Two new shops opened in the space of a week in Northampton town centre thanks to a new pop-up shop scheme.
Pop Up Northampton, launched by University of Northampton graduate Yoshe Watson, has helped give Wedding Lounge Northampton and Style Fierce a presence on the high street.
The scheme works to put local start-ups into their first retail spaces as pop-up shops and tackle the issue of retail spaces sitting empty- by creating a series of fresh, innovative pop-up shops. It has been supported by Northampton Borough Council and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.
Yoshe said: “Pop Up Northampton is all about helping local start-up businesses get off the ground in their first shops, by tackling some of the core issues that can be prohibitive in doing this – lack of capital and fear of early closure.
“By putting the businesses in on a ‘pop up’, temporary basis to begin with, they have the chance to test their market and connect with their customers.
“By providing shop fixtures and equipment, financial help with other costs such as rent and business rates, and mentoring and guidance, the project aims to break down remaining barriers to setting up shop for the first time,” she said.
The first pop-up shop was on Mercers Road. It was a real ale and craft beer shop called The One Stop Hop Shop and was run by Ed Garner.
Yoshe said: “Wedding Lounge Northampton, which opened in Market Walk on February 27, brings designer wedding dresses at discounted prices.
“This business has been set up by local entrepreneurs and mums Lola and Laurianne, who have worked their way up through online trading and wedding shows, and are now very excited to be taking the leap to having their own shop,” she added.
Style Fierce, which opens at 4 Mercers Row on Saturday, March 5, is the business of Northampton University fashion marketing graduate Kate Abena- who hand-picks the latest fashions to bring them to our high street.
Yoshe said: “She has also been trading online, and is now looking forward to opening in just a few days’ time!”
Pop Up Northampton is currently taking applications from start-ups who would like to have their own pop-up shop. For details, firstname.lastname@example.org.