Such & Such was founded by brother and sister, Ali and Nikki. Both shared a passion to bring unique products from designers and craft makers across the world under one roof, which is the driving force behind Such & Such. Last week, they launched their first pop-up store on Thurloe street. The Such & Such store aims to tell the story of every piece of the unique homewares, furniture, accessories, art and gifts they sell. We caught up with Ali and Nikki to find out more about Such & Such and what you can expect to find in their Thurloe Street pop-up shop.
How did you come up with the concept for Such & Such?
We were thinking about a few different business ideas but we really wanted to do something that we were passionate about. Nikki has a degree in fine art and worked as an interior designer, and I have always been interested in design and how things are made. The idea started out as a shop selling beautiful things that were not readily available on the high street and from there the concept developed over a period of time.
Whilst doing some initial research on products, we found that the products that we really liked were the ones with a great designer behind them or a good story, or both. We felt that we connected with the products more once we had met the designer and chatted to them about the story behind the product and how they were made so we started to search out products with a story.
We were also both conscious that nowadays there seems to be a bit of a throwaway culture, where things are bought with the intention of only having it for a short period of time. We wanted to sell things that were built to last and that people wanted to keep for a lifetime. Such & Such is more than just an online shop, it is about finding great designers and makers and telling the stories behind their products.
Why do you think independent makers need your support?
One of the reasons we set up Such & Such in the first place was because we felt that there are a lot of great designers and makers out there but that their work was not always getting in front of people or was not as easy to find as it should be.
There are some big names whose products are sold in big retailers but there are also lots of independent makers creating really well made beautiful products and we wanted to shine a spotlight on those makers and their work.
Why is important to tell people about their story too?
We feel that by telling the story behind a product people feel more connected to a product and so rather than it just being another object that is bought and then later thrown away or forgotten about, it is something special that people keep hold of and cherish.
You have an online site, why did you decide to launch a physical store?
One of the main criteria of the products we source is that they must be really well made. We are passionate about craftsmanship and the quality of materials used, sometimes this is difficult to show through images on a website so by doing a pop up shop people can come and see and touch the products, which allows them to appreciate the quality.
Also, it is really nice for us to interact with our customers, get feedback on what they like and don’t like and also tell them the stories behind the products. We did a pop up shop at the Truman Brewery in October last year so we wanted to try a different area this time. The footfall here is fantastic, plus you get a good mix of locals and tourists.
What is the most challenging part of launching pop-up store?
There is a lot to do to prepare but provided you are quite organised it is not too bad. For us, the most challenging part is trying to set the place up in a day. We have quite a few different products and it is important to make the space look as good as possible so there is a lot to do in a short space of time.
What’s been your favourite moment so far?
Getting great feedback from customers. As we are an online shop we get the occasional email from people telling us how much they like the site or a particular product but when we are in store it is really nice to hear what everyone has to say when they are looking around. We have had some really lovely comments and people have loved the store, which makes it all feel worthwhile.
And finally, if we made you choose your favourite product, what would it be?
Difficult choice as we are launching lots of new products at the pop up but I would have to say the new backpacks we have got from Ada Blackjack. They are really well made and look fantastic, plus we are the only retailer selling them in the UK, which makes them feel even more special.
Discover Such & Such in 42-44 Thurloe Street, SW7 2TN till June 21.