess stock to fashion companies in his home country. He soon realised that rather than transferring from large markets to smaller ones, the ideal formula would be to provide the opportunity for smaller brands to access more established markets – like the UK. “With Nellie Atelier we wanted to introduce foreign brands to the market over here that have all the right attributes to succeed, but have not yet established themselves – particularly in London.”

Uros explains that with ShopShare, they have been able to put this ambition directly into place: “it is such an advantage for brands – it’s incredible. Whether your brand is Czech, Polish, Portuguese, or Mexican, you can test the market in the UK. Even if you have to pay hundreds of pounds, that price is still peanuts in comparison to the amount you would pay for the lease of a shop in London. Back in Slovenia, you can have a shop in 3 locations in the capital city and it takes 15 minutes to go to all of them. That’s not the case here.” This is where Nellie comes in – “all of the brands we take on gain experience here. We want to help them open their own shop.”


Why ShopShare

Speaking of when their boutique was still a fledgling concept, Uros says that “back when we were starting out in London, if pop-ups and ShopShare had existed, we would have definitely gone down that route. We could have tested the different brands we had in mind, and then decided which to bring to the UK market. It was a matter of learning, experiencing, interacting, and deciding how and where to invest. Now we know exactly what to do, so we want to give other brands that opportunity.”

ShopShare has been the ideal way for new, less experienced brands to test the waters with their products and begin the process of establishing and developing the scope of their business. “We wanted to create a platform for that ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5’ step formula.” So far the boutique has played host to Beste Bragg Haute Couture, 1P87, Georgieva Sisters, and Avenue 34.

One example Uros gives is of a European handbag brand in store. “Her original designs used a logo with a Croatian word on it, which wasn’t so well received by customers. She designed an alternative logo, now with her brand name, and has been more successful since.” This is a great example of how the boutique is striving to provide an environment for the important process of testing, measuring and learning for new brands.

Going the extra mile

At Nellie Atelier they don’t just offer a rail to hang your clothes; they want to help you do well – “we don’t want to see something that’s not working.” Uros explains that for one brand, the coming months will involve consulting with her to phase out the stock that isn’t working in order to find what sells best and identify her signature pieces. “You can start with with selling what you like, but the public may not feel the same. You can continue this long search, or you can go with something more focused that grabs attention. When this sells, you produce more.” This mentoring approach demonstrates just how much support the brands receive – something invaluable in the constantly changing world of retail. “Always be prepared to do a 180° turn. Especially in fashion.”


The brand experience

Nellie Atelier’s directors create a rich retail environment for new businesses where the world really is their oyster. Uros tells us that “coming to ShopShare, brands get the bonus of having ready-made logistics and the shop’s client base.” However, this doesn’t guarantee success, as it is definitely a steep learning curve. “Brands must learn how to plan things out, and think about absolutely everything. Like how to promote – it’s not about the shop, it’s about your brand. It all comes down to the brand experience.”

In the boutique they take care to prompt each designer for information about the items they stock, so they can do as much as possible to support each individual story. “We ask them to tell us about their brand so that we have the right knowledge to talk about their products with customers, especially when it comes to the point of trial. For example, the background and the fabric, or special information like any relations to charities or celebrities… If it’s made to measure, they need to tell us about the process, the consultation and the alteration.” Uros emphasises this point as a crucial piece of advice: “prepare as much as you can about your brand story. You need to make it exciting and interesting.”


Talking about the website, Uros tells us that “before we found We Are Pop Up, we promoted directly to a lot of brands and got great feedback. But now with the We Are Pop Up platform everything is easier; I can offload everything onto this service that is constantly working for me, promoting me and pushing up my reputation.”

In terms of the future of ShopShare with Nellie Atelier, the boutique are looking to expand to more destinations around London. “With new shop locations, brands can test out different areas. For example we have a hat designer – here in this more affluent area the products are in demand for Ascot, teas, and formal events. If the brand moved to Shoreditch it would be approaching a completely different market. The targeting changes. Maybe they will be successful in a different way as a ‘quirky’ item to wear when you go for coffee. A brand could try something like this for one week to see the response and go from there.”


Learn, learn, and learn some more

When it comes to the outcome of a ShopShare experience, Uros explains they have found with many of the brands that “sales are not necessarily the most important thing – you may only break even. Getting to know your planning, execution, and marketing is key. It’s all about learning.”

