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Hitchin’s new pop-up shop is here for Christmas

16 November 2023
People inside the festive shop

A new festive shop has popped up in Hitchin in time for Christmas.

Shop Small Pop Up, located at 37 Churchyard Walk, officially opened on 9 November to encourage shopping with local artisans and traders.

The seasonal pop-up was spearheaded by Jemma Larkin, owner of the Furniture Parlour. It will be open for 6 weeks, until Sunday 17 December, and is packed with Christmas goodies from stocking fillers, ceramics, vintage clothing, candles, cakes, furniture and the very popular Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Jemma Larkin (pictured) said: “The shop opening was more than I could have wished for.  Hitchin certainly welcomed us with open arms!  The feedback has been really positive with lots of shoppers commenting on how lovely it is to be able to find and support so many talented small businesses under one roof.

“I set up "Shop Small Hitchin" markets as I wanted somewhere to show my own small business, The Furniture Parlour, and as many others as possible.  My business is based around sustainability and saving furniture from landfill.  I have a studio on Bury Mead Road where I paint, take commissions, run workshops and stock Annie Sloan paint.  I now run the markets 3 times a year at Hitchin Town Hall, with the next one taking place on the 25 & 26 November where you will find over 90 small, creative businesses.  Growing into a shop space felt like the perfect way to give some of these businesses some exposure over the festive period while filling an empty shop, hopefully benefiting the area and existing local businesses close by.”

Jemma inside the shop with goods on display

Cllr Keith Hoskins, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Enterprise and Arts, attended a preview evening on Wednesday 8 November, and said: "I am delighted to see such enthusiasm from artisans and businesses coming forward to set up in the Churchgate area of Hitchin. This is a brilliant initiative on so many levels, bringing more choice to Christmas shopping, reusing empty shops and supporting local businesses that are just setting up, or getting ready to expand.”

Cllr Ian Albert, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Finance and IT and Chair of Hitchin Area Forum, said: "It’s great news that Hitchin has its own festive pop-up shop. Now's the time to get out and do your Christmas shopping locally — and you won't be waiting for deliveries. As a council we welcome any new business into the town, and I hope that this shop encourages other vendors to take the next step and set up their own shop.”

Shop Small Pop Up is located at 37 Churchyard Walk until Sunday 17 December. Opening times are Thursday, Friday, Sunday 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-5pm.

For more information follow @thefurnitureparlour on Instagram.

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