I was very excited to hear about the Created in Birmingham pop-up shop that is opening in the Bullring this week. It is located in between Miss Selfridge and Faith (or for you iPeeps, opposite the Apple Store) Spearheaded by Chris Unitt, editor of the Created in Birmingham blog, it will show, sell and promote local talent. Chris was able to spare some time to talk to me all about it. The opening is this Thursday from 5-8pm. Tuneage will be provided by Colour and Sister 45.
How did the idea come about?
I’ve been really into the idea of pop-up shops for a while and have especially loved the concept behind New York’s Grand Opening. I never expected to be opening a shop of my own though.
How on earth did you get such a good location?!
It’s amazing what you get when you ask! I’m doing some work with Bullring as part of my day job (I run a company called Meshed Media) and happened to talk to the right person at the right time. I asked if they’d considered giving a pop-up shop over to independent artists and, without really intending it to happen, I was offered a unit myself. The location, it has to be said, is fantastic. Thanks Bullring!
How long will you have the shop?
We’ve agreed to be in there for a minimum of six weeks, after that we’ll leave when they find a permanent, paying tenant or we lose the energy to keep going. Unless something surprising happens, I can see the shop lasting for 3 months at the most.
What have we got to look forward to in the shop? Any events?
As much as we can possibly squeeze in, I hope. For starters, we’ll be looking to cover the walls with as much photography, illustration and paintings as possible to give it a semi-gallery feel. We’ll be renting stalls out on an ad hoc basis to anyone who wants to sell their wares or promote their services. I’m hoping we’ll be able to squeeze in a couple of events a week – talks, meet-ups, little acoustic gigs and the like. I’d love to hear from any theatre groups with suggestions of things they’d like to use the shop for. Nothing’s quite finalised at the moment, but we’re speaking to lots of people about selling their stuff or doing events with them. Those people include Chris Keenan, Kate Beatty, Flatpack Festival, Lewes Heriott, Maria Rankin, Jo Ruth, The REP, sampad, Luke Halilley, Sarah Ray, Birmingham Royal Ballet and lots more. It’s a good list!
Can people still get involved in volunteering, suggesting events, have stalls?
Yes! Absolutely. We’ve had a great response to the call we put out but there’s room for plenty more. It’s not going to last forever, so this might be the only chance people get to be involved in something like this. There are links to the various ‘Get Involved’ forms here as well as a place to leave any suggestions.
I wish the shop every success. See you at the opening!