Created by Sarah Bagner, Supermarket Sarah is an innovative online store ~ it’s part gallery, part set decoration featuring an artfully dressed wall of goods.
Running a virtual market stall from her West London apartment – with a ‘wonder wall’ of constantly changing online finds – has given Sarah Bagner carte blanche to indulge her passion for all things vintage.
Sarah goes on the hunt for interesting objects at London’s Portobello Market,where she has her own stall.
“Sarah decided to leave the corporate world behind her and has set up shop in her own home. Her home, round the corner from Portobello Market where she has a stall, is now overflowing with treasures and delights and she welcomes visitors with tea and cakes.”
Starting in her living room and expanding into public spaces, including a residency at Selfridges, Sarah’s uniquely inspired collaborative “walls” presents curated finds. Walls are designed in collage-like formations assembling them from an eclectic array of new and vintage treasures, art, design, clothing and decorative objects. Nearly everything is one-of-a-kind so once it’s gone, it’s gone. Online shoppers are invited to click and purchase items off the ‘wall’.
Another characteristic is the collaboration with other creatives such as this one with Frankie magazine.
It’s Suuuuuuuuupermarket Sarah at Selfridges!
In January 2011 Supermarket Sarah took a step out of the virtual world with an exclusive pop-up 30ft wall in Selfridges, London. Supermarket Sarah opened her doors to a brand new shop with a wall on the ground floor that was jam packed with new designers and vintage treasures.
The wall included a gallery where Sarah regularly presented a designer she admires. This innovative retailer’s Selfridges pop-up is full of fancy delights, with the wall divided into 4 sections: Super Stuff, New Designers, Vintage and Gallery. Sarah also blogged on Selfridges.com about her new finds and upcoming themes and collections for the wall.
Divided into four sections; Superstuff, New Designers, Vintage and Gallery the wall featured a host of exciting finds to entice customers. Thanks to her network of young designers, you’re likely to uncover someone completely new from the likes of Swedish Blonde Design, Audrey Roger, Mell Elliot, Lynn Hatzuis, Phoebe Eason, Rina Donnersmarck, Henrietta Swift and Garudio Studiage. Other brands featured were Tatty Devine, Eley Kishimoto and Donna Wilson.
In this excerpt from Senn and Sons, Supermarket Sarah talks about inspiration, entrepreneurship and Swedish design.
How did you come up with the idea for Supermarket Sarah?
I was working in digital advertising but was somehow eager to create something personal and work in a more tactile way. I started doing Portobello market on a Friday as my auntie in Sweden had hoards of vintage clothing she wanted to get rid of. I started have a penchant for all things weird and wonderful. I was also working as a stylist and assisting on various amazing shoots…the site evolved as a love child of all that!
What prompted you to make Supermarket Sarah your full-time venture?
I had to at one point as otherwise I couldn’t have tested it.
What were you doing before that, and how did it help you take Supermarket Sarah to the next level?
All the advertising work I did and in fact everything I’m about has come into play with SS! All my friends and family have also chipped in - for good and bad! It’s been very all-consuming!
You now have a huge wall set up in Selfridges. How did you take the shop from exclusively online to retail?
Selfridges initially invited me to do a wall in their Concept store and this was an amazing opportunity. It was a 30 foot high wall and I commissioned some brilliant “Supermarket” props, sourced all sorts of wonders both vintage and new designer. It was super to see something which started as an idea in my living room transported to Selfridges! I blogged on the Selfridges site so there was still a connection to the online world and I often talked about where I sourced the items and the stories behind each object online.
Now I have a pop-up store on the ground floor in the giftware department. I’ve realised that products need to be stocked in multitude otherwise it somehow scares shoppers. Online you can just offer one, but in reality this makes it seem like a gallery. So now even if something is vintage, I try and offer lots of similar types of things on one shelf. Eg, a variety of vintage spoons, aprons etc.
Where do you find inspiration?
At markets, galleries….in little observations…in those few moments when you step outside of yourself and see things in all their absurdity!
Do you find that Swedish design influences your style?
Yes, Swedish design is just intrinsic to Swedish Life. From their milk cartons to their undergrounds, to their homes and lifestyle. It’s simple and it just works! For some reason when this translates to other countries it seems really luxury but in Sweden it’s not really like that…and I love Swedish 60′s prints and have various Swedish designers on board!
Where do you find all of the items and how do you decide what works together?
My auntie is a massive hoarder and she has a whole house full of vintage Swedish finds! The Supermarket Sarah network of new designers just grows and grows with each wall…I think the mix of new and old works really well, one compliments the other.
What have been a few of your favorite collaborations or projects?
I loved the wall I created with Donna Wilson. We just set to work and sort of played house! She hung her house rug on the wall and then it was like this child-like game of adding objects and imaginary friends….
And here are some more insights from a Dazed Digital Interview
DD: What are the differences between your supermarket and a store? This is very much a real manifestation of my online supermarket. Instead of clicking on items on my online wall users will actually remove items directly from it. So in fact, it’s a very similar shopping experience. Each item will have an outline around it, like that of a tool shed. Customers can remove things and then be able to place them back in the same spot. Our items in Selfridges will be more giftware orientated but they will have the same fun and quirky appeal.
DD: What’s next for Supermarket Sarah? Walls worldwide! Both in reality and online.
Explore Supermarket Sarah online, follow Sarah’s blog, join her Facebook group, and check out a specially curated wall by previous Daily Dose pick Gabby Young.