Twisted Time launched in 2010 with the idea to create the first online collection of modern designer watches. The founders, Alan and Kelsey, were self-confessed watch enthusiasts, determined to turn their passion into a career. Today, Twisted Time stocks brands such as Alessi, Issey Miyake, Braun, Daniel Wellington and ZIIIRO and has branched into designer accessories. This year, they launched their first pop-up store in London. After successful few months they’ve decided to extend their stay until 2016. Excited by their success, we chatted to their founder Alan Moore to find out how it all came together…
You started out as an online company, what made you decide to set up shop?
Although when we started we were the first online company to specialise in selling a curated collection of designer watches, more companies started moving into the area so we reached a point where we needed to differentiate ourselves from the competition, we wanted to go one step further.
We also realised that watches are often something people like to see and try on first. As most of the brands we stock aren’t available on the high street we wanted to give people the opportunity to discover them in our store and be able to see the level of quality before purchasing.
How did you decide on Boxpark as your location?
As the store would only be around for a short amount of time, we wanted somewhere with a high footfall. It also helped that Boxpark is used to pop-ups coming and going so it was super easy to move in and get set up. Shoreditch also matched our target audience as it is full of design-orientated people.
Being based in Glasgow, how did you manage running a store in a different city?
It was much easier than we thought. Before we launched we spent a week in London setting up shop and getting everything together. It helped that we were lucky to find staff for our shop quickly. We avoided using the agencies as they were far too expensive, instead we put out ads on Facebook and Gumtree and asked round our friends. It didn’t take us long to recruit a few!
Once we had our shop up and running we were able to leave them to it. The best bit was the opening night, after the rush of getting everything together, we were finally able to stand back and admire it all. After that we came down to visit every six weeks or so, the rest we managed online.
What did you aim to achieve through your Twisted Time store?
Initially the store was a PR exercise to help us get the word out. Although it grew into a lot more than that, the sales have been really good and it’s helped drive a lot more people to our online site.
It’s also been really useful to see how different products perform in-store and online. Some products which don’t sell well online have done really well in the store. This is especially true with our more expensive ones, which people often need to try on first before purchasing.
You’ve extended your pop-up until 2016, what triggered this decision?
This was mainly due to the fact sales exceeded what we expected and we felt we could do a lot more. For our price range a slightly longer-term store definitely works better, we’ve got people coming in to look at watches they want for their birthday which might be a couple of months away. We also hosted a few events which went down really well, so we wanted to experiment with these more. We felt a year would give us the freedom to do this.