POP Canberra

Heart + Soul: POPPOP Canberra

Shares the heart and soul of Canberra

POP! Verb: to make or cause a light explosive sound.
For POP Canberra business partners, Gabe Trew and Mikhaila Davis, the opening of their first permanent retail store didn’t quite create the light explosive sound they desired. It was more a quiet bubble burst as their opening day coincided with the first day of Covid-19 restrictions in Canberra.

But, the explosive sound definitely came.

And it came in the way of overwhelming support and encouragement from the local community. The physical store couldn’t open straight away, so they worked at lightspeed to create an online shop, followed by openings by appointment.

And now their pop can be seen and heard loud and clear by all who visit Braddon.

“The city feels like home for us. Because we are small we have a connection that other cities just don’t have. You notice the smaller things more. People are conscious of the other people around them, and they really love supporting local,” POP Canberra co-founder, Mikhaila Davis said.

Pop Canberra is a retail experience store supplying locally made products, with everything from art and jewellery, to homewares, gifts and Canberra-made food, wine and spirits.

“Everything we stock is made by someone in Canberra. We showcase Canberra artists and makers through their products, and we exist to support the local small-business community,” POP’s other co-founder, Gabe Trew, said.

“We wanted to create a destination for shoppers to experience the best of local in a really accessible and fun way.

“We do what we do so that we can contribute to and enhance the community that we want to be a part of, and we do what we do to support local and spread the message that real people, real Canberrans, are behind every brand.”

This duo certainly knows how to make it work. Gabe and Mikhaila, both Canberrans born and bred, started POP as a one-off all-Canberran pop-up shop in 2018, with the very simple premise of wanting to show Canberrans that Canberra has some really good things to offer. It was such a success that two pop-ups followed in 2019.

“That was my most memorable experience in business. We didn’t fully know if what we were creating was a viable venture. It was a mix of excitement and fear. We opened the doors and there were lines of people on the street,” Gabe said.

“It was humbling, but it made us so proud that we created such a genuine experience that people wanted to have that again.”

And now people can have that experience again. It’s time to rediscover the many great local businesses who make the city centre Canberra’s heart and soul. Reconnect with locals, makers, and people like Gabe and Mikhaila.

“We have missed the community. While online support was wonderful to have, we really missed the energy of the street and the genuine interactions with people. So much value comes from face-to-face interactions and sharing time with people,” Gabe said.

It’s time to rediscover your city by supporting local businesses like POP Canberra. You can find POP Canberra at Shop G12/27 Lonsdale Street Braddon, open seven days a week, and online at www.popcanberra.com.au, @popcanberra or on Facebook.

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