Tuesday 17 May 2011

Pop-Up Shop Pictures and Exciting News

The blank dusty canvas.
 It's been an eventful weekend for the Etsy Ireland Team, as we had our first Pop-Up shop as part of the Catherine Street Cultural Dig in Limerick City. We were lucky enough to get a large space in Bourkes Bar in the heart of all the activity. The above space is an unused section of the put that the owners were good enough to clear out for us to use for the weekend. As you can see it was a rustic blank canvas so we spent 2 days putting together the 'shop'. I thought that getting a bold strong colour for the table clothes would help brighten the place up and also go towards tying all the elements together, to stop it from looking too higglety pigglety. Then contrasting the red with some bright green crepe paper to help cover up the cardboard display boxes that I used, I then used these colours in the poster design so that it all matched together, to give it that shabby chic shop feel. We were never going to get the space looking like a boutique so we worked with the rough edges and 'cuted' it up a bit.

After about a day working the space started to look like it was coming together.

Opening day Saturday morning.
After some last minute tweeks and table rearranging we opened our doors at 11am on Saturday morning, and with about 20 minutes we had our first customer, which is pretty amazing. From doing markets I know that you can stand for hours with lots of enthusiastic browsers and still not make a sale, so it's good to break the seal early to relieve that underlying stress. Saturday was a really busy day, so it was great the Rebecca from Lucky Rainbow Designs, Jess from Betty Octopus, Mollie and her son Elliot (friendliest kid ever, who helped out lots with getting customers into the shop!!)from Spleodar, and Helen from Stained Glass Fayre were there to take the selling in turns. We also ran free craft classes on the Saturday, Rebecca did a card making demo in the local craft shop Silkes, I did a sewing demo in the pop-up shop, and Kate from Feltfieltrofilc did a felting demo. Which meant the place was a buzz with activity.

Browsing customers.

There was great feedback from the punters and browsers alike, they were very excited to see a shop with all Irish handmade goods. They also loved the idea of the pop-up shop, feeling it was in the spirit of new recession Ireland. There was plenty of well wishers, most people taking business cards from the sellers if they weren't deciding to buy on the day. It was great that the festival was on as it meant that there were lots of arty creative types in the area who understand the work that goes into handmade.

All of us that were there manning the shop were really excited to be taking part, but as Sunday rolled around we started feeling pretty doom and gloom that it would all be taken down the next day. We had a little word with the organiser mooting the idea that we might ask to keep it open for a week, and she thought we should run it by the owner of the pub. Much to our surprise and AMAZING DELIGHT Niall was open to this suggestion, and then said that he wouldn't need the space for the next month!! So I'm delighted to announce that we have our own pop-up shop in the heart of Limerick city for the next month!!!!! And free of charge!! It was an amazingly nice gesture from Niall, I couldn't believe how easy it was, I nearly gave the man a hug even though I don't know him at all really. After many squeals, high fives and sporadic happy dances we started to think about the logistics of it.  All the local etsy members are going to take it in turns to man the shop, putting in voluntary hours whenever we can manage it. We are gonna open 3-4 days a week, with a few extra 'staff' on Saturdays to handle the extra footfall. I'll be in touch with all the members that are already taking part via email with more specific details about the arrangements.

We are full to the brim with work already, but it might be nice to rotate the work a little bit over the month so people don't get bored, so a few more sellers would be welcome, but sadly not a massive amount as we already have a lot on our plate. If you are interested please email me at ruthcrean@yahoo.ie.

To see more pictures of the shop click here.
Also please visit our new facebook page for the pop-up shop, the more we can spread the news about this the better, so sharing,liking and linking would be greatly appreciated, especially from those sending items to the shop.

We also need to send a huge thank you to Michelle and Alice from Fondelifair who sponsored the event for us. They donated money for the printing of flyers and posters, which really helped out with our expenses. (to those of you who already paid €5 each, the money was used to buy table cloths, blue tac, thumb tacs, etc etc, all the hidden expenses that go along with running an event like this). Any of you who haven't heard already Fondelifair is an Irish website set up for selling handcrafts online. I've joined myself and so have a good few other team members. The site will be launched at the start of June, and there is free membership until the end of the month, so get in there quick! It can be really good to get in on a site like this at the very start, as your pieces will not get lost within millions of listings like what can happen on Etsy. They will be having a big launch in June with lots of national press to raise awareness so it would be good to have some of your items listed before all that goes ahead.

Our hero Niall, who has given us the space for a month!!


  1. fantastic - love the Pop-up shop!

  2. Ruth, this is brilliant news! Wish I could help out - if there were a cheap train journey to Limerick I'd be down in a flash!

    The shop looks fabulous! I feel so proud of the team!

    Thanks for all your hard work. Very much appreciated!!!

  3. Oh Wow! It all looks so wonderful.And such fun, although I appreciate how much hard work it is, and the time it takes etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to you all. I appreciate what you are doing so much. I'm off to tell everyone I know, that it's on for another month, and see if I can get more customers through the doors.

    Amazing Beads

  4. Well done Ruth! HOw exciting!! Brilliant news about the extra month. mx

  5. This is fantastic news! Well done to Ruth and the team for all their hard work - the shop and displays look amazing!

  6. That's excellent. Talk about ask & you shall receive. Well done for even thinking of asking & thanks so much for all the hard work - I can only imagine what an organisational stress it must be.

  7. Fabulous! Well done Ruth and the team for such a tremendous effort and incredible team spirit. This is just the kind of lift we needed. Good luck to all who participate.

  8. A huge thanks to Ruth and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this possible ... great to see initiative and enthusiasm in these dire times! You should all give yourselves a massive pat on the back, just brilliant!!!!!
    Alex (propeller.etsy.com)

  9. thanks guys!!
    it's been really exciting and inspiring...I'd gotten a bit jaded lately working at the same market meeting the same people over and over, so it was nice to be excited again. I also discovered it's way easier to sell other peoples work as I can rant about how great and talented they are and not feel embarrassed!!

  10. I know what you mean about the selling - I'm always raving about everything I like but I just can't talk about my own stuff.

  11. Don't even mention selling my own stuff ever again! I really can't face it no more!!!

  12. Hmmm, next time a couple of the team or local crafty friends do the same market, maybe 2 stall holders could swap stalls for a while as an experiment (preferably if the two stalls are side by side of course so the artist is on hand.)Twould be interesting to see if it affects sales and also hearing someone else up-selling your stuff could be an eye-opener.

  13. You know AM, I really like this idea! Really like it!!!!!!!