Great success for Derry Businesses’ pop-up shop

The Derry Business Collective, a group of local, independent business owners came together on Saturday for a pop-up event.

The event was held in the main hall of the Guildhall and for many local business owners, it was the first time they had sold their products in-person, as opposed to online.

Laurie Ferguson is a self-taught silversmith from Derry, who makes jewellery. Laurie struggles to navigate the world of online selling so she thought of the idea for the pop-up event and developed it with other members of the Collective.

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Laurie said: “I don’t have a great online presence and the other members of the Collective have always helped me out. They promote my products, like they do with all local businesses in the group. This was my way of bringing online sellers together and to give back to them for always sharing my posts and helping with online engagement.

The business owners who had stalls at the Derry Business Collective Pop-up event on Saturday in the Guildhall.

“You have to put a lot of time and effort into having a good online presence and you don’t always reap the rewards of that so face-to-face is great to let people come and see what people make and get people together to have a chat too.

“It has gone really well here today. We had a lot of people come along, especially tourists because the Carnival of Colours is on just outside the Guildhall and people are coming up to look at the beautiful room and the organ and take it all in. The staff in the Guildhall have been amazing, too. They couldn’t do enough to help us today and have been driving people upstairs to have a look at what’s going on.”

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Natasha Simpson set up the Derry Business Collective when she started her own business, Adoire and Eden. She wanted to create a way to connect with other business owners to support one another and share each others content. The Collective have an Instagram page where they share local businesses and also keep in contact with each other on Whatsapp. They are always welcoming new members who would like to join.

Natasha said: “This event has gone so much better than I thought it would. I can’t get over the crowds of people that have come here. I’m so happy for everybody involved and it’s just great to see everybody so busy and getting sales, which was the whole point of today.

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Ciara McEleney from Shining Stars Co.

“This is the first stall I’ve ever had so this is like a real baptism of fire for me! There are a few others as well in the same position and we’re all loving it. It’s great to get out there to meet your costumers and hear their feedback so it’s amazing.”

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Louise O’Grady, Sole Designs, makes and designs cards.

She said: “I was asked to do the marketing for this event so I designed the posters and a few of us got together to create a ‘golden ticket’ chocolate bar and a goodie-bag of some of the items for sale and gave them to influencers to get the word out.

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“We’ll hopefully try and do another one near Christmas so we’ll get thinking about that over the next few weeks. Anyone can join the Business Collective, they just have to follow @derry_business_collective and send a message with some photos, a logo and a description of the logo and that’s it. We’re all about supporting everybody and trying to shop local.”

Laurie Ferguson, who owns Silkie Silver. Laurie came up with the idea for the pop-up event because she finds it hard to navigate selling online.
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Louise O'Grady, who runs Sole Designs. Louise helped organise the pop-up event in the Guildhall.
The 'Golden Ticket' invite to the Derry Business Collective day.