Best Hackney Business 2016

We Are Pop Up scoops Best Hackney Business Award 2016

The We Are Pop Up team were delighted to win the award for Best Business 2016 at the Mayor of Hackney’s Business Awards last night.

The winner of each award category was selected by a panel of leading business figures, headed up by the Mayor of Hackney himself, Jules Pipe. Rather fittingly, the Awards bash took place at the Borough’s own versatile pop up space and long-standing We Are Pop Up customer, BL-NK.

“The awards help to showcase the extraordinary work of the local business community, rewarding those who contribute most to the life and prosperity of the borough’s economy.”

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney

The award recognised We Are Pop Up’s outstanding contribution to the Borough, but we couldn’t have done it without the innovation and creativity of local Hackney businesses. Our very first customers were based in Hackney and since then, we’ve all been growing together, to pioneer the future of creative retail.

“This award means a lot to us. We Are Pop Up started with a few brands and shops in Hackney in 2014. Hackney is one of London creative and entrepreneurial epicentres, and our early – and current – customers reflect that spirit and drive. Today, we have offices in London and New York, and we’ve moved customers between 22 countries around the world. Hackney remains one of our most sought-after destinations, and we’re proud to be a Hackney business through and through.”

Nicholas Russell, Founder and CEO of We Are Pop Up

Since we first launched the world’s first fully automated real estate transaction, customers from 22 countries have used the service to book over 42 years of pop up space. In Hackney Borough alone we’re trusted by over 250 retail and hospitality spaces, and we’re only just getting started.

The pop up events and retail experiences that brands and spaces create using the We Are Pop Up platform are helping Hackney’s retail and service economy, and keeping it firmly on the map as a destination. Brands that We Are Pop Up has matched with retail spaces across Hackney include Secret Cinema, Edwin Jeans, Playn Eyewear, and Blend & Press amongst others.

Emma Wood, Founder of Blend & Press

And boutique owners from Stoke Newington to Shoreditch have embraced ShopShare, using the We Are Pop Up platform to book brands into their spaces and collaborate with each other.

We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare is helping to shore up the high street by supporting independent retailers to make money from their retail space. Our mission is to help independent retail thrive by thinking differently about the possibilities of space. In talking to our users we realised that we could do more to help smaller brands that wanted to test concepts in the market without committing to rent an entire shop.

That’s why we launched ShopShare in the first place. It’s an opportunity for shops to rent out part of their floorspace, from a rail, a table, a shelf or a concession, or even the whole shop.



As any discerning culture vulture knows, pop ups are synonymous with culture, entrepreneurship and the arts. The We Are Pop Up site is the destination for creative retail which encompasses everything from fashion and accessories to pop up cinema, food, art and design. The brands using our site to book spaces are keeping Hackney’s cultural diary very busy with their events and pop up launches. From Secret Cinema to a ‘pop up coin op’ gaming studio in Clapton, to a Porridge Café in Hoxton, there’s always something new being added to the Borough’s cultural diary.

Right now, pop ups in the Borough include:

Facebar London at Butchers Hair Salon – a professional makeup bar in a creative hair salon on Hackney Road offering the services of experienced fashion industry makeup artists at much more accessible prices.

Nicola Fiveash, Founder of Facebar London

The Joinery at Showroom Shoreditch – an organic and ethically mindful fashion brand based in Cape Town, South Africa collaborating with a concept store and designer showroom to bring products direct from townships in Africa to the hands of Hackney fashionistas.

“Our garments and leather accessories are produced by hand out of local townships in Cape Town by local women’s sewing co-operatives. We started The Joinery to provide an alternative to the way apparel and accessories are produced. We absolutely love We are Pop up! It has been super beneficial for us.”

Natalie and Kim, Founders of The Joinery.

Sisters Natalie and Kim, founders of The Joinery
Sisters Natalie and Kim, Founders of The Joinery

We were very pleased to hear that the Best Hackney Business Award also recognises the company’s environmental work in the Borough. We Are Pop Up’s Founding CEO, Nicholas Russell, is from a sustainability background and the business today remains true to his original vision to ‘recycle’ property, sourcing latent supply of space and making it available to book easily online. For example, we heard from Rio Cinema that the venue had a disused basement. Using We Are Pop Up, they were able to connect directly with Monograph London, a sushi supperclub brand which has now used the space for a full series of events. An under-utilised public space. A brand thirsty for a unique venue. We Are Pop Up helps creative retailers to make unexpected connections like this daily – there are no barriers and few boundaries.


To all our early-adopters, supporters and pop up entrepreneurs across the borough of Hackney and beyond – this award is all of ours. To you, we raise a glass and toast to pioneering the future of creative retail.


If you’re a Hackney-based business and you’d like to list your space or shop with We Are Pop Up then we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re a brand looking to find space and meet other brands then we’d love to hear from you too.