Glassworks Studios is breaking all the retail rules

Glassworks was born from the idea to create a fashion destination for modern women. They offered up both of their retail shops as a ShopShare – one in the heart of Shoreditch and the other in Dalston – to work with other collaborators who share and fit the brand vision. They have now hosted over 12 fashion and accessories ShopShare pop ups, from the likes of Be-Snazzy, Urbiana and Suite Hazen.

We caught up with Irena Gordon and Lauren Lewis, Director of Glassworks Studios about their experience so far and why hosting a pop up works for them.

It offers something new

Hosting a pop up works well for a new brand as well as the space. It introduces new brands and concepts and at the same time, it creates buzz for the store itself. “It injects a sense of excitement and change, which customers really react well to. We learn from every brand that is in store and it can be the start of a longer partnership”.

Collaborating with new brands also helped Glassworks get to know their own customer base. “We learned more about our customers. What they like, or what they don’t like. How much they are willing to spend and adapt to changes in the store.”

Every project is different

With ShopShare, Glassworks are able to host several brands at one time. Since “every project is different”, according to Irena, “it can be completely different to the way you are used to working but it’s a great way to adapt and learn. You learn as time goes on exactly what type of collaborations work and what doesn’t. It’s also a great way to introduce new customers to the store and see a real mix of clientele.”

“We use the We Are Pop Up platform to find new brands to partner with in our London stores. It is simple to use and has introduced us to great brand partners.”

Keeping an open mind to the type of collaborations is also essential to getting the most out of the pop up experience both for landlords and tenants. Irena notes, “The best collaborations are ones that feel fitting for the brand and store integrally, even if it’s a concept that’s never been tried before.” Glassworks keeps an open mind when choosing who to work with, “anything from clothing to coffee and juice brands.”


Be true to your own brand

The Glassworks team have some invaluable insights about ShopShare:

“While seeking out new experiences may be exciting, it’s also important to stay true to your own brand when collaborating with others. Ask yourself the following questions:
• Does it feel right or your store?
• Would your customers appreciate their presences?
• Is there scope for future projects?”

Irena’s take-home advice is to “never do anything that feels out of your comfort zone. It’s a reflection on your brand too.”

As for brands that wish to rent out a space, it’s always important to speak to the landlord about your ideas and vision for your pop up. “Be open to alternative ways of working and conditions. The landlord will always try to accommodate requests, but be respectful of what is actually possible. It’s a journey for you both.”

Glassworks Shoreditch is located at 190 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU.
Glassworks Dalston is located at 78 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB.

If you’re interested in booking your next pop up with Glassworks, click here for more information and to get started.

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A Different Take on Portraits: Parallax in London

New York-based photographer, Ricky Chapman, is in London from 6 to 9 November to launch the follow up to his portrait series, Parallax. Comprised of just two shots per subject with no retakes or retouching except for contrast, it’s a way to capture people as well showcase photography as a medium and process. We had a quick chat with Ricky on his how this project came about.


What was the inspiration for this project?

It was half a challenge for myself and a bit of a front to the industry. I had done a ton of commercial work such as portraiture for school and other people. There was something about it that was making me crazy and I needed to do something that was for myself. In New York, I have this great group of people that I care about and I wanted to start photographing them.

At the same time, I was really frustrated in the way the photo industry works nowadays with everything that’s so quick quick quick. Everything is digital and people don’t really understand the craft.

I said, “I’m going to take two photos. I wanted to do something that had a common thread.” You have a front-on portrait and I wanted to give another aspect of each person. But the actual each set, there’s only 2 photographs taken. If I make a mistake, there’s only two recorded and kept. There’s no retouching and it is as it is.

Why did you choose London as the follow up from your first series in New York?

That would go back to George. She was kind of the inspiration to do this here in London. She was living here in London and I was living in New York. It was a way for me to put myself here for a longer period of time and to give her time.


You were able to fund this project through Kickstarter. How was that experience for you?

It definitely raised the money that was needed to get here and it took care of aspects such as shooting, travel, post-production and the show. I was glad to do it because aside from raising the money, it was able to get the project out in front of people before it even started. It was nice.

Seeing those people who supported your campaign, even if it was just $5, come out in person and see your work is meaningful. Knowing that they can now see this thing that they were a part of and that it wasn’t something that stayed online. It’s cool to see something online but to be able to stand in front of something physically and look at it; it’s a different experience.

What’s next for Parallax or any upcoming projects?

I’d like to take the next series to a place I’ve never gone before or somewhere I don’t speak the language. Maybe someplace like Moscow or some place in Brazil. Also maybe looking into starting a whole new project, something with colour, maybe.


Ricky’s book will be available for sale. Orders of portraits and posters are also available.

