Pop up stores are all the rage these days and have been a firm favourite with fashion brands since 2004. The concept is just like a moving exhibition; find a venue, set up shop, display items artfully and then set off to the next venue. Smaller niche companies have all been there and done that with pop ups placed in cosmopolitan cities in Europe. So it was no surprise when large lifestyle brands such as Comme des Garçons, MTV, Nike, Sony Ericsson, Adidas and Levis decided to give the idea a try. However, beating them to the punch was Wanderland Boutique, a wandering pop up boutique that has been created out of a love for fashion and all things that a little bit different. The brand has been trading since 2003 but have now launched a shop in Manchester at the ultra trendy Afflecks Palace and are set to tour other cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Derby, Doncaster, Birmingham and Dublin. I met up with founder, Barbara Ojeogwu to find out the ins and outs of brand new, vintage and handmade clothing.
What is the concept of Wanderland Boutique?
The concept of Wanderland Boutique is to provide fashionable & one off items at great prices. We're able to do this by handpicking all of the products that go into the boutiques. We're also able to do this by reducing our overheads. The pop up boutiques are a unique and inexpensive way for us to attract new customers and provide them with clothes that would otherwise cost that bit more. The fact that we are a pop up means that we are able to set up in unlikely places such as bars, park greens and even possibly even double Decker buses.
How did you come up with the title of the shop?
The title is based on two factors. The first being that we pop up all over the UK with the boutique. The second is that we also travel far and wide to find stock for the boutique. We wander the land.
Where do you source your clothes from?
The clothes are sourced from all over the world. An example would be handbags from wholesalers in Japan and New York. Dresses from Dublin and Morocco. Shoes are made up in Manchester. We also mix this up with hot vintage finds or great pieces that friends or family have found on their wanders.
Describe to me a typical Wanderland customer?
Our typical customer wouldn't be described as the most affluent of people yet when it comes to style and creativity they're rich. These girls and ladies don't buy their style, they put it together. They're not the clones that you often see as a result of high street marketing campaigns.
What is your work background?
I actually come from an IT Background, I worked as an IT trainer for a sofware company up until December 2008.
Who are your fashion influences?
My main fashion influences are mainly my mum and sisters; between them those ladies have style. I also take a lot from what I see on the streets, whether it's fabrics, items or just how certain items are worn. It's good to try out new things and and maybe mix them up a little. Today I went to work in one of my own tops that was missing a belt so I used the velvet lace from my ballet shoes. A belt would have been too bulky and the result was good.
Are there any celebs out there who you would like to dress in Wanderland style?
Kate Nash came into my shop in the first week of opening and loved it so much that she made a second trip up the three flights of stairs to make another purchase in the same day. So I suppose you could say I already have dressed a celeb. I'd happily do the same again for Kate or Lady Gaga.
You can find Wanderland Boutique at the following venues:
28-30 Oldham Street
More dates will be added soon!