If you have been following me you will know that I have always been passionate not just about making my own designs, but also finding and collaborating with others who share my love of all things handmade. As a young designer-maker I know firsthand that it is very hard to break into the industry, and then even harder still to stay afloat. So I often wondered to myself, 'how great would it be if I could have my own shop where I can showcase and sell my work alongside other independent designer-makers?'
Around Christmas time last year I decided that I would set out to do just that and that I will not stop until it became reality. I thought I would start with a pop-up, since I've done a few of those before successfully. I already knew a lot of other designers and makers who would be interested in getting involved, so I felt like I already had the goods to bring to the table.
The challenge then was to find a venue for the goods. I needed somewhere that's cool, in a great location, and won't cost an arm and leg... all within a few months' time. Right... to be honest looking back I would think I was crazy too. London is expensive, and even when you finally find somewhere that fits within your budget, they may not want you using their unit. The quick and temporary nature of pop-up shops also make it harder to pin down estate agents unless you happen to get them at the right time with the right offer!
But I guess I wasn't too crazy, or maybe I was insanely lucky, because with some help from my amazing PR ladies at Paper PR, I was able to secure a beautiful little shop unit in Carnaby Street's Newburgh Quarter! We also contacted my favourite lifestyle magazine, Oh Comely, about getting them involved and they were really excited to get on board as our media sponsor to help spread the word about our little pop-up. Between us all we managed to curate a program of weekly events covering DIY jewellery, leather-working and screen printing classes to further promote the spirit of handmade.
So I'm now thrilled (exhausted, much poorer than usual, and really anxious, but thrilled all the same!!) to announce that WORK-SHOP will open tomorrow to the public with a launch party from 6pm.
I hope to see you there!
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