Shop Local: Queen's Park entrepreneur reinvents business as Christmas pop-up to survive pandemic
- Credit: Soraya Halabi
A Queen’s Park business owner has launched a Christmas pop-up shop to keep her furniture company “alive” and “bring people together” during the pandemic.
Soraya Halabi founded Lounge & Linger in 2014, which is a furniture hire company for events in normal times but which saw its work dry up at the beginning of lockdown when it received its last orders for hire at the end of February.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Soraya reinvented the company as a pop-up.
“I just kind of woke up and I thought, well I don’t want to sit around and wait, because I love my company so much,” she explained.
Her first pop-up for home furniture in August “was really successful and helped me get through very hard times," she said.
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Soraya opened her Christmas pop-up shop this week, selling interiors, gifts and guest collaborations, and launched her online store, Lounge & Linger Home, to sustain her company as the New Year approaches.
The pop-up will be open until Christmas eve.
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“None of us know what’s happening day to day, I know there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “All I’ve tried to do is think on my feet, juggle to survive.”
The pop-up shop has shown Queen’s Park resident Soraya the strength of the community’s spirit, and its drive to support local businesses and their creativity: “I was kind of blown away by how gorgeous everything was, it was such a lovely feeling to have that kind of connection, local people coming in.”
Creating a shop, she explained, has allowed her to do “something that’s crossed my mind over the years” because “events is wonderful but, for me, it was a little bit of a lonely affair".
"It has been lovely meeting other women," she said.
“Sometimes I have really, like anyone, thought: 'Oh my God am I going to survive?' And then other times I think, well I’ve made it this far.”
She added: “Everyone’s so keen to feel a little bit Christmassy, so it’s working nicely here.”
Lounge & Linger’s pop-up shop will be open 10am-6pm every day, and until 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays, at 81 Salusbury Road in Queen’s Park.
Visit the Lounge & Linger Home website at www.loungeandlingerhome.co.uk