When the UK high streets are suffering in what is one of the harshest economic situations of our time, is it worth investing your hard earned money and time opening a physical store?
My immediate Twitter community was buzzing in the lead up to this week’s opening of hot new fashion boutique POP. You simply must join in the Twitter hashtag hype and use #POPthefashionstore.
Then pack your iPhone and iPad so that you can keep Tweeting, and head to check out Olney’s newest one-of-a-kind fashion addition owned by local social media princess and busy mum of three, Kaisa Larkas-Mossop.
Expect to find clothes and accessories by cool up and coming Scandinavian and British designers at POP, as well some more established brands, and a bijou selection of vintage and second-hand designer goods. I am privileged to be amongst some of the top fashion bloggers and industry fash-pack to be invited to a press evening Friday 4th of May at the store.
I will be posting photos and gossip following that event. However in the mean time, I spent a little time with POP The Fashion Store owner-slash POP fitness instructor-slash fashion journalist and blogger, Kaisa who moved to Olney two years ago with her beautiful family. From what’s in her wardrobe to on her feet, and what we can expect to flex our credit cards on in new boutique POP.
What are your two wardrobe staples? Just two, really?! 🙂 If you are that ‘cruel’, I’m going to have to choose my FINSK wedges and All Saints black Petrel Brodies.
Busy mum of three. Fitness instructor. Fashion journalist and blogger. And now boutique owner…What keeps you so full of energy and inspired to take on these challenges? My husband is an entrepreneur and has started many businesses, so I think I can lay a lot of ‘blame’ on him. He is very inspiring and has always pushed me to do things that I myself haven’t even necessarily been aware that I was capable off. We had talked about the idea of a shop in Olney and online but more in terms of maybe doing something when all the kids are in school in a few years time. Then he found a space and said I should do it…and here we are now!It’s all been very quick!
Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. I have been teaching different exercise classes since I was 17 first on the side of my studies and then my journalism and PR work. I have recently launched Pop Fitness, which offers classes from circuits to ashtanga yoga. I only got into running just over a year ago but am now completely hooked…
How do you juggle your children and your business schedule? I have a fantastic Finnish Au Pair called Anna who is an absolute gem. I wouldn’t be able to do all this without her. I’m also lucky to have a husband who is very supportive. Also, my mum and dad come over from Finland when ever I need help – we are very close.
What are your favourite places to shop for YOU? Easy!:) Selfridges and Start Boutique in London. Out of the high street shops, Zara is my absolute favourite. Online it would have to be Mywardrobe and Net-a-Porter
What are your favourite places to shop for babies/children? I like Scandinavian brands, such as Mini A Ture, Katvig, Mini Rodini and Polarn o Pyret. For my daughter, I love Zara kids and for the boys I tend to buy clothes from Gap.
Why POP, and what can we expect to see in store? I will be doing monthly pop up events in the shop to keep it fresh and exciting so that is where the name came from. I will be stocking cool and up and coming Scandinavian and British labels, such as R/H, Skin by FINSK, Moxham, Elkin and Minna as well as some more established brands. I think my store will appeal to women who keep up with trends and have their individual style. I see them being a bit like me in that they might like to mix high street items with some more stand out, unique pieces. For example, the Moxham brass and leather jewellery I am getting in will stand out so you might want to team up one of her necklaces with a simple T-shirt. Then again, the Minna Scottish lace tops and dresses will hopefully appeal to anyone from a teenager to a grandma! They are gorgeous, easy to wear and can be dressed up or down, depending what you match them with.
Does POP reflect your own personal style? It will but when buying stock, I have also had to keep in mind that I can’t just buy in the things that I absolutely adore. For example, not everyone loves skulls…Most of the brands I will have in are those that I have loved and followed for years and some of the newer labels I have been lucky to find through fashion blogs and Twitter. I’m so excited about being able to work with so many fantastic designers!
What are your favourite indulgences? Food or fashion wise? If we’re talking about food, I haven’t got a sweet tooth so my idea of ‘heaven’ is a cheese board and a glass of wine. If we are talking shopping, I love handbags and shoes.
What is your handbag of choice? And what do you never leave home without?A Mulberry. I have way too many of them. Although currently I am loving my new Moxham patented orange clutch – and am forever dreaming of a Chanel 2.55… I never leave home without my iPhone, lip balm and chewing gum!
What is the role of the fashion blogger in promoting businesses like your own? Huge. Anyone who would underestimate that would be silly! There are too many fabulous blogs for me to start listing here but my latest fashion blogger encounter was with the lovely Sandra from 5incheandup who I met just a couple of days ago. She only started her blog and now gets 30.000 views a day. That’s just mad. There are certain bloggers who would wear something for their blog and that particular item would sell out in the shops. So if I get the fashion bloggers interested in my store, I’ll be very happy.
Kaisa – we are there! And you can be too. Visit POP today, located at 4 Rose Court, Olney. Click here for Google Maps.