Connect with Ricky:

Ricky Chapman Photography

Visit the Parallax: London exhibition at 70 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NA.
Open from 6 to 9 November from 10 am to 6 pm.

To have your next pop up at this location, click here for more information.

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Cool brands keep each other warm this winter

Frame’s dance, fitness and holistic studios are right smack-bang in the middle of “the greatest two little suburbs in the entire world – Shoreditch and Queen’s Park.” So with such established locations, we were intrigued to find out what compelled Frame to pop up at other venues through their new pop up series ‘Frame on the Move’.

Frame on the Move will see Frame classes popping up at various locations around London and nationwide, ranging from rooftops to nightclubs, to churches and even clothes stores, creating incredible one-off experiences on top of a damn good work out!

Each Frame on the Move experience will be full of suprises, from tea on arrival or post-workout make-overs, live djs to green juices.

We Are Pop Up caught up with Frame’s co-founder Pip Black, to understand what a collaboration with another brand can bring to a pop up project.

We love the Frame Studio, why take Frame on the Move?

Frame on the move aims to create unique experiences to convince the population that ‘exercise’ doesn’t need to sit out on it’s own limb, but is actually just part of your overall lifestyle, and can link in with food, music, cocktails, movies and other pastimes we love.

A secondary aim is to take Frame out to locations that suit people who don’t live near one of our permanent sites. Most of our ‘MOVING’ is set to happen in January, when health and fitness is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop going to our favourite restaurants and bars… lets work out in them instead!

Frame on the Move yoga on Boundary Rooftop was beautiful this morning. We Are Pop Up certainly enjoyed it, but what does a collaboration like that bring to your brand?

The collaboration with Boundary Rooftop came about due to us wanting a zen rooftop space with views to showcase our wonderful yoga teachers, and the Boundary wanting to promote their new ‘glass box’ allowing for rooftop events and drinks all year round. I couldn’t think of a better place to do a yoga class, and the Boundary staff have been incredible helpful and positive about the idea… (nothing to do with the amount of stretchy ladies on the roof!) It works so well because the time we want to use the space, the rooftop was currently not being used… so it’s not affecting their normal operations.

As the Boundary is such a unique and classy venue, it brings really positive connotations to the Frame brand, adding a hint of luxury to what we do!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of popping up in partnership with another brand?

Make sure the brands ‘fit’ – nothing worse than working with a brand that’s trying to talk to a different demograph. Also make sure both sides are working equally on the project. I’ve found myself in a few situations in the past where i step back and realise Frame is providing everything… venue / staff / marketing / database… and the other brand is basically just taking the piss, sitting back and doing nothing!

What brand partnerships have worked well?

We did a big collaboration with Sweaty Betty, with FRAME RAVE in September!

And any forthcoming exciting brand partnerships you can share with us?

We are planning some really exciting things with Nike for January, alongside working with Paradise by way of Kensal Green, Casa Negra and The Hoxton.

To book Frame on the Move, see here

To pop up in Frame’s Shoreditch or Queen’s Park studio, see here.

CouCo’s pop-up shop – The creative concept company behind PLAYN Eyewear


Meet CouCo- our new creative concept company:

CouCo: Introducing sustainable boutique brands and a variety of products all of which are handmade and new to the UK. Co-Founded by cousins Lisa and Tess.


 “What’s special about CouCo is our hands on approach in selecting the brands we bring on board. We make a point of meeting the makers in person and on location to confirm that we share the same values and principles. This is the only way we can vouch for the products and all that they stand for.” Tess, CouCo Co-founder

CouCo proudly presents: PLAYN– maker of eco-friendly, handcrafted, designer eyewear in collaboration with CM AOX, creators of revolutionary gadget and fashion accessories, which are produced and hand finished in London.

After three successful pop-up shops in East London, including the running of the “smallest shop in the world” they have returned to Boxpark this time for a six-week pop-up shop!


We would now like to share and celebrate the success we have had in the past months and would like to cordially invite you:

Join us for drinks and music by Bailey Intabeats on Thursday 14th Nov 6pm-9pm PLAYN Eyewear at Boxpark Unit 17, Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY


If you can’t make Thursday, no problem come by another day, we will be there till Sunday 24th November!

Lisa & Tess

We interviewed Couco last summer about their pop-up journey.

Read about their adventures in short-term space »

UCL’s Pop Up Shop LAUNCHBOX says ‘goodbye’ at BOXPARK Shoreditch

The journey of UCL Launch Box at Boxpark Shoreditch has been one of great successes!

We would love to share the story with you one last time and bid farewell to the incredible innovations that have sped through the pop up shop over the past 6 months. Please join us on the evening of Thursday, November 14th!

RSVP here for a spot: