Wantageâs pop up shop, Flashop, has re-opened with 12 more businesses set to make use of the space at 18A Mill Street to showcase their products, between now and October 20th.
The second tranche of pop ups are a combination of people who run online businesses or take their products to trade shows and craft fairs, and one who has a shop in another town.
First up is creative designer, Natalie Bright, who is showcasing her retro gifts business, Hippi Haus, at Flashop (until September 21st) after successfully piloting her arts classes for children there in August. Natalie says: “Iâm delighted to be back at Flashop with Hippi Haus Retro gifts, after the successful summer launch of Art Haus Club.”
Next at Flashop (September 23rd to the 29th) is Liz Morrell who has a bridal, prom and dancewear shop called Wow in Taunton, Somerset, and is taking on Flashop with colleague Marilyn Newbould. Liz says: âI have owned and run a successful bridal, prom and dancewear shop catering for the budget conscious in Somerset for many years. Having moved to this area 3 years ago, I am now considering opening an Oxfordshire branch so this pop up is a fantastic opportunity to give it a go! My colleague Marilyn similarly has experience in bridalwear having owned and run a shop in the north for many years.â
Five crafts and gifts businesses (The Crafting Cabin, Cornflower Blue, Pen Ultimate, Juberry Fabrics, and Caz’s Jewellery, along with local charity The Nasio Trust) will pop up after that (October 1st to the 5th) to sell their bags, cushions, bunting, pots, pens, baskets, fabrics and more. One of those involved, Hazel Griffin at The Crafting Cabin, says: âItâll be a shop full of new local businesses, hoping to meet the residents of Wantage and surrounding areas, and show what wonderful talent there is out there locally.â
Theyâll be followed (October 6th to the 12th) by Louise Alder (LovLou Accessories and Gifts) and Emma Chalmers (Pictures By M and Interiors). Louise says: âI worked in Wantage at Walton Clothing for years and unfortunately the shop closed, so I started up LovLou and have been going from strength to strength. This is the next step up to see if my business will have a place in the Wantage marketplace.â Emma says: âI’m a stay-at-home-mum from Wantage, with a hobby which has grown and grown, from doing craft shows and fairs. I think the people of Wantage will like all our items and weâd love to see another shop filled.â
Seeing the shop through to the planned end of its first run (October 14th to the 20th) are Clare Offill (Soaps ‘n’ Soaks) and Dana Johnson (Occasions Home & Giftware). Clare says: “I currently sell a wide range of high quality British produced handmade cosmetics, bath bombs and soaps at large events such as the Newbury and District Show. I strongly believe that there is a high enough demand to sustain a retail shop in Wantage and will be using this opportunity to test this theory.” Dana adds: âI am looking to expand my rapidly growing online business, potentially into a retail unit, and am therefore excited to have been allowed this opportunity to showcase my range of personalised mementos and exquisite gifts from leading designers such as East of India in our historic market town. The option to share the Flashop with another business is fantastic, as not only will we offer a wider range of products but we will also be able to share running costs, resources and experience.”
Flashop opened back in July after Wantageâs Town Team reached agreement with landlords, Wantage Investments, to use the unit at 18A Mill Street and worked with commercial agent, Neil Wild, to make it happen. Flashop is one of a series of initiatives being developed by town team co-ordinators Iain Nicholson and Mim Norvell as part of a town vitality project involving the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce, being driven through the townâs Joint Economic Forum.