Edinburgh pop-up shop winner #1 –GET IT GRL

Kirsty Fergusson, founder of personalised gift and women's wear brand, GET IT GRL, talks to Small Business about her pop-up shop win

Small Business met with Kirsty Fergusson, founder of gift and women’s wear brand, GET IT GRL, to talk about winning the latest Sage x Small Business pop-up shop competition in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter.

The winning businesses were chosen by our expert panel to occupy a pop-up shop space in the high footfall shopping centre.

GET IT GRL is a small independent brand from Scotland. Kirsty started the business in her family home five years ago and now she has staff and an office space near the airport. Everything is designed, printed and personalised in-house and then shipped worldwide from bonnie Edinburgh. Items being printed on-demand limits waste and personalises the shopping experience.

Tell us about you and your business

I’m Kirsty and I’m the founder of GET IT GRL. I started the business almost five years ago and it was a real side project to begin with. We worked out of my mum and dad’s living room for a couple of years and then expanded from there.

We specialise in personalised gifts, accessories, and women’s wear. Now we have a small team and we’re based in a unit near the airport in Edinburgh.

Did you still work at the beginning?

My background was in marketing, so I built a very basic website and
took orders for slogan T-shirts and handed over all the orders, I got them to a partner printing company. When I was ready to leave my job, I invested in my own machinery and we went from there.

What made you want to enter the pop-up shop competition?

Yeah, it was really pushing. I saw it and then I thought, we’d never done a pop-up shop. I live really near St. James Quarter, so I’m in here all the time, and I thought that would just be the coolest thing. If we could be in there, next to all these brands that I shop with all the time. We entered and I’d hoped we’d win, but I didn’t think too much about it. So, it was really exciting when we got it through and to be in St James Quarter is amazing.

What did it mean to you?

It was very exciting, being somewhere that I shop myself and to see GET IT GRL. I had a real moment yesterday morning, arriving and seeing our logo and signage on the storefront next to all these amazing shops and well-known brands. I was so excited when we found out we’d won but seeing our logo and branding everywhere was, like, ‘Wow, this is big’.

We’re an online business, so we’re not used to meeting customers. I think it’s really easy when you’re a business owner – it’s all online – to forget how far you’ve come. So yesterday, we had a really exciting moment, we had two customers come in who knew us and knew the brand and said they’d seen our stuff online. They came in, saw the product and loved it. Then they ordered and they bought some products to take away. That was a real moment as well. I was taken aback that they knew us already so that was very exciting – and not what I was expecting.

What are the main takeaways of the pop-up?

Well, I think meeting customers and again, being an online business, seeing what customers are automatically drawn to, and the colours they like and their feedback, which has been amazing so far.

Yesterday was the first day of the pop-up. A major bonus is that we’ve also sold quite a lot of products. We’ve got some new GET IT GRL customers, which is obviously a big goal of ours, but just to introduce as many people as possible to the brand and let them see our products in real life. We’ve specialised and personalised gifts and products and for people to be able to see them in person. I think sometimes that can be a hesitation because it can take a little bit longer to to arrive. But we’ve brought our machinery with us – which is a first – to do that same day. So people have been quite excited to get their items personalised and be able to take them home same day, which is good.

Why is it important for brands like Sage and Small Business to champion small businesses?

It’s just the most amazing opportunity. We’re really grateful to SmallBusiness.co.uk and to Sage because without you guys doing this for us, it would have been a huge risk for us to take on such a big space in such a high footfall area like St James Quarter. To allow us that opportunity has been amazing, and it’s something that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I’m very, very grateful.

More on the Edinburgh pop-up shop competition

Sage pop-up shop winner #2 – Ruby Friel, Still Life – Ruby Friel, founder of gifts and homewares brand, Still Life, talks to Small Business about her pop-up shop win

Sage pop-up shop winner #3 – Pete Allison, Woven Whisky – Pete Allison, co-founder of blended whisky firm, Woven Whisky, talks to Small Business about their pop-up shop win

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.