Meet the Maker: The Electrical Shop

11 Sep 2015

With a killer combination of marketing knowledge and a background in contemporary engineering, friends James and Gregg decided to launch their cutting-edge lighting brand, The Electrical Shop. When they realised they’d discovered a niche in the market for innovative lighting products at an affordable price point, their brand grew from strength to strength. This encouraged them to launch their pop-up in Pop Brixton in which they showcased the designs of several of their favourite designers offering customers an exclusive look at the top products on the market. We chatted to James, co-founder of The Electrical Shop, to hear all about what they’ve been getting up to.

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How did The Electrical Shop come about? What drove you to open a store?

The Electrical Shop almost happened by accident. Greg and I had wanted to start our own business venture for a while, but hadn't yet found the niche we wanted to fill. On the sidelines, Greg (a qualified electrician), had been making lights for friends and family and the feedback he was getting was fantastic - that's when the penny dropped. We decided to use his technical know-how and my background in marketing and branding to create The Electrical Shop.

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What sets your apart from other designers in the same field?

One thing we were really keen to ensure was that the products we made had a realistic price point. The lighting world in particular seems to have two very distinct markets - the cheap throwaway mass-produced stuff (large Swedish retailers etc) and extortionate high-end bespoke stuff - with not a lot in the middle. We wanted to design and produce a product that embraced the design sensibilities of the high-end market, but that was priced somewhere in the middle. By designing in-house and producing everything here in the UK we've managed to do that.

What made you decide to launch a pop-up?

A pop up shop makes so much sense. We have been trading online for two years and have done events, markets and design shows in the past. As great as an online business is (very low overheads etc) you just can't beat having a physical presence - somewhere customers can discover what you do without having to trawl the internet.

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How did you go about selecting the other designers to be part of 'Resident'?

Resident was a natural progression for us.Through The Electrical Shop we have met a range of very talented designers and makers in other fields. Over time we slowly compiled a list of products and designers we wanted to work with and began curating a collection of wares that we felt both complemented the aesthetic of The Electrical Shop and took it that little bit further. Once we had that list we decided it was time to launch Resident.

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Why did you choose the space in Pop Brixton?

There were quite a few factors. Firstly, cost. Although we've been trading for a few years, we still need to be careful about what we spend and make decisions wisely. Pop Brixton is incredibly well-priced considering the size of the unit, the facilities you get and the location. We also did our research and realised that there just aren't that many other lifestyle stores in and around Brixton. It's renowned for food and drink, but there was a definite gap in the homewares department making it a great opportunity for us.

How has launching a pop-up and working with other designers affected your business growth?

In simple terms it casts your net a lot wider. Website traffic goes up, online sales go up and your social media following expands. Working with other designers too opens you up to their customers and peers and presents different opportunities.

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What advice would you give to someone looking to launch a pop-up shop?

Do it! Especially if you've only been trading online so far. Not only does it make sense for your business, it's a lot of fun too!