Step into an old shipping container, step out a new person

Over the next few weeks, a brand new collective called Co-Pop is going to be thrust upon Pop-Brixton — South London’s bustling community campus for startups built largely out of shipping containers.

With a full selection of make-up, skin and beauty products, vintage fashion, unique jewellery, and interior designers, you could literally go into their shipping container and come out an entirely new person.

The collective is made up of 10 entrepreneurs who have all faced financial disadvantage, and who as sole traders could not have set up their own businesses.

Members Cloudia, Justine, Janet and Fari will be heading up the shop’s fashion sections. Cloudia, driven by her desire to tell cultural stories through her designs, uses her brand DNA to channel a fusion of her Ghanaian, British and Lebanese heritage. Justine’s focus is high fashion in the most affordable way possible. She sees the unattainable nature of today’s high fashion as a confidence barrier for young women, and is using her sense of style to combat this.

Janet uses her vintage fashion collection to showcase different historical periods. She uses styles from hundreds of years right up to classic clothing and 20th century fashion to create a mixture of unique vintage style.

Fari, through her business Fari’s Retro, also focuses on vintage fashion but with a different spin. A former fashion model and singer whose credits include working alongside the Propellerheads as well as David Arnold on the Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, is inspiring people through items collected on her travels around the world to create a unique shopping experience.

The range of fashion that will be available from these four designers is not the only eye-catching part of Co-Pop. The shop will also be host to creations from Miri and her brand Vintage Rose, a jewellery line that focuses on precious gems to showcase individual personalities. Patricia will be selling her line of skin products called Whyte Bells, which create a multi-sensory experience, designed to heighten the look and feel of your skin.

Entrepreneurs Dalia and Karlene will be providing hair and cosmetics treatments. Dalia, the resident hairdresser, has always dreamt of owning her own salon, and aims to help her customers look great and feel more confident with their hairstyles. Karlene wants to show her young son that you can achieve your dreams.

Members Paulette and Nick are bringing the store’s offer past just personal appearance and into your home. Paulette, the interior designer of the group, uses beautiful natural objects to devised unique looks for people’s homes. Throughout his career, Nick has been able to share his love of original art and design with the community and the creative industry, and is now bringing his unique own-design printed merchandise to Co-Pop.

These entrepreneurs have all overcome a number of their own personal challenges including long-term unemployment, juggling being single parents and homelessness. Through Co-Pop they are all hoping to come off benefits and independently support themselves financially.

The Co-Pop will be opening over the next month — once the final build is completed. But they need your help to do so, vote here and donate as little as £1. This money would help them build their website, market their product, contribute to rent and outfit their new store. Any support is appreciated!

Common Cause helps financially disadvantaged people in the UK to meet their own needs through self-employment and enterprise.

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