The video attached to this was done on my phone; it's rough, it's ready, but it's heartfelt.
Over the years I have run various projects, (details from other projects, shop etc. can be found here: www.wyvernstales.co.uk) but when I was offered a space in McCoy's Arcade in Exeter to run a pop up, I was sceptical. After all, how much interest could there be in an odd little shop selling Live Action Role Play kit?
Turns out: quite a lot!!
Our old pop up looked like this:
In just under two months my little space attracted customers from all walks of life: LARPers (of course, 7 - 8 local groups, 3 or so festivals... turns out the hobby is growing!) but also people looking for costume, props to play with and even horns for their upcoming nuptials! We introduced a host of people to our little corner of strange.
From a limited stock at the start, we managed to attract some fantastic traders such as Offa Studios, Skian Mhor, Jaunty and Rakish, even David Oliver (of Dumnonni larp and Rattlebox theatre fame).
So, we are looking for a new space, we have some in mind, and the more money we raise, the bigger we can go, and the more we can fill it with fantastic art, workshop space, etc.
What we want in the shop is as follows:
- In or around the city centre (specifically Fore Street as that is a hub of bespoke shops).
- A large window frontage (having plenty of stock on display drew a lot of people in!)
- A large floor space so that people can handle the props and make an informed decision.
- If possible workshop space so we can get in traders and prop/costume makers to show off their skills to interested parties.
Thank you for reading through our proposal and I hope we can count on your support as we embark on a new and wonderful journey into vistas we didn't expect ever to enjoy!
Risks and challenges
We are aware that with the high street there comes certain challenges:
- Hiring: in the near future after the shop opens we will have to create a team of individuals to share our vision and help keep the shop open as often as possible.
- Security: unlike the usually tight-knit communities of LARP events or conventions we will have to make sure that we are aware of the perishable aspect of our stock and take precautions.
- Perception: though LARP and the geek world in general is becoming more mainstream, (you can now look it up on Amazon!) we must work hard to create a professional front that moves away from certain unfortunate stereotypes.
- Shop availability: though it is unlikely as the high street is unfortunately consistently full of a smattering of shops to rent; as we intend to make sure that the space we use is as close to perfect as possible, it could take some time to open. However, we are dedicated to finding the right space and already have several in mind.
- (60 days)