Design Essentials: From Pop-Up to Permanent

We are delighted to finally announce the name of the location we will be moving to – Design Essentials will be moving from 13 Market Hill to 5-7 Market Row in Saffron Walden. We are so excited to start setting up in our brand new location and we can’t wait for you to be able to visit our new shop, which we will be opening to everyone  on August 15th.

Saffron Walden’s first pop-up shop, Design Essentials, is about to become permanent for the very first time. Two years ago, we had just got ourselves a pop-up exhibition at Johnny and Jenny’s in Saffron Walden. Fast forward to the present day and we’re preparing to sign a lease for our own shop!


 Artist’s impression of the front of the new Design Essentials shop at Market Row, Saffron Walden

When Wendy had the idea for the Design Essentials brand, she could only dream of having her own permanent shop where she could sell her unique homeware pieces and gifts. Wendy is thrilled with the success of the Design Essentials concept, which started out as a simple idea she had while on holiday in Bali, Indonesia. She was looking for pieces to finish off the renovation of her own home when she spotted a gap in the market for unusual yet affordable homeware items. Her instincts were correct, and when Wendy displayed her selected goods in pop-ups all over the Saffron Walden area, the customers loved it, and the Design Essentials name was made.



Celebrating the opening of one of Wendy’s first pop-ups at Johnny and Jenny in Saffron Walden

design-essentials-michelle-thompsonThe success of Design Essentials and the creation of its reputation for providing customers with something ‘a little bit different’ has allowed Wendy to support and showcase local artists and designers both at the shop and on the Design Essentials website.

Some top creatives include Michelle Thompson (featured right), who has designed for big names including White Stuff and The Guardian and been featured at Design Essentials since the beginning; Oliver Boyd whose lighting designs we had at the shop in Summer 2014 and whose ‘pimped up’ barbecue for supermarket giants ASDA has just made national headlines; Becky Creed who was a finalist at the prestigious Delight in Light 2014 competition with her unique Turned Paper Lighting Collection.












Designer Oliver Boyd with his ‘pimped up’ barbecue                                    Becky Creed’s Turned Paper Lighting collection




There have been so many highlights for Design Essentials over the last two years, but our biggest has got to be the Tour de Essex range we launched in collaboration with Gareth Wild, a local designer who produced an exclusive range of Tour de Essex mugs, tea towels and prints which celebrated the route of the Tour de France 2014 coming through Saffron Walden and the surrounding area. This time last year, the Tour de Essex mugs and tea towels were flying off the shelves in anticipation of the Tour’s arrival. Wendy even managed to get on BBC Look East talking about Gareth’s collection!




The day the Tour came sprinting through Saffron Walden was a great one for Design Essentials. Locals and visitors alike were getting into the TDF spirit and absolutely loving our mugs and tea towels, which we were selling all around the town as well as in the shop throughout the day.



From left to right: Design Essentials’ Charlotte, Wendy and Lauren selling TDF mugs and tea towels on the Tour de France day.

Since Wendy’s original concept for the shop has been so successful, she is now on the lookout for new up-and-coming local artists, designers and creatives to fill the shelves and walls of our new shop. We want Design Essentials to be ‘the place’ for local, talented people to showcase their artwork alongside our unique and affordable homeware, gifts and lighting in the new

Artists impressions of the back of the new Design Essentials shop at Market Row, Saffron Walden 

We still get asked by our customers whether we are a pop-up shop, and soon we will finally be able to tell them that we’re not! Our permanent shop is set to be the next big step for Design Essentials. From our very first pop-up at Goddard’s in Saffron Walden, our permanent pop-up at Johnny and Jenny’s, and then signing our temporary lease at 13 Market Hill, where we have been for the past year and a half, the Design Essentials journey has come a very long way since it began in 2013.  We’re very excited to be settling down in Saffron Walden for the next few years, and look forward to what the future holds for Design Essentials.

To stay updated with what’s happening here at Design Essentials over the next few weeks, do follow Wendy on Twitter (@WendyHowell) and ‘Like’ Design Essentials on Facebook for exclusive pictures and updates.

3 responses to “Design Essentials: From Pop-Up to Permanent

  1. We met at the UK Homes exhibition when I was just starting my design collection and also doing pop-ups. You must be proud to go from a pop-up to a shop of your own. Best of luck – I’m determined to come and visit one day and also see your lovely town. Mo.

    • Ah yes I remember. Yes I am very delighted with the shop becoming permanent. It’s been a long hard journey. I have been incredibly lucky to have some great artists designers to have supported the concept and our customers we have a lot to thank them for. How is it going for you ? I loved your designs. Wendy x

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