Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rebejoo is popping up all over

I've wanted to try running a pop-up shop for a while now - that is, a temporary shop in otherwise empty premises, or spare space in existing premises - so was dead chuffed when the opportunity arose to use part of the Art House cafe/gallery in Southampton last weekend. The venue has handy window-bays - small spaces, but enough to display my jewellery in a more shop-like setting than a stall at a fair.

Rebejoo pop-up shop - open for business!
I was there Friday evening and Sat/Sun afternoons which gave an interesting insight into the effort involved in running even a small temporary shop, and produced some thoughts about what worked more or less well - especially as this was a trial run for both me and the venue. Overall, it was worth doing, both financially (sales, yay - plus a couple of commissions) and as a developing crafter. It showed that the evenings might not be so good as afternoons and lunchtimes with people becoming more interested in entertainment and less in shopping. It's hard to draw firm conclusions from one attempt but that was the feel this time.

Wares on display
Also, profile-raising is key - having not tried running a shop before, I have no shop window display and hence it was difficult for passers-by to see I was there. This will be amended during future attempts, even if it involves a sandwich board and fliers! Also, the venue attracts many arts-and-crafts people, so not everyone realised I was selling (!) until I went round the cafe with fliers. That I didn't expect, but it's all good experience and once potential customers found their way to my shop, a fair percentage bought something - more yay.

So, will I do it again? Yes, definitely. Will I change how I do it? Again, definitely - fewer but more targeted hours, better advertising/profile-raising, but otherwise much the same approach.

The sombrero of shiny bargains - please feel free to rummage and haggle...

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