Everything from jewellery, bath products, toys, aprons and homewares to fashion, art and papergoods plus a few surprises in between, all hand made and produced in WA! Montage’s mission is to create a unique shopping experience using the
‘pop-up’ concept of temporarily appearing in a location before disappearing and
‘poppingup’ again. Montage also hopes to encourage customers to support local
handmade products by West Australian designers. Montage Collective have opened several successful ‘pop-up shops’ previously, in Fremantle, Northbridge and the Perth CBD.
Annie shares some insights into the increasingly popular retail trend ‘Pop Up Shops’.
Why did you start The Montage Collective (Montage)?
It was started when one of a crafty group of friends found out about the possibility of getting a low rent shop for a couple of weeks in Freo. It was such a success we just kept going
How did you find each other?
We knew one another initially via an Etsy forum that is no longer going, but many of us have kept in touch since.
What were your goals for the first pop up?
Personally I saw it as an experiment to see what would happen & if it would be worthwhile financially. Also as a way of getting my work seen by more potential customers. I then realised that it’s also a great way to spread the “locally hand made” word & show that shopping does not always have to done in chain stores. I think it has worked on all levels.
Where was the first Montage pop up?
Adelaide St, Freo
How do you find your next shop?
Keeping our eyes open for empty shops in potential areas & trying to persuade owners to give a reduced rent for a short stay (not always easy!!) Also repeat shops where it has gone well.
Whats the best part of being involved in a pop up?
Making can be such an isolated activity, it’s great to work on something as a team.
Whats the worst part of being involved in a pop up?
Scheduling meetings – we are scattered all over Perth and many of us have jobs so getting everybody to come is really hard.
What are your future plans?
We’d love regular venues in various suburbs so we can move around without having to deal with new landlords every time. I sometimes think a full time shop would be great, but that might make it a lot harder in many ways. I like to make more than I like to sell!
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start a pop up?
The people you work with are just as important as the product they make. Get to know any potential members a bit before you approach them.
Make sure you have some sort of rule as to what is or isn’t going to be in your shop. It makes decisions easier. e.g. we only have people who are hands on with what they make & that it’s made in WA. E.G. We might find somebody with a fab product, but we find out it’s actually made in Asia to their design. We are strict about this rule so we can’t stock them however much we like what they make.
Are there any resources you think are valuable for those looking to start a pop up?
You need to think creatively for venues, just keep your eyes open online, when out shopping, driving and passing real estate agents. Visiting handmade markets is a way to get to meet makers as a customer & see their product in person. Private Facebook groups & Google docs are great for discussions and decision making plus keeping track of finances.