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Whosit & Whatsit

– Founder (no longer) –

A major past attempt to change an industry – W&W was built upon a subscription based retail model. 

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After 2 years in the making, W&W opened its doors to the public in December 2014

After 2 years in the making, W&W opened its doors to the public in December 2014

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Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – the shop represented over 180 independent designers.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – the shop represented over 180 independent designers.

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Built on a subscription model, as opposed to wholesale – W&W put designer profits before their own.

Built on a subscription model, as opposed to wholesale – W&W put designer profits before their own.

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From £30 per month, a designer sold a selection of products in-store and received 100% of their sales in return.

From £30 per month, a designer sold a selection of products in-store and received 100% of their sales in return.

Live sales and stock levels were available to designers – who were paid monthly, directly to their bank account.

Live sales and stock levels were available to designers – who were paid monthly, directly to their bank account.

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W&W aimed to be as hassle-free, and fair to it's suppliers – just as it was its customers.

W&W aimed to be as hassle-free, and fair to it's suppliers – just as it was its customers.

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The business encouraged smaller, independent designers to sell in a physical shop – flexibly, and affordably.

The business encouraged smaller, independent designers to sell in a physical shop – flexibly, and affordably.

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Some designers were reluctant at the model, but the majority who signed up saw much larger monthly returns than from any of their other stockists.

Some designers were reluctant at the model, but the majority who signed up saw much larger monthly returns than from any of their other stockists.

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Whosit & Whatsit always celebrated the who behind the what.

Whosit & Whatsit always celebrated the who behind the what.

Customers were told all about the products designer or brand.

Customers were told all about the products designer or brand.

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Customers loved what the shop offered, and its attitude. Not once did W&W receive a bad customer review.

Customers loved what the shop offered, and its attitude. Not once did W&W receive a bad customer review.

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The store stocked a large array of product – from clothing and accessories, to homeware and furniture.

The store stocked a large array of product – from clothing and accessories, to homeware and furniture.

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With the plan to gradually renovate the two further floors above the two already renovated – W&W aimed to become a truly unique kind of department store.

With the plan to gradually renovate the two further floors above the two already renovated – W&W aimed to become a truly unique kind of department store.

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Always a personal touch, always promoting independent designers and illustrators that the public may not be aware of.

Always a personal touch, always promoting independent designers and illustrators that the public may not be aware of.

Freehand illustration by Jaqueline Fryers adorned the bathroom.

Freehand illustration by Jaqueline Fryers adorned the bathroom.

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Freehand wall mural – to thank ALL those involved in getting the store open – by Ed J Brown.

Freehand wall mural – to thank ALL those involved in getting the store open – by Ed J Brown.

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W&W stocked products from Local, UK, and International designers alike.

W&W stocked products from Local, UK, and International designers alike.

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Always offering an alternative to the typical high-street store.

Always offering an alternative to the typical high-street store.

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Sadly, at the end of August 2016 the business had to close its doors.

Sadly, at the end of August 2016 the business had to close its doors.

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It's ethos, and the designers it built a business for – remain however.

It's ethos, and the designers it built a business for – remain however.

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Naomi – with the support of her friends and family – put much effort into initial renovations.

Naomi – with the support of her friends and family – put much effort into initial renovations.

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The building had previously been a kebab shop, and restaurant.

The building had previously been a kebab shop, and restaurant.

Being Grade II listed, and empty for a number of years it came with many challenges.

Being Grade II listed, and empty for a number of years it came with many challenges.

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It took 13 months from an initial Agreement for Lease, to get the keys.

It took 13 months from an initial Agreement for Lease, to get the keys.

It then took a further 5 months of strip out, and renovation works before getting the ground floor open to the public.

It then took a further 5 months of strip out, and renovation works before getting the ground floor open to the public.

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Bringing out the real 17th Century building was painstaking – but worth every minute.

Bringing out the real 17th Century building was painstaking – but worth every minute.

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The business wouldn't have existed at ALL if it wasn't for so many wonderful people volunteering their time.

The business wouldn't have existed at ALL if it wasn't for so many wonderful people volunteering their time.

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