M&S host over 40 indie businesses in a pop-up at their Liverpool store

Following the recent success of their ‘Made Local Pop-Up’ events held at Debenhams Manchester, Bents Garden and Home and most recently the Paperchase flagship store in Manchester, Curated Makers and leading British retailer M&S have coordinated the three week pop-up series which features the works of over 40 independent artists and makers from across the North of England.

Situated near the ground floor escalators in the M&S Church Street store, this unique concession will exhibit a carefully curated selection of locally made, unique, handcrafted goods including artwork, jewellery, Liverpool souvenirs, ceramics, candles, gifts and more. Picture it as a highly curated artisan market, situated within a shop environment, open 7 days a week, offering the convenience of shopping small and local, on one of the country’s major shopping streets.

With opportunities for customers to actually ‘meet-the-maker’ within the pop-up, artists will take residency for 1-day-only, offering live pet portraits, personalised decorations, henna art, upcycled gifts and more. This interactive, personal and engaging offering by local creatives is an unrivalled experience that does not currently exist on many high streets. Factor that alongside a bespoke ‘doodled’ window display created by Myro Doodles, to offer a window-display like no-other, featuring all 40 makers names up in lights, alongside their handcrafted wares - a first for Church Street.

Curated Makers is the brainchild of entrepreneur Megan Jones, 29, who created the brand to give small, local, independent makers a platform to showcase their products within prime retail spaces. Positioned to allow big businesses the opportunity to collaborate with a large selection of localised makers via one point of contact. This allows larger retailers to enjoy ‘a sprinkling of small business magic’ and to offer a new way to engage with and excite their existing customers, whilst also attracting a whole new audience into store. The footfall that these small businesses experience within the pop-ups is comparable to nothing they’ve previously experienced before. A real win all round; for the customer, the retailer and the maker.

After working in digital marketing for the likes of ASOS, Boohoo and AO.com, Jones spotted a niche in the market for helping smaller brands and independent creatives grow through collaborative retail and third-party relationships, seeing Curated Makers born back in November 2017 as a market-stall concept.

Speaking of the partnership, founder of Curated Makers, Megan Jones said, “It is a privilege that M&S have embraced our concept and are welcoming Curated Makers and 40 of our top independent makers into their Liverpool store. The opportunity to collaborate with M&S, a brand which also originated from a market stall back in 1884, is so refreshing to be a part of.

With my heart set on becoming a big part of the future retail landscape, you could say that Curated Makers hopes to follow in the footsteps of our latest host and iconic British retailer, Marks & Spencer. This never seen before experience to the M&S store, will be one not to miss as we bring together the very best of Liverpool’s creative scene… whilst also providing the perfect excuse to start Christmas shopping too!”

Louise Benson, store manager at M&S Liverpool, said, “We’re really looking forward to seeing all of the amazing local talent proudly on display in our store. We love that Curated Makers brings local, independent businesses from the North West together to exhibit such a range of bespoke handmade goods in one place and we’re proud to play host to its latest popup.

We’re always keen to support local community efforts, from supporting local charities to partnering with Power to Change for the Community Business Challenge at the Florrie in November 2018, championing community businesses and initiatives is something we really care about.”

Look out for returning favourite makers; The Magpies Daughter, Maja Piechocka Candles, Betsy & Els, Whylder Mills, Sketchbook Design. As well as new local additions to the collective, such as Liverpool based artists; The Jones Boys, Grace Emily Design, Gemma McGuinness Jewellery, David Rycroft, Red Button Press, Willow and Blossom and more.

The Curated Makers pop-up shop is situated on the ground floor of Marks & Spencer, Church Street near the main escalators and will run from Monday 30th September to Sunday 20th October.

Kate Shaw
Article by Kate Shaw
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