It’s now 11 days and counting until we open the first pop-up! We’re stepping up the promo activities and getting down to brass tacks about the look and feel of the shops…
This Monday, as many team members as could make it headed into Cambridge for a group photo and a bit of fun. We ended up down Senate Hill Passage by the lovely side entrance to Gonville & Caius college, for some Cambridge colour. On a beautiful sunny morning, we feel optimistic… but still a bit scared!
ALL SYSTEMS GO
Many things are now happening in parallel. The design for our flyer has been finalised and it’s at the printers. Our press release for the shops and the Team is written and is going out to Cambridge media, along with the group photo and the flyer artwork. We’re all starting to learn a lot more about Twitter than we ever expected to have to know. Our Twitter Mistress is trying to overcome her natural reticence about blowing her own/the team’s trumpet and is tweeting news of the events at everyone she can think of. Happily, many are kindly re-tweeting!
The issue of other publicity materials now has to be covered, so chats are ongoing about posters: How big? How many? Banners: How big? HOW much?? And A-boards, those sandwich-type upright signs that stand on the pavement outside shops and events to increase visibility. We know we need one, but there’s a split in the organising team between those who want to get a sturdy, professionally printed one at a cost of £130 and those who want to have a go at making one!
FEEL OF DREAMS
One real imperative now is to decide on the layout and approach for the Fountain Inn on 29th and 30th November. Initially we had decided that, being so short of time, we would adopt a modified craft show-type of layout, with each seller behind their own table. This would have the advantage of being relatively simple to set up. Each seller would also formulate their own display strategy – keeping in mind the guideline of a predominantly white colour scheme and, hopefully, a ‘Winter Wonderland’ theme – which would take some strain off the organising team.
However, as we chat about logistics, Team Captain Louise suggests that we might be more ambitious: the Fountain Inn pop-up could be laid out with a mixture of products from our diverse range of sellers displayed with furniture and props we would bring in. The feel would be far more like a Christmas handmade boutique, we could probably fit in more handmade goodies, and it would certainly allow for more creativity. Louise sends us a link to a pop-up created by some friends in the Netherlands, and we see how it could work.
It will take more time to set up, though, so Yvette offers to contact the Fountain and see if we can get more time in the room: we’re asking not only for the agreed Saturday and Sunday all day, but Friday night (until 3am!) and Saturday overnight, so that our props and furniture can be left set up.
The potential stumbling block is that the Fountain normally use this room as an overflow space for when their downstairs bar gets very busy and our plan would mean they couldn’t do this on the nights of our pop-up. Another issue for us is that the added cost will stretch our limited budget almost to breaking, even if we use a financial contribution from every seller – but in for a penny… We do a bit of nail-biting as we wait to hear if we can get the extra hours, and the chance to stage a very late night shop-dressing session!
BOX OF DELIGHTS
It’s all getting very real… and that feeling intensifies when two huge boxes arrive from Etsy HQ. These contain our Etsy-branded packaging and support materials: cute printed paper, gift bags and tags, price labels and stickers, all in the signature Etsy orange and white – so shoppers will be able to have their purchases presented in very exclusive wrapping. A package of 25 printed canvas Etsy totes will become goody bags of surprises for 25 of our pop-up customers to win in prize draws.
The very day after the excitement of the Etsy merchandise arriving, there’s good news and bad news about the extra hours we’ve asked for: we can get the Friday night, but the Saturday night isn’t available, so however elaborate our shop-dressing efforts, we’ll have to be able to dismantle much of the setup and store it in an adjacent room on Saturday night – and then put it together again on Sunday morning.
We hugely appreciate the Fountain giving up Friday night’s business for us, but the need to pack down on Saturday night means we’ll have to think long and hard about the layout approach to take. Not too long, though, as the time we have before launch is melting away!
If YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Some of the team are definitely now starting to eat, sleep and breathe Etsy Pop-up Shop. The scale of what we’ve undertaken is hitting home, but we’re encouraged by the great reactions we’re having from other Team Cambridge members, from Facebook friends and from the Twitterverse.
Stick with us as we continue learning how to make a shop – on a budget and on the fly!
We’d love to see you at the Etsy Team Cambridge pop-up shops. Come and talk to the whole pop-up team, have a mince pie and get in the mood for Christmas!
Stop press: we were photographed for a story in the Cambridge Evening News yesterday, and it’s scheduled to appear in the Wednesday edition (19th November)!
Those dates again:
Saturday November 29th 11am-8pm
Sunday November 30th 11am-6pm
THE FOUNTAIN INN, 12 REGENT STREET, CB2 1DB (opposite Regent Street Parkers Piece entrance and University Arms Hotel, three minutes walk from John Lewis, The Grand Arcade and the Arts Picturehouse cinema)
Saturday 6th December, 11am-8pm
CB1 CAFE, 32 MILL ROAD CB1 2AD
See you there!
FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS!
We will be tweeting the adventure every day, with updates on progress and links to Facebook and blog posts. Follow us to stay on top of the day’s news!
There will be regular stories about our members, their lives and their wares, whether handmade crafts and arts or vintage finds! Come and meet us on Facebook, tell us you’re coming to the event and pass on any special requests.
Look out for our Gift Pick Of The Day: every day we will be choosing new gift ideas to highlight.
CB1 event: URL to come
Pick up your FREE advance tickets for any or all events. It’s an easy download and gives you a chance to win some very special freebies and take advantage of discounts at the pop-up shops!
Email us with questions, comments, whatever!
Check out the Etsy UK blog, which features the Cambridge event alongside events in just five more UK cities that have won Etsy support: https://blog.etsy.com/uk/2014/11/07/uk-christmas-popup-shops/