How winning a shop transformed these businesses

10 Jan 2019

Meet the winners from Space for Ideas 2017 and find out how winning the competition transformed their businesses:

London: Aerende


Aerende is an online homeware brand championing ethically sourced and locally made products. The founder, Emily Mathieson, wanted to create a collaborative space, not just for her own brand but a showpiece for what marginalized people can create when given an opportunity.

Her flagship store appeared in our Blue Boutique next to Borough Market where she saw a 708% increase in sales, a 646% increase in the number of orders and a 493% increase in press related to the pop-up. During the opening, she also organized a series of in-store workshops from her makers to pass on their skills and discussions on issues that underpin her business including ethical interiors, social impact and sustainable restaurants. Since then, she’s added 36 new exclusively designed products to the website, sold almost 2000 items and won several more awards for her social business.


Speaking about winning the Space for Ideas competition, Emily said:

“Winning the Space For Ideas competition was absolutely fantastic for Aerende. It not only validated the concept of our early-stage homewares business but allowed us to see the potential of operating from a physical space. The location of our prize was so perfect and working with Kennedy Woods was so helpful in working out how to tell the story of our life-improving homewares. We generated a huge amount of press, got fantastic feedback from customers (old and new) and increased our sales by over 700% in the fortnight we were open. I’ll always be grateful to Appear Here, and all of the judges, for the opportunity and can’t wait for our next pop-up!”

Paris: Le Chocolat Des Français


Bringing together art and indulgence under the ‘Made in France’ umbrella is Le Chocolat Des Français' delicious concept. Founded by illustrators Paul-Henri Masson and Matthieu Escande in 2014, their 100% pure cocoa butter products are made from sustainably-sourced beans and wrapped in fun and colorful packaging designed by 50 artists.

Their vision for the store in the Haut Marais in Paris was to mix art and confectionary within a beautiful space to showcase their tasty and beautifully designed chocolates. On the launch night alone, over 500 chocoholics piled into the shop, generating over €10,000 worth of sales and 20 pieces of coverage. There was also in-store live painting sessions based on original artwork from the talented illustrators behind the packaging. Since then, they’ve taken part in exhibitions around the world, launched exciting new collaborations and opened another pop-up store in The Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville.


Speaking about winning the Space for Ideas competition, Paul-Henri and Matthieu said:

“Winning the Space for Ideas competition organized by Appear Here allowed us to create our first temporary shop and learn about real retail issues. These 10 days were a great opportunity for us and we have learned a lot from this first experience. We are now ready to open our own shop in 2019!”

New York: Primo Toys


Founded by designer and entrepreneur, Filippo Yacob, Primo Toys was inspired by the birth of his son. The idea was to create a toy that children around the world could use to learn computer programming without screens or literacy. So he created Cubetto, a friendly wooden robot toy powered by touch, allowing children to learn and explore real programming through storytelling and hands-on play. After raising $2.4m on Kickstarter from backers in over 100 countries, he was able to make it a reality.

The Space for Ideas store on Christopher Street in the West Village was UK-based Primo Toys’ first outpost in New York and they filled the space with hands-on coding stations, a colorful Cubetto Playset, and child-sized tables created with Open Desk. They also organized teacher’s meet-ups to show how to incorporate the resources into the curriculum, leading to coverage from the likes of Mashable and PSFK. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, continuing to inspire educators and running a new successful series of Kickstarter campaigns for new products and launching Pigzbe (, an app that teaches kids about money and finances.