In contrast, “established brands may be better prepared when it comes to selling, but sometimes they can’t get out of the ‘stockist mode’ – they don’t care about selling to the consumer because they have already made their money selling their stock to the shop.” The passion of new designers, paired with the boutique’s willingness to mentor and educate, is what makes Nellie Atelier and ShopShare such a perfect match.

Seeing these people starting out in the industry, Uros tells us that “it is a very interesting experience with the brands coming through the door. Many have found us through We Are Pop Up – it’s a constant stream. Canadian, Lithuanian, Portuguese…these are just those brands stepping out onto the street, and I give them big credit for that, putting themselves out there.”

Ultimately, Uros sees ShopShare as a stepping stone. “You need to focus. Ask yourself questions: what am I trying to do here? Where am I going next? You can test a brand, help it grow, and it can eventually grow out of ShopShare right into its own shop.”


Why not start your own ShopShare now and make contact with Uros here>>

Nellie Atelier
196 Kensington Park Road
London, W11 2ES

Find Nellie Atelier here: WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Ask the experts – how can I make the most of Twitter for my pop up?

I have a Twitter account for my brand but I’m not sure of the best way to use it for my pop-up, especially to get the word out and drive customers and sales. How can I make the most of it as a marketing channel? 

Twitter is an easy, effective and immediate way of getting the message out about your brand. It is also a useful storytelling channel for building content, encouraging conversation with your customers and providing exclusive insights into what your event is all about. By using Twitter in the right way not only can you achieve high levels of engagement with your pop-up concept, but also help drive high attendance and sales. We spoke to some industry experts on their recommendations for how to maximise the platform’s potential.

Talk in real time

Georgina Parnell, Lead Account Executive at Twitter (@parns), is a strong advocate for the immediacy of the channel: “The beauty of Twitter is it gives brands the ability to share exclusive content in real time.” It is one of the most powerful platforms in terms of connecting with your customer – the ‘memory encoding’, or engagement, is stronger on Twitter above any other platform, thanks to the power of favourites and retweets.

This is why it’s so important that you prompt engagement, rather than simply post information about your pop-up. Brevity is key, but it is still possible to create attractive, engaging content. “The competition for attention takes place now on someone’s notification screen,” so in order to connect to the consumer, post images and updates in real time to engage your audience right from the word go.

Think in hashtags

Develop a strong hashtag strategy. A hashtag not only centralises and encourages conversation, but also compels an action – it conveys a strong message that can drive people’s involvement with a campaign. David Wilding, Head of Planning Twitter UK (@drwilding), explains that “as well as being an excellent summary of an idea when a campaign goes live, hashtag thinking – asking “what’s our hashtag?” regularly throughout the planning and creative process – can help to create better ideas.” 

Express your pop-up idea as a hashtag from the start of your planning to shortcut and simplify your thinking process. Create hashtags for your followers so they can easily share your news. Use the engagement rate as a way of tracking your campaign’s success, in order to analyse your strategy and build on what works and what doesn’t.

Tell stories

Justin Cooke, Founder and CEO of Tunepics (@JC7777), started his career in fashion and helped create ‘Art of the Trench’ at Burberry, one of the most successful social media campaigns in modern fashion history. He tells us that the magic of fashion is in the entertainment: “you should be selling a dream. If you’re not selling a dream you’re not selling anything.”

The same goes for pop-ups. Invite your audience into the world of your event – make them feel part of the process by uploading teaser pictures up until the launch; create exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ insights with inventive gifs; put together short time-lapse videos to pack as much information as possible in a few seconds.

Even when your pop-up has finished, continue to involve your customers. Share their images, tweets and messages on Twitter. As Georgina Parnell explains, “platforms are now an extension of your emotions and feelings,” so make sure you stay in the mind of your audience even after the door closes.

Reach out to Influencers

Make use of the established networks of important people in the industry and don’t be afraid to message, tweet and tag relevant brands and media figures in fun tweets to get your message out. Aim high and think outside your closest usual following of friends and family – it’s important to overcome any aspects of marketing your pop-up that you’re scared of, embrace fear and welcome risk. If you follow the norm, you’ll never create anything different, and after all isn’t that what pop-ups are all about?


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