Dalston based doll-dresser opens new pop-up shopping hub

23 October 2020

Last year, we awarded Dalston resident Sandra Monero, Aspire Awards funding which helped boost her small start-up business making and selling hand-crafted items for black dolls.

Monero dollsHaving launched the Monero Kids Boutique, Sandra’s dolls proved to be a hit with the local community. However, since receiving her award Sandra’s business, like so many others, has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Lockdown meant Sandra couldn’t open her boutique, so she changed her business model and created a new website to encourage more online sales. After re-opening briefly in July, Sandra took the decision to close the doors at her Balls Pond Road boutique permanently.

Bouncing back

August saw Sandra bounce back and after receiving a government grant, she set-up a great new Pop-Up Hub at 147 Stoke Newington High Street – a space which allows her to sell her dolls whilst also creating a space for other local creatives to sell arts & crafts, clothing, jewellery and much more.

Sandra said: “When I received the Aspire Award, I could never have guessed what the forthcoming year would have in store for me and my doll business. Lockdown meant I had to be more creative with my business ideas and I had to reflect on how to keep moving onwards and upwards.

“I started the N16 Pop-Up Hub not only as a way to sell my dolls but also as a way to help other traders sell their goods during these difficult times. I want to bring the local community together and encourage people to shop locally to support small businesses.”

Aspire Awards

Amy Lightfoot, who coordinates The Guinness Partnership’s Aspire Awards funding said, “We are so proud to have helped fund Sandra’s successful business and we wish her continued success, especially during these difficult times.

“Over the last six years we have given more than 270 Guinness residents Aspire Award grants, helping them to achieve their dreams or to help build better and brighter communities for everyone. The application process is really simple, and we would encourage any Guinness resident to apply.”

Find out more

More information about Sandra and Monero Kids Boutique can be found on her website and on Instagram @monerodolls