Shop Local: Mums team up for pop-up opening on April 12

Catalina Martin set up Gather + Give just before the first lockdown.

Catalina Martin set up Gather + Give just before the first lockdown. - Credit: Gather + Give

A group of mumpreneurs have joined forces to open a new pop-up shop in the wake of lockdown.

Spring Pop-Up is running from the premises of sustainable gift shop Gather + Give on Hatfield Road, which has struggled to trade throughout the past year due to the various lockdowns.

Owner Catalina Martin told the Herts Ad last year: "Paying rent on an empty shop throughout lockdown has really taken its toll on my business, and the fact that I've been closed longer than I've been open is heartbreaking.

"Opening a shop anytime is a big challenge but opening one just before 2020 has been harder than any of us could have imagined."

But thanks to the support of her fellow mums - who all run small independent St Albans businesses - Gather + Give has re-opened in a new guise, now working alongside other brands, including Tommy & Lottie, Made By Montwill, Wolf & Bee and Be Beach Kids.

The aim of the partnership is to share the rent and other expenses, and keep the shop open as a store and studio space over the coming month, with the official opening on April 12.

Catalina added: "Joining with these other amazing local brands is such an exciting way to re-open the store and will offer St Albans residents a truly local shopping experience.  

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"I grew up here in St Albans so I knew I wanted the store to be local and I was keen to create a community hub, supporting local makers and offering fun family crafting workshops."

Katie Carr from Tommy & Lottie.

Katie Carr from Tommy & Lottie. - Credit: © Anne Naisbitt

Katie Carr from unisex, ethical and sustainable clothing brand Tommy & Lottie said: "I'm really excited to be part of the Gather + Give Spring Pop-Up as it's even more important now that local businesses support each other and work together. I've missed face-to-face events and markets over this last year so I am really looking forward to it."

Made by Montwill offers seasonal and sustainable floristry and an event design service. It was established by Rebecca Montwill after the pandemic and her third baby halted her career in the corporate events industry.

Rebecca Montwill of Made By Montwill.

Rebecca Montwill of Made By Montwill. - Credit: Made By Montwill

She said: "I’m so excited to be part of a collaboration with these fabulous women, keeping a small business open on my local high street and sharing my creations with the amazing local community that has helped me and my family through these unprecedented times."

Lizzy Kyriacou started needle felt brand Wolf & Bee 18 months ago following encouragement from friends, only to be hit by the pandemic a short time later.

Lizzy Kyriacou runs needle felt brand Wolf & Bee.

Lizzy Kyriacou runs needle felt brand Wolf & Bee. - Credit: Wolf & Bee

"I am over the moon to have the opportunity to join other fabulous creators and businesses in this exciting pop-up shop and to finally be able to meet up with the wonderfully supportive local community who have continued to buy online and encouraged me through the past year."

The last member of the partnership so far is Nazli Sahin of Be Beach Kids, selling Turkish towels and muslin blankets, robes, gowns and handmade toys.

She set up the company after finding it challenging to prepare for a trip to the swimming pool or beach, and struggling to find unique and high quality clothing products for her boys in the UK.

She decided to produce them herself in pastel colours using high quality fabrics: "What started as a pretty spontaneous decision turned into an unpredictable journey, which has been an amazing one ever since. 

Nazli Sahin of Be Beach Kids

Nazli Sahin of Be Beach Kids - Credit: Be Beach Kids

"When you run a small business you are the face of your brand, people want to get to know you before they can buy from you so I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself to you and join the pop-up shop. Our job as parents and carers is to keep our little ones safe, and if you're anything like me, we can meet in store."

The pop-up shop will be open Mondays-Saturdays between 10am-4pm, and can be found at 117 Hatfield Road, opposite the cemetery.