Pop-up at Alternatives

Posted on December 13, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

piccadilly st james churchst james church alternatives pop up

Top left: the Eros snow globe at Piccadilly Circus; top right: the Christmas tree outside of St Jame's church; bottom left and right: interior of the church


One aspect I love about running a business is that you never know what will happen tomorrow. Although this applies to life in general, but with business, any opportunity or unexpected event could come along, so I believe having an open mindset is essential. A few weeks ago, I received an unexpected phone call from the spirituality and personal development organisation, Alternatives asking if I was interested in doing a pop-up at one of their regular Monday evening events at St Jame's Church in Piccadilly. It was a new trial for them as they have only sold books at their previous events, and so it took several phone calls and emails before we could finalise on it. I was told that there would be a screening of a documentary on the Dalai Lama that evening, and so it was going to be a packed out event.

Intriguingly, this was the second time that I have been approached by a spiritual/religion organisation since I started meditation a few years ago. Back in 2009, I was hired to design a booklet for the Buddhism festival that took place at the V & A and Barbican in London. Coincidence? Perhaps not. I was informed by the organisers that they particularly like our eco-friendly range of products and felt that their members and subscribers would appreciate them too. Very encouraging words indeed.


alternatives pop up


The evening's documentary was the Road to Peace with a Q & A session with the director, Leon Stuparich. The documentary follows the Dalai Lama and goes behind the scene on his trip to the U.K. in 2008. It captures the playful and down-to-earth side of His Holiness that we rarely get to see, so it was fascinating and eye-opening at the same time.


alternatives pop up


However, most people who attended the event were there to 'see' the Dalai Lama and not to shop, so realistically speaking, it was not probably not the most ideal night or spot to be selling. Many people were curious in regards to my 'odd' presence, but I could not say that it was a fruitful evening ( in economic terms). The experience was completely new for me, not only did I have to set up everything in less than 45 mins, I had to pack up in even less time... this could be a good training if I were ever to become an illegal street vendor!

Part of the fun of running a business is that it is unpredictable and risky, and I have come to realise that every 'mistake' ( or setback) brings me more insight and helps me to make better decisions in the future.

Leaving the church, I consoled and told myself that at least I had an opportunity to sell inside a historical church and watched a spiritually enhanced documentary, so all is not lost... luckily, there was still the East London design show to be followed in a few days' time...


This post was posted in London, Shopping, Buddhism & meditation, Pop ups and was tagged with London, documentaries, Buddhism, Christmas shopping, pop up shop