The Poundshop is run by George Wu and Sara Melin. Founded in April 2010 together with Sarah Gottlieb, the idea was born during a discussion about love for design shops. Not having the capital to set one up ourselves, a friend jokingly suggested we should set up a poundshop. What started as a joke, turned into a real exhibition as we set ourselves the challenge to create the first design poundshop.
The aim of The Poundshop is to spread design to a wider audience by making it accessible through price and engagement. The products are to be sold within the affordable price bands £1, £3, £5 and £10. Working with a wide range of designers, most of whom are new to making products, The Poundshop is the perfect testing ground for them to experiment with new and interesting products. With low overheads and the minimal risk of small-scale production, participants are able to experience the markets reaction to their wares first hand. Many of our participating designers have gone on to sell their products in places such as Conran shop, MoMa, V&A, Selfridges and many more.
The Poundshop has worked with many cultural institutions and retailers to establish itself on the design calendar such as Mother London, The Shoreditch Trust, Somerset House, The Architecture Foundation, Wieden+Kennedy, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art, Selfridges, Loft& – Tokyo, KK Outlet, Au Pount Rouge – Russia, British Council, Wasps Studios - Glasgow, ICA – The Institute of Contemporary Arts.
In May 2013 The Poundshop was picked as one of Selfridges’ ‘Bright Young Things’ – the pioneering project that seeks out and champions the most exciting young creators in the UK. Also in 2013 The Poundshop was awarded as one of the top five creative entrepreneurs on the h.Club 100 list. The h.Club100 list is an annual campaign to identify the 100 most influential and innovative people working across arts, culture and the creative industries. In September 2015 you could catch The Poundshop on BBC One as part the documentary series Poundshop Wars season 2. The Poundshop was described by BBC One as leading the way with an unconventional choice of store design and merchandise, with the aim to introduce a new kind of pound shop to the everyday shopper.