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Shop Local: Stoke Newington pop-up shopping hub to support Hackney traders again once lockdown ends

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 18 November 2020

JobiliActiveWear was founded by Joanne Clarke in 2019. Picture: JobiliActiveWear

JobiliActiveWear was founded by Joanne Clarke in 2019. Picture: JobiliActiveWear

JobiliActiveWear

A Stoke Newington doll-shop owner says the support she received to help kick-start her business inspired her to help other local traders by setting up a shopping hub.

CEO of JobiliActiveWear Joanne Clarke started adding masks to her collection during the first lockdown. Picture: JobiliActiveWearCEO of JobiliActiveWear Joanne Clarke started adding masks to her collection during the first lockdown. Picture: JobiliActiveWear

Despite her shop, Monero kids Boutique on Stoke Newington High Street, being shut due to the second coronavirus lockdown, Sandra Monero encourages customers to drop by when it reopens to check out the N16 pop-up shopping hub she created to support Hackney traders.

The businesses woman remembers how “daunting” it was setting up her own brand selling hand-crafted Black dolls and outfits.

READ MORE: Shop local: ‘Use ‘em or lose ‘em,’ says Hackney shop owner on Independent stores

SwAg HaTs brand was formed during the first lockdown in May. Picture: SwAg HaTsSwAg HaTs brand was formed during the first lockdown in May. Picture: SwAg HaTs

She told the Gazette: “I always said to myself, if I could be in a better position It will be good to help others that are struggling – because I knew it wasn’t only me and there were other people out there.

“Everybody’s got their own story and everyone’s got their own journey that they are going through and it is a struggle.”

Sandra felt on her own without much support until she got help securing funding from her landlord The Guinness Partnership, a national provider of affordable housing and care in England.

A customer looks at Sandra's dolls. Picture: Monero Kids BoutiqueA customer looks at Sandra's dolls. Picture: Monero Kids Boutique

She recalls going to a “lovely” place in London Fields called Fabrication and using their sewing facilities as well as visiting a friend’s place to borrow theirs until the Aspire Awards, in partnership with The Guinness Partnership, provided her with a sewing machine, a laptop and other tools to help her produce her doll clothing.

“To be honest I really do owe to The Guinness Partnership and Aspire because if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I’d be in this position now, “ Sandra added.

Before lockdown, Sandra says traders were doing very well at the hub. Customers were drawn in by the music from steel pan drums at the front of the shop and greeted by a “whole range of different things” on sale as well as food vendors selling jerk chicken, lamb burgers and vegan dishes.

Customers and Sandra Monero (second from top left) at the N16 shopping hub. Picture: Monero Kids BoutiqueCustomers and Sandra Monero (second from top left) at the N16 shopping hub. Picture: Monero Kids Boutique

“It was a good vibe,” Sandra said.

READ MORE: Businesswoman who opened Dalston shop selling hand-crafted Black dolls welcomes grant to help deal with demand

People stopping by the shop could peruse the hub for children’s toys, garden-ware, crystals, essential oils and herbs, art, clothing, masks, hand-made jewellery and furniture.

JobiliActiveWear will be sold at the Sandra Monero's N16 hub when lockdown ends on December 2. Picture: JobiliActiveWearJobiliActiveWear will be sold at the Sandra Monero's N16 hub when lockdown ends on December 2. Picture: JobiliActiveWear

Sandra says some of the traders products were bought from suppliers while other things on sale were handmade by local residents in Stoke Newington.

She said the hub was also helping traders collaborate and learn from each other with some getting involved in the hub as a hobby and others using the experience to kick start new or struggling brands.

“The whole idea of having something like the hub is that you don’t have to be attached to a lease or business rates,” she explained.

Yinka designs make bespoke, handcrafted cards. Picture: Yinka DesignsYinka designs make bespoke, handcrafted cards. Picture: Yinka Designs

The doll clothes-maker believes failure is an essential part of success but knows it is difficult for many to take on the risks of starting a new business.

“How would you know what is right and what is wrong, how to reflect and go back to the drawing board? In a way failure is good,” Sandra said.

READ MORE: Hackney doll-maker sets up pop-up shopping hub in Stoke Newington to help local traders

Uplifitng gift made by Yinka Designs and to be sold at the N16 shopping hub in December. Picture:Yinka DesignsUplifitng gift made by Yinka Designs and to be sold at the N16 shopping hub in December. Picture:Yinka Designs

She also says welcoming local traders to her pop-up has also helped her a lot too.

