Hackney doll-maker sets up pop-up shopping hub in Stoke Newington to help local traders
- Credit: Monero Dolls
A Hackney doll-maker has opened a new pop-up shopping hub to help local creatives sell arts and crafts.
In August, after receiving a government grant, Doll shop owner Sandra Monero set-up the N16 Pop-Up Hub on Stoke Newington High Street where she and other traders now sell arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery and other local products.
She said: “I started the hub, not only as a way to sell my dolls, but also as a way to help other traders sell their goods during these difficult times.
“I want to bring the local community together and encourage people to shop locally to support small businesses.”
Last year, the Stoke Newington resident set up a small start-up business making and selling hand-crafted black dolls after receiving funding from the Guinness Partnership housing association.
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But, despite a successful launch, her doll company, Monero Kids Boutique, was heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown meant Sandra could no longer sell dolls from her shop in Dalston on Balls Pond Road and, after briefly re-opening in July, the business owner took the decision to permanently shut her store.
However, Sandra was not about to give up and changed her business model, creating a new website to encourage more online sales and later opening the hub in Stoke Newington.
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The Aspire Award, given by landlord Guinness to help Sandra grow her business, offers grants to residents to help pay for education and training courses.
Funding from the awards programme went towards business tools and a new sewing machine.
Sandra said: “ When I received the Aspire Award I could never have guessed what the forthcoming year would have in store for me and my doll business.
“Lockdown meant I had to be more creative with my business ideas and I had to reflect on how to keep moving onwards and upwards.”
For more information about the shopping hub click here or follow Monero Kids Boutique on Instagram @monerodolls
To find out more about the Aspire Awards Programme open to all Guinness residents click here