Crowdfunding goes bricks and mortar with pop-up store
Have you ever browsed through crowdfunding campaign pages online and wished you could try before you pledge? That's the idea behind Woondering, a pop-up shop coming to London's Brick Lane next month.
Crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter can be a good way for folks with ideas to connect directly with potential customers, while also pitching for funds to turn those ideas into reality. Once the domain of tinkerers and creatives, more and more established companies are testing development waters by dipping into crowdfunding.
But backing a project based on just a description and photos can be a bit of a gamble. It might be less so if you could get a feel for what you were throwing your hard-earned cash at, just as you would in a retail store. And that's what Felicia and Mihail Marian are hoping to offer with Woondering.
The husband and wife team is bringing together some current crowdfunding projects and giving Londoners the chance to go hands-on with them in a pop-up shop located at 220 Brick Lane, London. The bricks and mortar experience will run from December 9 to 15, and give folks who walk through the door the opportunity to pick up and play with things that they would only otherwise be able to see onscreen. They could even buy certain items there and then, rather than wait for them to ship at the end of a successful campaign.
"The vision is to have a physical space where people can connect with the products of up and coming creators," said Mihail. "These creators are facing significant headwinds nowadays due to the dominance of Amazon and low cost brands. And while the online, direct-to-consumer model is growing, its effectiveness remains to be seen as the digital environment is becoming hyper-competitive. The physical space is ripe for takeover by these cutting edge creators and Woondering provides the platform for them to do so."
Featured creators for the first pop-up include UGears, Norshire and MetaFly. A permanent London store is expected to open its doors from April next year, and more pop-ups are being planned for locations such as Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Miami, New York and Los Angeles.