Stewartstown entrepreneur Emma Campbell has harnessed her creative talent and is selling her unique illustrations and prints in Belfast’s newest Pop-Up shop.
Emma is one of nine participants on Belfast City Council’s Market Start Up Programme who have pooled their talents to sell their products at the ‘We Make’ Pop Up Shop in the Queen Street Studios at 31-33 Bedford Street.
Along with Emma’s designs visitors will find hand-printed fabrics and home accessories; bridal jewellery; photographic prints; paper crafts; celebration cakes; savoury and sweet waffles and Sri Lankan food.
Emma studied textile art at the University of Ulster and graduated in 2010.
“I love working with textiles – but I also knew that finding a job in this area was going to be difficult. There aren’t a lot of opportunities and I soon realised that if I was serious about pursuing my passion then I’d have to make it happen myself and look at setting up my own business,” she said.
“It can be daunting to make that initial step which is why the Belfast City Council Market Start Up programme worked so well for me. We had workshops with successful traders and got help to write a business plan. Despite knowing I wanted to set up my own business I didn’t really have any idea what I was going to produce and it was only through working with my mentor, who helped me realise the potential of my illustrations and digital designs, that things started to progress and my business ‘Brambles Creature Show’ came to life!” she continued.
“After that it was a matter of testing the market and I had the opportunity to sell my products – stationery and prints - at St George’s Market in the run-up to Christmas. It was really encouraging to get such positive feedback from customers which spurred me on to look at other opportunities like the Pop Up shop.”
She said the whole experience has been fantastic.
“I’m continuing to work on new designs whilst also actively looking for retailers and stockists across Northern Ireland. The response to the Pop Up shop has been so good that we’re considering taking it to other towns and cities – check out my blog for the latest developments – creatureshow.wordpress.com or find me on facebook.”
Deirdre Fitzpatrick from Full Circle Management Solutions who run the programme on behalf of Belfast City Council said this is the first time that a Pop Up shop has been part of the Market Start Up programme.
“It’s a great opportunity for new businesses to test the marketplace and gives shoppers the chance to browse and buy a fantastic range of products by some of our newest and most talented artists,” she added.
The ‘We Make’ Pop-Up shop is open until Sunday (March 9) from 11am to 7pm. Emma’s designs are also available at the An Creagan Visitor Centre in the foothills of the Sperrins.