The Platform Pop Up Project launched in spring 2016 with the purpose of giving a few young people between the ages of 18 and 24 the opportunity to test out a business idea or run a project/event in a great space near Brixton, South London.
For this project, Spark+Mettle partnered with Meanwhile Space, a Community Interest Company that has been helping to connect communities with empty spaces for several years.
The young people could have the space anything from a day to several days, depending on their idea. To apply they had to submit a proposal, which was then followed up by an interview.
Fast forward a few weeks and one induction, meet the lovely Lucia, who was one young person selected to use the space.
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My friend Rhys and I have our own clothing line called Arelle where we sell limited edition, handmade clothing. We were really keen to have a space to sell our clothing and test our products in public for the first time, since everything else prior to this has been just online.
We thought it would be a good opportunity to gain feedback from other people about our second collection and get some more exposure for the brand. We were also hoping to sell a few items, as all the money made would go back into making the next collection.
We were really happy with how our time at the Platform turned out. We were able to throw a mini launch party to celebrate the release of our second collection. We made four sales and we made a connection with a producer, which has lead to us styling one of their artists for her album shoot.
It was also a great learning experience. We learned how to set up and design a space to fit in our collection. We learned how to talk and interact with customers when they came in. It was great having the experience of running an actual shop.
We definitely want to do this again, now we know we can do it and that it can be a success. We are more confident in selling in the future after having had the practice. I feel that we now know what we want to do and it’s just a case now of finding how to do it long term.
In terms of what’s next, we have released the second collection now, so we’re looking forward to selling and trying to get our clothes in different places and meeting people to collaborate. We are also planning to create a fashion video promo and do more photoshoots.