Interview by Melanie Gropler
Showroom Shoreditch located in London is a multibrand concept store and a designer showroom that has been created and curated by Only Child designer Kelly Jackson. It has opened last summer and stocks a range of designers both emerging and established. The store works on a seasonal/bi seasonal designer rotation to make it accessible for hand picked talented designers. The store already houses over 40 brands including Pocket London created by Louise Thompson and Kelsey Hutton, Rosa Bloom, Only Child and Baia Bags to name a few. Here, Kelly Jackson discusses her store concept.
Why did you open your store? Tells us the story and your motivation!
Initially I was looking to find a studio with a small retail space for my jewellery & accessories brand Only Child London and had looked around at quite a lot of spaces in East London that didn’t feel right, I eventually was shown a whole shop unit that felt like a huge undertaking at that stage but the more I thought about the possibilities the more it seemed like a great idea and I came up with the concept for Showroom Shoreditch. I spoke to a few of my friends who are also independent designers and they said they’d be interested in joining a physical store environment that promoted independent brands that was run by a designer for designers, something that’s an accessible platform for small brands looking to grow their business.
What is important for you in terms of shop fitting and store design?
The store design was completely from natural instinct, it’s like an extension of my brand in a way. I knew it had to be eclectic and a really interesting environment to shop in that reflected the nature of the products beong sold in it. There was also a very small budget to consider but I don’t think that held me back from much in terms of the overall aesthetic and one of my favourite elements of the store design is that it has a constant element of natural evolution depending on what designers of types of producs we have in stock at any one time.
What are the anchor Brands? Which brands have you recently added to the assortment?
Obviously my own brand Only Child London is an apparent and constant feature in-store but other brands like Lady Gonzalez, Fuud London & Pocket London have been here from the very beginning and are really popular among customers. One of the newest brands we have in stock is LoveKaos who make incredible headpieces as well as clothing and we also and amazing homewares brand called Mexzik who import hand-painted suger skulls from Mexico.
What are five products you couldn’t live without right now?
Only Child skull spoon pendant
Clon8 ‘armour‘ jumper
Baia custom made leather backpack
Mexzik skull (recently added to my pretty big skull collection!)
Marc Jacobs Ninja Wave low rise trainers
Which fairs do you visit? Or do you only order at showrooms? Where do you inform yourself about trends?
I frequently visit fashion weeks in London & Paris. I’m not hugely in to following trends as such but I use Instagram quite a lot and find a lot of new interesting designers that way.
Did your store’s sales increase or decrease over last year? To what do you attribute your gain or loss in sales?
We haven’t been open for a whole year yet but sales are generally good, there are the obvious peak times like Christmas & ‘January sales’ times but I think summer will be our best time of year.
Do you also operate an online shop? If so, what percentage of your sales are from online business compared to your brick-and-mortar sales?
We do have an online shop – it’s quite new so the bulk of our sales come from the physical store but online sales are something we’re looking to drive forward at the moment.
What makes your store different and in what ways does your store excel beyond your competition?
To be honest our customer base is pretty loyal considering we’re relatively new, we have a lot of repeat custom and the general reaction to the store is incredibly positive. There aren’t many shops around that look like Showroom Shoreditch or stock similar brands, we have a great relationship with our designers as well as a friendly manner amongst staff members that I think really projects really well to customers too.
How do you stay in touch with the wants and needs of your customers?
Because of the friendly enviorment we’ve created here, our customers stay and chat probably more than in most stores so we get to hear first hand what they want and what they are looking for. We always check out any online feedback we get too and keep up with whats going on in our local area plus the time of year etc. so we can adapt to the needs of our customers and potential customers.
Is there a kind of model store for you? Some shop (worldwide), which inspires you?
I’ve always loved the ever-changing enviroment of Dover Street Market, they stock amazing products and their displays are always creative and unusual.
What is the biggest challenge for retailing right now?
The biggest challenge in retail for us right now is spreading the word about the store as quickly as possible so we get more new customers. As I mentioned earlier Instagram has been an integral part of Showroom Shoreditch, not only for discovering new brands but also for customers to discover us – we have had a large number of people coming into the shop because they said they saw it on Instagram which I think is great and really interesting.
3 Charlotte Rd,
London EC2A 3DH,