SPRING is in the air, and right on the button to celebrate its arrival (finally!) is Cape Town lifestyle entrepreneur Pia Easterbrook, who, with her partner Neulah Mallinson, will be hosting one of her legendary pop-ups, offering Capetonians a unique and special retail experience. Diarise immediately: it’s this Wednesday 26 September 2018 at Old Mutual House, 33 Klaassens Road, Bishopscourt, from 9 am to 5 pm. The Spring Pop-up promises to be extra-special: the venue is Old Mutual House, a grande dame if ever there was one. The historical home is 40 years old and is set in a lush garden with breathtaking views of Table Mountain. Here Pia and Neulah speak about what’s on the cards …
Q: A pop-up to celebrate the happy arrival of spring! Tell us more. What can we expect?
Pia & Neulah: It’s going to be fabulous. The venue is special and we’re excited to be holding this pop-up at Old Mutual House, which is so elegant and gracious and has the most gorgeous garden. It will really set the scene for a special shopping experience. We have about 30 hand-picked vendors taking part in the event, offering shoppers a variety of beautiful merchandise – and most of it is proudly manufactured in South Africa! This time we also have an exclusive ladies lunch, which will include a fashion trends talk and make-up trends update, from 12 pm to 2 pm, which costs R300 per person and includes a two-course harvest lunch, limited drinks and fun giveaways. Space is limited and we only have a few seats left, so be sure to book your seat asap by emailing Neulah on firstname.lastname@example.org. The fashion trends talk promises to be extra-special: it’s by stylist Joal Towen from style me JT, who is known for working with people to maximise their personal style. Benefit Cosmetics will also update our lunch ladies on latest make-up and brow trends. Not to be missed!
There will also be a guided garden walk at 10.30 am by the estate manager Lynette MacDonald. This will cost R30 cash on the day (please bring the correct amount!). Thanks to one of our sponsors, Rawson’s Southern Suburbs, there will be limited complimentary coffee on site for shoppers, made by Chasing The Bean.
Q: What will be on offer at the pop-up? You always hand-pick your vendors with such care …
Pia & Neulah: Our shoppers can expect a variety of beautiful, well-priced merchandise including clothing — including women’s wear, swimwear, lingerie — homeware, accessories, bath and body products, baskets … most of our vendors are women entrepreneurs like us and it’s important for us to give them a platform to do business. It really is a very important aspect for us. We want to create a feel-good experience for our shoppers by exposing them to quality, beautiful merchandise, but it’s also important for us to value our vendors. It’s a win-win situation all round!
We want to create a feel-good experience for our shoppers by exposing them to quality, beautiful merchandise, but it’s also important for us to value our vendors.
Q: I love that aspect of the pop-up, that you support other women entrepreneurs. Tell us more …
Pia & Neulah: At this pop-up we have Something Sassy lingerie by Georgia and Jemima, two creative cousins and business partners; Kinda Clothing, Pippa Stack’s latest collection of women’s wear; SugarTongTong apparel and clothing, Estee Smyly’s bold graphic textiles and whimsical jewellery; KHIOMA summer knitwear range by Khioma Finazzi, using 100 percent cotton; Lizgerie Handmades, Liz Crowson’s brand of luxurious gowns and custom handmade bags; lilli pure cashmere clothing and accessories’ range; Pintuck Resort, the swim- and activewear label of Jo Springthorpe and Beryl Goslett; Frances Edwards’ House of Cinnamon shoes; Hip-Pip handbags by Pippa McLeod … to name a few! Others vendors include Suzi Q, Lovebird, Nulu activewear, yoga and pilateswear; Anything Jo’s clothing and accessories; Cover me Pretty; Boho Boutique; Signature by Des; Koko da Kota resortwear; Kate Jordan clothing; The Concierge Collection; Susan von Zahn jewellery; Bliss Earrings; Threads Turkish Cotton; MoNique Art, artwork by Monique Koning; Benefit cosmetics; Select Sunglasses.
Q: What makes Pia’s Pop-ups so special, and a good business proposition?
Pia & Neulah: We both love beautiful things and choose the vendors very carefully. It’s all about creating an experience that people will enjoy, whether they part with their money or not! Shopping is not necessarily the key focus for us: we are supporting women in business and that creates a feel-good aspect for us. We also want our shoppers to feel spoiled and our vendors to feel valued! Once our vendors are on board, they become co-hosts. Those with a strong social media following immediately extend our social media reach, and also help vendors who do not yet have a big following on social media.
Shopping is not necessarily the key focus for us: we are supporting women in business and that creates a feel-good aspect for us.
Q: As working mothers you’re involved in a flexible business that allows you to balance your work and parenting responsibilities. Pia, you started Pia’s Pop-ups in 2013 by selling pyjamas and have grown from strength to strength, becoming one of Cape Town’s favourite pop-up shopping events. When did you come on board, Neulah?
Neulah: I began working with Pia about six months ago. We have done all the 2018 pop-ups together. We compliment each other perfectly and make an excellent team. I have a background in incentive and corporate travel and events. A few years ago I went on my ownand opened The Store House Company. Then I decided to study again and am presently doing an online interior design course through The Interior Design Institute. Having flexible working hours and options is rewarding … I have two children, a daughter McKenna, who is eight, and a son, Garrett, who is six.
Pia: Our collaboration has been very successful. Neulah is highly organised and keeps things flowing. We have different skills and talents, and also different networks that merge very well. I have always worked in sales and marketing. When my daughter, Georgie, was born in 2005 (we were living in Johannesburg at the time) I took a sabbatical. When I felt ready to take on something new, I started collaborating with a friend who imported children’s clothes which she sold in South Africa. We went on trips together and I sold the merchandise from my home in Johannesburg. The pop-up shop was born! I then bought into a clothing business which manufactured children’s pyjamas. I managed the production process and sold the pyjamas from my home. I then started doing pop-ups to sell the pyjamas and it grew from there – people starting asking me to sell their jewellery or their clothing at my pop-ups … and before I knew it my house had turned into a shop with merchandise everywhere! In 2013 we moved back to Cape Town and we sold the business. A week later my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was still keen on pop-ups but with Georgie’s diagnosis I could no longer travel. So I turned my attention to the local market and found a wack of fabulously creative people in Cape Town. I started by doing jewellery pop-ups and then it grew from there. Now Pia’s Pop-Ups features clothing, jewellery, homeware, gifts … the sky is the limit.
Thank you Pia & Neulah! Be sure to catch Pia’s Spring Pop-up on Wednesday 26 September 2018 at Old Mutual House, 33 Klaassens Road, Bishopscourt from 9 am to 5 pm. There is limited parking available … please share lifts or Uber to the venue!
For more information contact Pia on 082 824 8876 or Neulah on 084 514 5225. Follow Pia’s Pop Ups on Facebook.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF PIA & NEULAH: SHARON SOROUR-MORRIS; MAKE-UP: TAMMY HARDY 072 620 8414