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Popping up – what’s involved?

Updated: Feb 18

The work

At 5.30am on the 6th June, I jumped into the van, with the amazing MJ in tow, and headed to Brighton to set up the first chapter pop up. Fully loaded with shed loads of stock.


So, what was involved? Well, an awful lot of work it turns out! Here’s a snapshot:

  • 100 boxes received, checked, stored in garage, loaded into massive white van, transported, unloaded and emptied beautifully onto shelves

  • 82 person hours

  • 72 actual hours

  • 18 coffees

  • 14 pieces of furniture built

  • 6 superheroes (including Henry the Hoover – legendary suction!)

  • 1 strop (mine, obvs)

  • 1 massive white van

  • 1 Austin Powers move to get said van out of steep cul de sac (how did that even happen?!?)

  • 1 pop up shop ready for action

  • Oh and let's not forget...a lot of laughs!

@allbymamauk and I didn’t just want to just cover a trestle table in product, with a cash box and paper receipt book underneath for our pop up. It’s not a market stall. It’s a shop, and it deserves to look and feel like one.


Temporary shouldn’t mean crap. Like we said – not your average pop up. Or as our photographer @clairerichardsonphotography said: “If Carlsberg did pop ups…”!



The learnings

As well as a lot of work and a lot of planning, this approach also meant we learnt a heck of a lot...


When doing something for the first time, its easy to panic about everything and doubt every decision you’re making. That’s why I’m so grateful to have worked with All by Mama on our first pop up.


Gemma and I had a few hilarious conversations where we realised there was something really obvious we hadn’t yet considered (like where to store everything before we get the keys to the store…!). Of course there’s always a solution (some crazier than others!) but it’s so much easier to find that solution when there’s more than one of you trying to find it!


So lesson one – it’s a great idea to partner with another person / business when doing something for the first time!

In addition there were a number of lessons for me from the physical set up of the store:

  • Everything took longer than I expected

  • Forgetting to eat is a bad thing

  • People are incredibly generous and supportive when you’re starting out

  • Setting up 3.5 hours away from where you live is sub-optimal

  • I am stronger, more tenacious and more resilient than I realised and work well under pressure

  • Setting up a store is seriously good fun

Some of the people to mention who should absolutely take credit for what we achieved with the store: @bartonhousedesign was responsible for the concept, design, layout, sourcing and installation.

@__c.a.m.i.l.l.a__ was our visual merchandiser responsible for the window and product displays

@rachaelpartisdesignstudio who designed the seller posters and chapter poster

My father in law… & his mate Jamie.

Handyman Oli.


I feel very fortunate and privileged to have had this team around me and I very much hope they’ll be up for doing the next one with me… Waaah did I just say that?!?! 😉






Photos of the 'after' thanks to @clairerichardsonphotography

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