The Factory Dalston: hub for local creative business to host official launch event
- Credit: Archant
Dalston has a new space for fledgling fashion, art, wellness and lifestyle brands to make a name for themselves.
The Factory, which is located on Shacklewell Lane, opened for its soft-launch in April and has been adding a batch of creative businesses and hosting pop-up events ever since. Now, founder Mehmed Unluer invites the community to explore this new centre for local enterprise at The Factory's full launch event on Thursday, November 21.
"We want to create something special in keeping with the history of the area," Unluer says, "offering opportunities to brands who need a flexible space to operate in.
"In a short space of time, we already have some amazing brands working with us, offering a mixture of sustainable, quality and local goods to the Hackney community."
Split in to 21 high-spec 'pods', residents of The Factory include Rozenbroek - a menswear brand that's exclusively vegan - and the first physical store of natural skincare company Neighbourhood Botanicals. There's a Disco Barre studio in pod #5, and two friends have merged their hair and beauty business to create The Hackney Wagon x Hair by B over in pods nine and 10.
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The Factory also has a spot for beautiful stationery products courtesy of Methodical, whose founder Lucinda insists the best present she's ever received was a vintage label-maker for her 27th birthday.
"A lot of these brands are already selling in markets and online," adds Unluer. "This is a place where they can take the next step, be a part of a little community and meet their customers face-to-face."
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So why is The Factory a good fit for Shacklewell Lane?
"Dalston used to be known as the centre of design and makers, [although] I feel like some of that has moved to places in south London. Dalston is still the centre for creatives, it's for people who don't want to just be working nine to five, and I want to preserve that."
The 27-year-old wants The Factory to be a launch pad for emerging entrepreneurs, explaining that if a brand approached him asking for a space for five to ten years, "it would indicate that they're the wrong type of business.
"I want that growth, in reality I want these brands [who are part of The Factory] to outgrow here, and for new ones to come in."
At the front of The Factory there is a triple unit, where Unluer plans to host an ever-expanding schedule of pop-up events and product launches. A handmade market and the unveiling of a new collection from LeBlanc Jewellery are planned over the coming weeks, while an "exhibition of tattoo-inspired folk paintings" is on until Thursday (November 14).
Unluer says he's "looking to build a whole programme of events" at The Factory, "keeping it on a rotating basis, so that we've always got something interesting to involve the local community in."
The Factory, 21—31 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, E8 2DA. A launch event with music, food and drinks takes place on November 21 from 6pm to 10pm. More details here.