What?: Pop-up shopping event brought to you by the brains behind the brilliant Babyccino. The ShopUp has been championing independent kids’ brands in London since 2013, as well as holding regular events in LA and NYC. While I’d love to say I’m a seasoned ShopUp shopper who’s loyally schlepped to every event I’m actually I’m a total fraud because I literally found out about this thing last week. Forgive me, but when it was established four years ago I was a totally child- and care-free zone who spent most of my weekends in bed hungover and crying, so children’s shopping fairs were pretty far from my mind. These days I can genuinely think of no better way to spend a Saturday than eyeing up Nordic newborn knitwear and organic cotton teepees and chatting to talented mumtrepreneurs, although let’s pretend I didn’t just use that word.
Where & When?: The ShopUp’s Spring 2017 London edition is taking place on the 6-7th May (10am-6pm on Sunday) at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. The nearest station is Shoreditch High Street (Ginger), just a five-minute walk away, but don’t even bother trying to navigate the Brick Lane Sunday market with a buggy because you will want to murder everyone. Instead turn right out of the station, left up Commercial Street and keep walking until you get to Hanbury Street, where you will see the turning for OTB. Coming by Tube? Liverpool Street (mainline, Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan) and Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City) are both a 10-minute walk away, while Old Street (Northern) is about 15.
Best Bits: Clothing highlights include Where’s That Bear, a line of reasonably priced, durable pieces for kids aged 1-6 that’s so called because every item features a hidden bear; Well Grounded Company, whose unisex clothes for 2-12s feature specially commissioned fantasy designs penned by London illustrators; and MamaOwl, a Hackney-based brand specialising in natural wool clothing with a Nordic twist. I also loved Doodle Nest, which transforms kids’ artworks into coffee table books, and completely fell in love with Jumbo & Friends‘ contemporary nursery furniture.
Worst Bits: I have intense, abiding feelings for the Old Truman Brewery but it does seem like a pretty mental choice of venue for a kids’ shopping fair. The space is quite small for 30-plus stands to squish into so things feel slightly chaotic at peak times. Access is via the (albeit-not-very-tall) fire escape, so if you’re by yourself with a buggy you’ll have to ask an apron-clad ShopUpper to help you, or you could just make a huge meal of bumping your child down the steps whilst looking really pathetic until a random passerby takes pity on you and comes to your rescue. I went with the latter option. If you can get over the logistical issues, charismatic Shoreditch is actually a surprisingly good family day-trip destination – and if you don’t know the area then the nice people at Babyccino have put together a brilliant guide to help you.
Facilities: Toilets with baby-changing; buggy park; kids’ craft area with crayons, crown-making and free Little Dish Pop Pops. As you can see we also wangled a balloon, which Bab was maniacally happy about.
Cost: Entry is completely and utterly free, but once you’re inside you will want to part with a lot of money. So really the free entry is a trick; an abominable trick.
Bab has a right old laugh with her balloon outside ShopUp at the Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch