Johnlewis pop up

We Inspired John Lewis Shoppers to Love Their Bodies: The Impact Of A Designer Friday Pop-Up.

It was our pleasure to pop up across London in JohnLewis & Partners branches. We embraced positivity and let our presence touch hearts with our message:

Love Your Body, You Only Have One. 


We had an absolutely fantastic experience as a pop-up store in John Lewis branches across London. As an environmentally responsible brand, we like to ensure that we use our platform for all the best reasons and get everyone to believe and embrace our positive affirmations. That’s why sharing our bright attitude as a pop-up was a wonderful way of meeting and conversating with such lovely people. 

How did we do it? Well, this is the experience

The Impact of Story Telling, The Power Of Words 

As an independent business, raising awareness of our brand was at the heart of our presence as a pop-up at John Lewis. It’s why we strived to be the best story-tellers to everyone who took an interest in our products. Understanding our audience by conducting market research and thorough analysis, is only halfway to actually being an active, consumer-conscious brand. 

Talking to customers and empathising with their concerns, interests and needs is not only effective but also becomes a reciprocation of our core values, such as trust and care. 

At Designer Friday, one of our most centric values is authenticity. We stand by our cheerful messaging and promotion of inclusivity and sustainability. This is why we relayed the story of the dedicated community of admirable women in Rajasthan, India who craft our dresses in a protected women’s workers unit. We told everyone about how our prices and stock are according to fairtrade regulations, and how our profits support the education and general lifestyle of our seamstresses. It’s a story worth repeating. 

To bring our story to life, we also handed out our story cards (as seen above). Our story cards are pocket-sized leaflets with a few pages with images and information about our story. Some of these cards were attached to a few of the dresses from each rail, so people who interacted with the price tag also interacted with the story card! 

All That Meets The Eye- Using Our Space Wisely

As a pop-up, we knew that every bit of space held potential. So we organised each type of dress for each rail. So midi dresses on one, maxi on the other, and braless wonders on a separate rail. We hung the best sellers, or according to season, at the beginning and end of each rail. This made it easier to evoke interest from customers who initially didn’t even have a dress on their shopping list!  The scrunchies and scarves were assorted by colour themes and placed at the front of the display next to the mannequin, and near the cashier. 

Discovering all the hot points was close to experimental, at quiet hours as a sales assistant, I would roleplay as a customer. I would go around through the rails and browse around and whatever caught my eye first, would usually be prioritised. I quickly found that touching and reorganising some dresses caught the attention of passers-by! We would often have comments like how colourful and bright we stood out and that the prints of dresses would catch eyes from aisles away!

They would often ask questions, or we would approach them with a smile and have the opportunity of talking about the unique features of our dresses e.g. pockets, one size, 100% cotton and fairtrade. We would begin with an ‘eye contact’ and intro to our brand asking them if they have heard of ‘Designerfriday’ (a great ice breaker!) and a conversation would naturally take place. Usually often about sizing, the comfort of the fabric composition and the anxiety around wearing a dress. 

We would listen carefully and then introduce them to specific features of our dresses. Once the choice was made, we would assist customers to a mirror and an available changing room. We would often receive valuable feedback about the way the dress made them feel such as, 

‘ Classic Midi Dress that was missing from my wardrobe ’
‘ Oooh the fabric is so soft, the quality feels amazing ’
‘ Perfect consistency of cotton ’
‘ Love that each dress has the maker’s story ’
‘ It has divine pockets ’  

It was in those special conversations that we would uplift and reaffirm popular phrases that a lot of customers found comforting:

‘ Beauty comes from how you feel, not how others perceive you ’
‘ I choose to respect and celebrate my body with beautiful clothes ’
‘ Replace self-criticism with self-confidence ’

We Uplift Each Other 

Inspiring conversations would inspire customers to get involved with our brand, like asking for our social media handles and our website. Having genuine interactions and offering customers solutions by empathising with their questions/concerns creates a lasting memory, a positive association and increases brand awareness. 

As we shared our story and invited customers to conversations, we learnt a little about their special lives. It felt special and valuable to us knowing that they would commemorate happy events by wearing a dress that made them feel beautiful and comfortable. 

Celebratory events like graduations, christenings, holidays, or even just treating themselves, were grand reasons why they wanted to invest in a Designer Friday dress. We absolutely loved hearing their stories and seeing their attitude shift brighter compared to when they first interacted with us. 

We were so lucky to experience women of varied ages and demographics enjoying our dresses. Lovely ladies aged 16-75, from teenagers to pregnant/expecting mothers to gracious grandmothers and inspiring wheelchair users felt comfortable trying on our dresses. Everyone from every body shape and size had options to choose from like our buttoned dresses and selections of midi and maxi dresses. 

It was so exciting to remind that being comfortable in a dress wasn’t a luxury but a standard for everyone who wanted the Designer Friday experience. 

Overall it was such a lovely experience being there and as always we want to share and leave you with tips and highlights of our pop-up experience at John Lewis:

  • Setting up an attainable goal before a pop-up. Starting on a positive note and manifesting that throughout attracts all the best energy.
  • Talking! Being friendly might seem obvious but values like empathy and creating that sense of trust generates a lovely atmosphere and a worthwhile time for you and your customers.
  • Engagement. Getting everyone involved by story cards, and business cards and asking if they would be interested in signing up for our mailing list. It’s worth noting the type of content that they would receive in their inbox , e.g. next pop-up location updates, back-in-stock updates etc.
  • Generate brand awareness. Sounds more fun than it sounds actually! You can achieve this by having a good time and letting customers experience a unique atmosphere that sets your pop-up apart from the rest of the store. 

You can have the best results by having the best time. We know we did, and we are absolutely looking forward to our next pop-up at White City - John Lewis from 14th- 20th November. 

Hope to see you there!

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