“Doing it this way is so much more beneficial for me because being in the shop on my own I was isolated.

This way I get to see different traders, mix with different kinds of cultures - so it’s a cool place,” Sandra said.

Mariama is testing recipes for a Christmas hamper to be sold at the shopping hub in December. Picture: MariamaMariama is testing recipes for a Christmas hamper to be sold at the shopping hub in December. Picture: Mariama

READ MORE: Monero Kids Boutique: Businesswoman opens Dalston store selling hand-crafted black dolls

Now the pop-up is a quieter place with only a few food vendors selling take-away snacks but the business founder is excited for the Christmas rush in December.

“November would have been great if we’d had the opportunity because people like to look around, they like to plan in advance and get products before.

SwAg HaTs are hand-made by local trader Carmella Woolhead and were being sold at the N16 Shopping Hub. Picture: Carmella WoolheadSwAg HaTs are hand-made by local trader Carmella Woolhead and were being sold at the N16 Shopping Hub. Picture: Carmella Woolhead

“But Christmas will be crazy which is good for us small traders and businesses because we’ve missed a whole month.”

Monero Kids Boutique can be found at 147 Stoke Newington High Street.

To buy Sandra’s dolls and outfits online or by click and collect click here

A selection of treats and cakes by Mariama. Picture: MariamaA selection of treats and cakes by Mariama. Picture: Mariama

Traders selling items at the shopping hub include:

Books by Bisi Akinola-Arutoghor. Visit her e-shop here www.angelicapoems.com/shop

SwAg HaTs by Carmella Woolhead was formed during the first lockdown in May.

African Warmth Hot Water bottle and cover made by Mariama Tushemeriirwe. Picture: MariamaAfrican Warmth Hot Water bottle and cover made by Mariama Tushemeriirwe. Picture: Mariama

“I wanted to design and make handmade ready made turbans for all but with children in mind using stimulating vibrant prints.

“It was hard at first as I sourced all my fabrics online so I couldn’t actually be sure of what I was purchasing. I then set up a website & was told by one of customer’s about the N16 pop up organised by Sandra Monero herself.

“I’d heard of her stunning sassy dolls and I made contact in July ready to trade in August & it was well set up, once the word got out locals in the area would come to support and the place was buzzing with lovely vibes.

SwAg HaTs. Picture: Carmella WoolheadSwAg HaTs. Picture: Carmella Woolhead

“Also networking with the other traders was good for our social media platforms.

“My 88yr old grandfather lives on Brook Road so it would have been nice for him to pop by to lift his spirits, but I’m hopeful that in 2021 this will be possible,” said Carmella.

Christmas Hampers by Mariama

Cakes by Mariama. Picture: MariamaCakes by Mariama. Picture: Mariama

JobiliActiveWear was founded by Joanne Clarke in 2019.

The CEO makes active wear made in African printed 4-way stretch Lycra but during lockdown she started making masks and ironing board covers. Shop online by clicking here.

Hackney based Yinka designs creates bespoke,handcrafted greeting cards and gifts.

JobiliActiveWear. Picture: JobiliActiveWearJobiliActiveWear. Picture: JobiliActiveWear

Follow on Facebook @yinkadesigns or by clicking here

Mariama by Mariama Tushemeriirwe sells unique hot water bottles and covers, phone holders, scrunchies and other accessories.

Can be found at www.mariama.co.uk or Instagram @mariamabymariama

Two Hearts as One Gift set Limited edition in blue by trader Mariama. Picture: MariamaTwo Hearts as One Gift set Limited edition in blue by trader Mariama. Picture: Mariama

Art by Bisi Akinola

Find out more on instagram @queenbartcreations7

Yinka Designs birthday card. Picture: Yinka DesignsYinka Designs birthday card. Picture: Yinka Designs

Bespoke card by Yinka Designs. Picture: Yinka DesignsBespoke card by Yinka Designs. Picture: Yinka Designs

Gift by Hackney-based Yinka Designs. Picture: Yinka DesignsGift by Hackney-based Yinka Designs. Picture: Yinka Designs

Art by Bisi Akinola to be sold at the E16 Shopping hub in December. Picture: Bisi AkinolaArt by Bisi Akinola to be sold at the E16 Shopping hub in December. Picture: Bisi Akinola


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