Open for Business: We are POP
As Castle Quay gets ready to be fully open for business, we caught up with Sophy and Carly from We are POP to find out how he is preparing for the next phase of lockdown restrictions lifting.
1. How are you feeling about finally being able to re-open your shop in Castle Quay?
We’re super excited to be reopening. We’ve had so much incredible support online during the various lockdowns, especially locally, but there’s nothing quite like seeing people face to face and for customers to be able to browse the products in real life. We’ve got so many new products too, so we’re really excited to see what people think.
2. How have the last few months been for you? Have you been keeping trade going online?
The best way to describe the past few months has been “a juggle” but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We’re definitely better suited to sourcing and curating amazing products than home schooling! Online has been our absolute saviour in terms of keeping our business going. We pride ourselves in building great customer relationships – both instore and online and we’ve been making sure we adapted our business to be able to support our customers’ needs. We’ve been wrapping and handwriting a lot of cards for people who can’t see their family and friends, but can still send them a little something to tell them they’re thinking about them.
We never stop thinking about what’s next for POP – during the past few months we’ve brought in lots of new brands and products and launched The POP Collective online – a curated collection of the very best independent brands – meaning we’re able to support more independent brands and makers and offer our customers more beautiful products.
3. Do you have any new products you will be bringing to the shop ready for re-opening?
So many – I don’t think we realised how many new products we’d introduced until we started to piece the shop back together. We now stock incredible lockers from “mustard” which have been super popular online. We’ve expanded our range of giant animals due to their popularity and our book collective continues to evolve. We’re super excited to have introduced lots of new baby products and an incredible clothing range for kids and mums from “Another Fox”. We’ve also added lots of beautiful new prints to our collection – and I’m sure so much more that I can’t think of right now.
4. What are you looking forward to most about being back in the shop?
We genuinely can’t wait to see customers again. We’ve built up such an incredible community locally – many of whom we’ve seen when we’ve been doing door stop deliveries or taking the kids to the park – but it doesn’t quite compare to seeing people in store and being able to help them find the perfect gift.
5. During lockdown, what has been your best-selling product? Why do you think this is?
This is such a hard question. If anyone had told us just over a year ago that we’d have been locked down for the majority of the next year we wouldn’t have believed them (who would). Our online support has been absolutely overwhelming. What we’ve loved most is seeing what people buy and it really has been such a mix. We keep trying to reduce our product offering but struggle to get rid of products as people love them so much. Our Giant Animals have been unbelievably popular – every time we thought we’d got them back into stock they were out of stock again – our shelves were emptied again and again! Our new lockers have also been phenomenal and it’s clear why – they’re so cool and come in such amazing colours and have so many uses. We also launched Letterbox Hug Gift Sets – a little bit of self-care for you or someone you miss, all wrapped up and posted through their letterbox with a handwritten personalised postcard. These were really popular and we loved handwriting people notes – which felt like a real honour, to spread a bit of cheer.
6. Do you both have a favourite product you can share with us? What do you love about it?
This is a tricky question as we invest so much thought into every product we sell. POP started when we had our own babies and was brought about by our love of independent unique finds. With careers in fashion buying and design we were fortunate to travel the world looking for inspiration and found some lovely pieces when pregnant. People asked where we’d bought things from and after a while and in a new mum haze we decided to curate all our finds under one brand.
For Sophie her favourite product has to be “One Thousand Things” it was the first book she bought when she found out she was pregnant with Eli. The illustrations are beautiful and we’ve since come to realise that the book grows with our little ones. It’s been so lovely to watch them discover something new on each page as they’ve grown in age.
For Carly I think it’s maybe the Olli Ella Luggy. I just love everything about it and it’s so versatile! A real keepsake item. When Tilly and Albie aren’t taking theirs to the supermarket, they’re filling them up with their favourite treasures, and when they’re not using them they look beautiful hung on hooks in their bedrooms. They’ve just introduced a medium Luggy which Tilly definitely needs as she won’t stop growing, and theirs one for grown-ups that I’ve had my eye on for a while but we keep selling out of.