• Kiera McLaughlin

The Power Of The Pop Up: Curated Makers

We recently caught up with Megan, the founder of Curated Makers. Curated Makers offers an amazing opportunity for creatives, makers and artists by curating pop ups in large high street stores such as M&S and John Lewis. These events emphasise the ease and beauty of shopping small… something that we LOVE!

Here are Megan’s tips for small businesses, her thoughts on the power of shopping small and information on where you can find Curated Makers…

Why do you think people love to shop independent?

I believe that independent shoppers are truly special people, as they see and feel the passion that goes into being an indie shop owner! Whether it be the makers themselves trading from a market stall, or a shopkeeper that has poured their love into seeking the most unique offering they can, I think when you walk into an independent shop, you get a sense of warmth, love, and care. Now that may just be me, but I don't think I'm alone. Most of the time I enter a shop I adore, or chat to a business owner that I admire, I end up purchasing something because I want to support them personally. Even if it is 'Just a Card' it helps believe me. All those £3 transactions add up!

Christmas is a time where people definitely seek out small businesses to support and buy from and that's where most retailers generate their revenue to get them through the slower other months of the year. But birthdays...birthdays happen without failure on a 12-month cycle, if all birthday gifts were bought from independent shops and businesses, that would ensure they thrive. So, swapping from a quick supermarket buy, or an instant online order that'll arrive tomorrow...stop and think of the wider impact shopping small offers, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

What would your one piece of advice be for someone starting their own business? 

Someone once said to me, "Don't get too caught up on the specifics of your initial business idea, as it definitely won't end up as you imagine it to!” I think that was solid advice as it showed to me back then how adaptable and agile you need to be as a business owner. The vision I had for Curated Makers still stands, but the format in which we operate is always evolving and continues to do so...my notepad is always full of ideas and things to test! Never sit still, always strive to test, learn, fail fast and learn, test again, and so on. I look at business as a constant circle of testing, learning and adapting. Have fun too! Don't forget to enjoy the perks that being self-employed offers you too...if the sun is out, and you don't have something urgent to do...go for lunch in the sun and embrace those work perks!!

Why do you love hosting pop up shops?

I LOVE hosting pop-ups as through Curated Makers we get to support hundreds of fellow creatives and provide them with opportunities that alone are not as accessible. We get to work with the most fantastic people who have all dared to go their own way and create their passion into their living. They're inspirational people and they inspire me. Together we can achieve more, and I think what we've created via our collaborative Made Local Pop-Ups, is something truly magical that we all benefit vastly from.

How many independents does Curated Makers currently support? 

To date, online via our @postablepopup we have supported 1500 makers and artists and our in-person events have supported around 300 makers to date. We can't wait to offer more opportunities to other makers across the UK!

Where can we find Curated Makers this year?

We have many plans, I told you earlier my notebook is always full to the brim of "if only ideas"! Well, we're in the thick of planning now, but nothing is set in stone yet, the contracts aren't officially signed as yet, so sadly I can't share anything further. As I write this, you can find our Made Local Pop-Up within John Lewis & Partners in The Trafford Centre until Sunday 20th June which is showcasing 38 Northern artists and makers. We also have a selection of 15 makers hosted within Groceries & Beer in Sale, offering the perfect selection of gift and homewares alongside their artisanal product range.

If you are a maker interested in being a part of our pop-ups you can register your interest here - https://www.curatedmakers.co.uk/join-us To find out first about our pop-ups when we announce them, follow over on Instagram @curatedmakers and checkout out website here - https://www.curatedmakers.co.uk 

A huge thank you to Megan for her words of wisdom! We can’t wait to see Curated Makers continue to grow and expand across the UK…

If Megan’s advice has inspired you to get involved with your local high street, then we would love to hear from you! Our website has a huge range of opportunities waiting to be discovered…