‘Amazing’ potential of pop-up shops

Mark Timmins outside the pop-up shop at 1 Tower Street, Selkirk
Mark Timmins outside the pop-up shop at 1 Tower Street, Selkirk

Pop-up shops could appear right across the Borders and help revitalise local town centres, a small business owner has told The Wee Paper.

Mark Timmins, who runs Dizzymafella, producing upcycled and recycled gifts and cards, spent a week in 1 Tower Street, one of two pop-up shops in the town.

Handmade and hand-dyed hats on sale in Selkirk's Pop-Up shop, made by Fiona McBryde of Knit Fino

Handmade and hand-dyed hats on sale in Selkirk's Pop-Up shop, made by Fiona McBryde of Knit Fino

A Creative Arts Borders Network mentor, Mr Timmins also offered business advice. He praised the Chamber of Trade initiative, and said it made people think differently about what retail is about. Mr Timmins said: “I had people in from across the Borders, and a few went away talking about taking the space, and that is very inspirational.”

He added: “With the railway coming and Abbotsford re-opening we have got to up our game with what we do with retail.

“People will be coming from a very different retail scenario – America, London – and they want the timeless quality of Selkirk and the Borders, but also to have things individual and about the locality.”

Mr Timmins said businesses which have been successful in the pop-up shops would benefit greatly, and could grow further because of it. He added: “It is great for small businesses that have maybe never thought about doing retail or have only been selling on the internet.

“You could have a pop-up shop in every town in the Borders and it would just be amazing.”

The project was established by Selkirk Chamber of Trade, which was successful in getting Leader funding for the first year, which ends in December.

Project manager Margaret Sweetnam said: “The chamber of trade has been quite innovative in their approach.

“Selkirk has some brilliant shops here all the time – we are just adding a bit of variety. It is absolutely meant to be about complementing what is here already. It is about mutual benefits.”

Mrs Sweetnam added: “I feel we are doing something that would be of benefit to other communities and hopefully at the end of it we will have a toolkit there to take it forward and that could be used elsewhere.”

She said an amazing variety of businesses had taken up the opportunity provided by the pop-up shops and reported that the feedback had been tremendous.

For more information search Facebook for Selkirk Pop Up Shops.