Westway Trust's Podobello pop-up shops at Thorpe Close have become a local landmark but their main role is to provide a platform from which local traders can build their businesses in a flexible, low cost environment.
One such tenant is L&As Beautie, run by Lilah, a beauty business offering manicures, pedicures and more. Lilah prides herself on her personal, unhurried approach and finds the opportunity offered by Podobello perfect for her business.
“I had my own place for five years, then I had a little bit of a break and then I came into this four months ago,” she says. “For me to have a pop-up … that’s the new thing that people want to do, like let’s have a pop-up shop, it’s a new trend. It such a famous area, a lot of people come here, a lot of tourists, so I thought it would be a good area to start with.”
The low cost and flexible terms means that there is not such a big commitment and L&A’s can focus on the customer: “Having a salon is brilliant but it’s that salon environment, it’s not really personal. Having this pop-up shop, people feel more comfortable.”
But it’s not just the clients that have made it comfortable - Lilah enjoys the support from Westway (“They’ve been really good putting things on social media and checking in all the time, seeing how they can help”) and the relationships with other Podobello businesses (“They’re all so friendly, it’s a real community, family feel, everyone looks out for everybody”).
Lilah is currently contemplating her next move for the business based on the idea of pop-ups, which, she says, has become a “long-term vision”, but whether it’s with Westway or elsewhere, we know it’ll be a good look.