Young maker secures pop-up shop at John Lewis

Sophie Clarke has a pop-up shop from March 28 at John Lewis in Cambridge

Sophie Clarke is excited to have a pop-up shop from March 28 at John Lewis in Cambridge after launching her own business making handwoven products last year. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A young designer and maker from Mildenhall has secured a pop-up shop at a major department store - all within the first year of her business.

Sophie Clarke, 25, who studied textiles innovation and design at university, launched Sophie Clarke Designs last year after moving back in with her parents during the pandemic.

She got a loom and began weaving in a studio at home, producing handwoven homeware products.

Sophie Clarke busy prepping ahead of her pop-up shop at John Lewis Cambridge

Sophie Clarke busy prepping ahead of her pop-up shop at John Lewis Cambridge - Credit: Sophie Clarke

She quickly became an award-winner after scooping Best Arts and Crafts at the national final of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) competition for young people in Stratford Upon Avon.

Now through the Great British Pop-Up, Sophie has bagged a week-long shop at the busy John Lewis in Cambridge from March 28 to April 3.

She said: "It's going to be a really big marketing opportunity for me. There's a lot of prep work that's gone into it."

Sophie has been busy making enough stock to sell at her pop-up, which will be on the ground floor of the store by the escalators.

Sophie Clarke at the Stratford Upon Avon final of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) competition for young people

Sophie Clarke at the Stratford Upon Avon final of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) competition for young people - Credit: Sophie Clarke

She said currently she has managed to make about 70 cushions. Most of her products there will be cushions, plus a few footstools.

"It's a seven-day event so it's the biggest event I have worked on or attended," she said. "It's all exciting. Not all John Lewis' do it."

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On her first anniversary of her business this summer, she said: "I don't have anything to compare it to, but within a year having a pop-up in John Lewis - it's been crazy."

Sophie is still selling her homeware products at markets - where she gets most of her orders - and will be back in Bury St Edmunds on May 1.

"I still want to continue with the markets. It's nice to get out and talk to people," she added.

She has also just launched her website.  Also find Sophie Clarke Designs on Instagram and Facebook.