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]