Hello Sunday and a warm welcome to Spring, finally. Spent an amazing morning at my favourite Sunday place of ritual, Columbia Road Flower market – which was bustling with buyers vying for the best of Spring blooms. Bliss. It’s been a busy week at the BlackDot studio – I have just received an incredible collection of West African art and sculpture, which I have been sorting through so that it can be online and up for grabs towards the end of this month. Plus the heavenly task of researching for the upcoming Salone in Milan. I leave on Wednesday for the World’s greatest Design Fair – watch for daily posts as I encounter the best design in the business. Inspiration explosion for sure.
This leads me to a topic very close to my heart, the PopUP Shop – many of which I am sure to see in Milan. In pursuit of new PopUP news I spent a chilly Tuesday evening recently warm and indoors at the Protein headquarters exploring “The Future of Retail”….a thrifty and fabulous £5 spent rubbing shoulders with innovators in the industry – all who are setting new standards across on and off-line shopping. Of course I was all ears on the evolution of retail in this digital age. Speakers on the night included Steve Callanan, CEO of wireWAX, Vincent Thome, co-founder of Nuji, Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition and Philip Handford, founder of retail design agency Campaign – who I was most excited about to hear speak, as he creates compelling and relevant retail spaces and PopUPs for some of the world’s most recognised brands.
Philip defines the narrative behind the brands he works with creating PopUPs and events that bring in-store and online together in experiential and flexible spaces that drive sales elsewhere. PopUPs or “brand theatres” are adverts, a place where you can experience a brand, a social hangout store that is as exciting as it is specific. Enter exuberant visual merchandising and styling, artist installations, customisation stations, workshops and discussions, live acts of creativity and killer collaborations. This retail language is a trend that will continue, but becoming more tailored to a specific and highly local audience often in multi-disciplinary spaces that will serve both your style and community needs. “HYPERLOCAL” is how the professionals phrase it, Patternity’s current Cultural Festival of Pattern Exploration – PATTERN POWER is the perfect example of it in the flesh as was the Nike Boulevard Ice Pop-UP. More than ever the PopUP has a purpose, as online and bricks and mortar businesses creatively compete for the attention and hard-earned cash of savvy consumers worldwide. Try before you buy is now more than ever before?
The initial reason behind this post was to upload photos from my first London PopUPshop in 2008 entitled “A Dark Winter’s Tale”, as it seemed a bit bonkers to have not yet blogged about my PopUP persuasion. This collaboration with the truly talented Rachelle Dendle of After the Apple celebrated artists, African and Moroccan artisans and designers from around the world plus a foray with gourmet food producers and with 5% of profits being given to Kids Company. This global mix is what continues to inspire me in my business and blogging pursuits still, always will. Hope you enjoy the photos? Our curated and colour coordinated (of course) product and merchandising still look great four years after the fact.
P. S. An interesting statistic from “The Future of Retail” forum was that 62% of punters surveyed were inspired to buy product after seeing it on social media sites, which is all the more reason to get busy on Pinterest and Instagram peoples… the latter I am totally addicted to and have had great success selling product through too. Have a great week. I look forward to reporting to you from Milan. xx
Photos by Simon Crerar with thanks. x