Urban Outfitters is giving small businesses, creative types, and entrepreneurs a fantastic platform to run a pop-up in any of its UK stores. We caught up with Woonwear, founded by Daniel Woon, who shared his story.
Providing the platform to shine
Already a diverse business, Urban Outfitters is now extending its opportunities to emerging local businesses, artists and makers to trade in their stores.
Designed to support and encourage up-and-coming creatives, young entrepreneurs will be able to trial their new shop or project in a ready-to-go set-up, promote their new venture and reach a fresh audience.
All Urban Outfitters Marketplaces are offered to vendors free of charge, and additionally, vendors will have:
- A space within an Urban Outfitters store to trade for a fixed period
- An Urban Outfitters fixture set up for the duration of their stay
- Support with set up (visual merchandising, product and trading)
- Marketing guidance and assets for their own promotion on their website and social channels
Urban Outfitters approached Blueprint for All in search of budding creatives with diverse offerings. Daniel Woon of Woonwear grew up in South London, and comes from a supportive family with English, Jamaican, Chinese, and Greek roots. While studying for his degree, Woonwear was born…
Why did you decide to start up your business, and what was your inspiration?
2019-2020 my last year of university. I just had a lot of ideas that I wanted to create and bring to life. @Woonwear provided me with an outlet to do so. It was a hobby at first where I started silk screen printing, making my screens from scratch. When I wore them out, I had quite a few compliments and people seemed to like my designs. At the time I was very much inspired by Virgil Abloh. His attitude was to create, fail and learn from the process. This is something I’ve adopted.
Why did you decide to apply for the Blueprint for All x Urban Outfitters marketplace?
I decided to apply because I thought it was an incredible opportunity. At University I would often go to Urban Outfitters in Manchester and I loved the vast variety of graphic tees. When I saw the opportunity to have a marketplace in Urban Outfitters I just had to apply.
What insight have you gained from partaking in the pop-up?
The experience of organising and managing a pop-up has been fun and insightful. I often wondered whether I could run my own store. This has been a good hands-on experience of that and I’d hope to take on what I’ve learnt to do more pop-ups in the future, with the intention to grow and eventually have my own flagship store. Naturally, I’d like to gain more exposure and get my ideas out there. If people like them then that’s a good thing, if not then I can use that to adapt and tailor new ideas.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting up your business and how have you overcome this?
Keeping the momentum. One thing I’ve learnt is that you need to plan how to roll out your ideas. I’m terrible, I like to put everything out there all at once, but I think it’s better to roll things out slowly to build suspense and momentum at the same time. I am still figuring this out but I’m enjoying the process. Things rarely go exactly to plan so it’s important to learn how to adapt quickly.
Any advice for anyone wanting to start up their own business?
Just to do it. Everyone has ideas, but fewer people have the courage to turn them into a reality. If you can place your idea on paper then you can turn that into a reality. If it is something you are passionate about also then it’s also unlikely to fail. Enjoy the ups and downs as it’s all a part of the same process.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you in the working world?
It’s imperative to have diversity and inclusion in the working world. Without it, you will be left with an extremity limited perspective. Coming from a mixed background myself, I believe the collaboration of cultures and backgrounds to be the ultimate recipe for a progressive working environment.
And finally, what’re your plans for the future?
Alongside Woonwear I am also studying to become a barrister. My plans are to peruse a legal career whilst also nurturing a successful business. Ultimately, I think it’s important to do the things that make me happy, so that is what I am focusing on.