Foreground- Shopgirl. Background- Lady Boss.
London Bestie-Lady Boss Zen, launched her pop-up shop yesterday in Angel, to much enthusiasm and support.
Her shop is called, Makers & Friends. It sells locally-crafted, locally-sourced English products ranging from skincare to prints, costume jewellery to ceramics, home-decor and scarfs. In short, there’s simply something for everyone.
Shoppers that have stopped by, leave happy.
Many have commented on how pretty the shop looks.
Makers & Friends has also teamed up with the charity organisation, Fine Cellwork. The latter offers a range of embroidered cushions, bits and bobs made by prisoners.
30% of all sale proceeds then go back to them. If you want to brighten your home for spring, and know that your spending is also a charitable act- there still are some lovely cushions in stock.
On occasion, a maker (designer) is present to meet customers and better explain her products.
I bought one of these bath bombs as a gift, and said hello to its maker.
Another stand out for me is Zen’s own jewellery line.
The pieces have a sense of quiet abstraction that feels timeless.
Reasonably priced, many a shopper is undecided as to which piece to get. That’s when I step in to offer help. Get both! The pieces look great alone, and even better with friends!
Working as a shopgirl is not a new experience for me. Before college, while waiting to leave Singapore, I worked at Benetton. My first task then was to fold a stack of jumpers and re-arrange the shelf for t-shirts. I learnt how to fold clothing for display. This skill has remained with me for the last 28 years of my life.
Other useful things I’ve learnt working a shop include being able to better read body language, identifying quickly the shopper who will spend, upon entering the store.
You also learn confidence, manners, and people/communication skills. Another memory from Benetton 1999- an American man walking in briskly, looking around, and my readily stepping forward to welcome and offer assistance. He then gave me $200 to put together a few items for his son.
Curating a physical shop is so similar to choreography as well. You want to influence perspective, help the customer visualise and need the products in his/her daily life.
Zen went the extra mile with cookies, crisps and drinks yesterday afternoon.
In celebration of the shop’s launch, this shopgirl wore London-based designer, Self-Portrait.
* Makers & Friends, 126 Upper Street, Angel March 27- April 25 2016 http://www.makers-friends.com Instagram account: MAKERSANDFRIENDS_LDN
- Mini update 4/4/2016- the necklace photographed above has since been sold.