27 May 2014

Behind the Scenes... Preparing for my Pop-Up

By the time you read this, I'll probably be in a van packed full of... stuff... heading for Selfridges to set up my first pop-up shop at the Makegood festival. Woop! There will be lots of exciting goodies on my stand including...

Bags! Thanks so much to those of you who helped vote for the tote on Twitter and Instagram - this design turned out to be the most popular overall with everyone canvassed (geddit?!). And it's my fave too :) These are amazing quality, Fairtrade canvas bags from Bidbi, printed in the UK, with strong straps, a large base and a serious amount of space inside. They'll be on sale at Makegood and since lots of you have been asking I'll probably put them on the online shop afterwards if you're interested...

Badges! I'll be giving these out to Makegood customers so you can show the world about your love of DIY dressmaking.

Postcards! You may know these already if you have ordered a pattern from my shop.

And of course my book and sewing patterns. It's so cool seeing them all together - they're looking like a real collection now :)

The backdrop of my stand will be - appropriately - made of fabric. Woven Monkey printed my logo onto a roll of cotton drill - how awesome is that?! They were fab to deal with and I was so impressed by the quality of the finished product. I'll definitely be ordering some custom-printed fabric from them in future to make a dress or skirt - they have plain cotton, sateen or drill to choose from. Ooh and they're currently running a fabric design competition in which you can win a sewing machine.

Oh yes, and I couldn't resist ordering this little baby for the display. (And I mean little - it's teeny tiny.) It's an on brand colour, after all!

I've never done a show or pop-up before, so it'll be a fantastic opportunity to get IRL feedback from customers, wholesale buyers and press. Plus I think being "on show" at an event like that will help make my business feel more real to me - I never really had a definite moment where I said, "Right, I'm starting a business", it all kinda happened gradually, so maybe this will be the point when it finally feels like a real-life company. I'm also excited to check out the work of the other up-and-coming creative businesses who will be showcasing there, including my friend Freya who is launching her own line of lingerie sewing patterns - I'm so excited for you, Freya! 

I was amazed at how much work is involved in preparing for a show like this - something I'd never really thought about before - from the logistics of transport and insurance to writing materials such as buyers' packs and press releases and of course designing the stand display. I can't wait to see it all come together. But in the meantime...

Just in case you thought any of this sounded in any way glamorous, here's a photo of what my office looks like at the moment. Yikes!

There, that's better.

Makegood starts on Thursday with a press preview and VIP party, then on Friday it's an early kick off with a buyers' breakfast. The event then opens to the public from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening - you should totes come along! I'd love to meet you. I'll be in conversation with Cath Kidston at 4pm on Friday (I went to her office to meet her the other day - she's lovely). I'd love to include a crowdsourced question in the interview - what would you ask Cath about running a business?

Hope to see you there!

[Soundtrack: 'Shopping (I Like to)' by Neon Neon]


  1. It all looks fabulous, the hard work has paid off. I'll do my best to come along - I'm doing a sewing bee day in the Oxford St John Lewis on Saturday so maybe when I get out of there. Good luck with it all, though I'm sure you don't need it!

  2. Wow Tilly it looks so exciting! Can you just turn up and walk in or do you need to book to come along? Good luck.

  3. How exciting. Good luck with the stand, I'm sure you'll get loads of interests. Loving the new bags too.

  4. Good luck with the stand & the conversation with Cath Kidson on Friday!
    Ive got a ticket for Saturday and I can't wait!

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  6. Exciting times! Just got myself a ticket for Friday!

  7. Oh Tilly I wish wish wish I could come and see you but work always gets me first! Good luck Tilly you will be absolutely fab and hopefully we will meet up soon one day. Big hugs

  8. Good luck, you are so talented.

  9. Wow! Sounds fun, well done! Will you be heading up North at all to do one?

  10. You have been a very busy lady! All your hard work is def worth it.
    Hope to see you on Sunday at the event as I have bought tickets for me and my mate x

  11. This all looks awesome! I love those badges. If I somehow had a ticket for London I would absolutely love to meet you in person ... maybe someday. I hope you're having a grand time and meeting wonderful people with your lovely wares!

  12. Congratulations! A stuffy office is a fair trade, I'd say! ;D

    <3 Carsla
    Founder & CEO of Connect-the-Cloths
    A stylist, foodie, & writer’s blog in development.

  13. Love the badges. Wish I could come.

  14. Well done tilly! You deserve this. You've worked really hard for it. I love reading your blog it's so inspiring!:)

  15. Good luck Tilly, I am sure you will be a grea success. I love the badge and your book which I bought recently. I have not made anthing from it yet but I have read through and think it is very good. I have already recommended it to a friend who has also bought one and she also says it is very good.

  16. Good luck! I have the same little sewing machine in red and it sewed up my first Coco perfectly :-)

  17. Good luck, wish I lived in the UK so I could attend. Looking forward to hearing about the Cath Kidston interview. Ailsa.

  18. Hi Tilly,
    it was great meeting you today at the Makegood Festival. Thanks for signing my copy of your lovely new book and I'm really looking forward to making a Coco or three.
    Your stall looked brilliant and it was very busy throughout the time I was there, so hopefully you sold a stack more books and patterns. You have sure worked very hard over the last few months I hope you have a little holiday planned sometime soon!
    I have written a ting blurb about it on my blog where there is a lovely photo of you and a rather suspect one of me! ; )

    1. So glad you could come along, Caroline! I'm curious about this photo...

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