Sarah Bennett runs Make Do and Mend in Pop Brixton. She talks to the Bugle about her love of retro and how she made the leap from working in theatre wardrobe to running her own vintage fashion boutique. This Friday (14 April) she moves into larger premises at Pop with a special discount throughout the weekend.
Sarah Bennett’s enthusiasm for Brixton and vintage has paid off as she prepares to move into bigger and better premises in Pop.
“It’s the best place I’ve ever lived and I really love it, there’s such a strong community feeling”, she says.
“It was my dream to have my own shop. I started doing market stalls and took a business course at City Lit about six years ago.
“I wrote my business plan for the course based on having a shop in Brixton Village. I thought it the perfect place, but sat on the plan for a couple of years.”
During that time she gained experience doing markets, including Herne Hill. She learned about Pop on Twitter and decided to apply for a retail space.
“I worked in wardrobe in West End theatre for 10 years. I worked on Warhorse for five years as well as stints on Hairspray and Les Misérables. I was on an international tour with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake when the applications came out for Pop and I applied.
“I’d worked the local markets and craft fairs and had built up a base of regulars. I see the same customers from the markets at the shop.
“They range from teens to older men and women who like things that are a bit quirky. My long-term goal would be to get a lease on the high street but it’s scary amounts of money.
“It was an amazing opportunity to get into Pop to grow, experiment and try things out. My aim and hope is to open a bricks and mortar shop in Brixton when Pop closes.
“Pop’s given me the opportunity to get established and build up a good foundation for my business.”
The shop’s open seven days a week 11am till 7pm and Bennett says it’s the hardest but best thing she’s ever done.
She attends the Hatch Female Founders course along with a dozen others who run a mix of businesses from social enterprises to retail.
Not content with running a gruelling seven-days-a-week business she is also the brains behind the Vintage Kilo Sale that runs monthly on Saturdays and Sundays at Pop.
Make Do and Mend moves to new shop at front of house in Pop on Friday 14 April. Why not pop in and see her? You never know that vintage blouse or denim jacket you’ve lusted after just might be waiting for you.