Westfield hands over shop windows to social media brands that originated as side hustles in 2020 to support SMEs

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 In support of the capital’s creatives thriving through the pandemic, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City are hosting social media brands that originated as side hustles in 2020 to support small business as non-essential retail re-opens. With over 85,000 online businesses created since the start of the pandemic and nearly three quarters (74%) of consumers wanting to see retailers adapt to their local areas, Westfield has brought the online offline to provide shoppers with a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates London’s Side Hustle Heroes.

As Westfield’s latest How We Shop: What’s Changed research reveals that more than half of consumers (52%) are looking to shop more locally, Westfield is welcoming London’s most innovative start-up social media brands, bringing them from your screen straight to Westfield’s windows to browse IRL. Spanning fashion, homeware and beauty, Westfield hand-picked brands that embody creativity and vibrancy and whose founders have demonstrated a relentless ambition to turn a side hustle into a viable business during a time of global uncertainty. The Side Hustle Heroes partnership gives these brands invaluable large scale presence in prominent mall space at Europe’s two largest centres which attracted 1.2 million visitors, safely, in retail’s reopening week.

The windows showcase a breadth of beautiful, eye-catching products from stylish bespoke tie dye accessories to Instagram-able hand-dipped candles, to sexy and sustainable paint. Brands include:

  • Tingle. -Founded by Natalie James whilst working full-time in fashion PR, the entrepreneur used her savvy abilities to build a the ultimate self-care subscription box company that has a strong female empowerment stance at the core. When lockdown stopped her browsing the high street for cosmetics, she began supplying subscription boxes of self-care products, helping customers around the world reclaim a little luxury in their lives.
  • Pickleson Paint Co. – Founded by Rachael and her partner Alex in June 2020, they recognised a lack of beautifully designed and truly sustainable options in the paint industry and with their combined love of interiors decided to start Pickleson, a truly sustainable brand with ‘Sexy Paint Made Responsibly’.
  • Three Sisters Farm  –  A family-run boutique founded by sisters selling sustainable country-inspired dried flowers with a dash of Scandi minimalism offering the finest quality dried flowers, pampas grass and homewares. Following an uncertain year, sisters Philippa and Jessica took a leap of faith to create their own business based on both their passions.
  • Fairholme Studio – Fairholme Studio is a candle brand; born during the lockdown in 2020. It offers hand-dipped taper candles in an array of shades from bright and bold to subtle pastel hues. All candles are created using a unique blend of bees and soy wax and are hand-dipped in the UK. Founder, Tony was inspired to create the brand from his love of setting tables and hosting.
  • Ava May – The go to brand for beautifully bespoke tie dye accessories and clothing, Ava May was launched in the height of lockdown, by luxury PR consultant Abbie Lewi whilst on maternity leave.  Looking for a creative distraction, and the perfect tie dye sweatshirt, Ava May was created in her garden. Made to order for every purchase, the brand offers a truly personalised service which caters to each and every need, from on trend loungewear, to adorable scrunchies.
  • MH Living – Founded by Visual Stylist, Molly Hill, she turned her expertise into a successful side hustle of her own. MH Living is a homeware & accessories brand developed last year during the pandemic, with hints of contemporary Danish style and Parisian charm.

Harita Shah, marketing director UK and creative, media, events, & brand – Europe, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, comments: “Whilst the pandemic has been a tough time for many it has also simultaneously presented an opportunity for the nation to turn their hobbies and passions into their very own businesses launching online over the past 12 months. With people craving physical experiences more so than ever before and 49% of consumers wanting to buy more locally sourced products, we’re bringing these online brands offline into a physical space for the first time. We’re delighted to be able to hero and support these London entrepreneurs giving them direct exposure to the millions of shoppers who visit our centres each year”.

London’s Side Hustle Heroes will reside across both centres until June and a QR code is available to scan on each store front to lead directly onto each company’s social channels and websites. Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City are focused on ensuring all safety measures are in place and adhered to as the London centres re-open, providing safe spacious environments with measures in place including mask wearing, social distancing queuing systems, cashless parking and more.