‘89’ began in September 2014 as a local community project created by an organisation called Love Barnet as a pop up shop consisting of local businesses selling their unique products and increasing awareness of the creativity Barnet has to offer.
Barnet had been falling into the typical high street category with many local businesses unable to afford the rent and rates. Larger brands were also not wanting to take on these available spaces resulting in our town becoming a hub for unused shops.
This is why Love Barnet decided to step in. They literally wanted to put the love back into Barnet. So it started with the pop up shop project (located at 89 High Street) hence‘89’ was born!
89 originally consisted of 13 local independent businesses: designers, makers, creators and a small trade of imported yet unique products not found anywhere else on the high street. The shop naturally became a lifestyle shop selling hand printed wallpaper, home accessories, vintage and upcycled furniture, jewellery, children's clothing, natural beauty products and soaps, all from the original 13 sellers.
We also introduced Craft Workshop evening events for local budding crafters, something that was also missing within the community. The 13 ran, manned and developed the shop into a thriving business until the project came to an end in March 2015.
In these 6 months ‘89’ developed a huge local fan base with fantastic support for the project, sales were being made above and beyond what could ever have been imagined and we attracted regular and loyal customers into the shop.
March 2015 saw a change on many levels. ‘89’ could no longer be a pop up shop as we had been trading for 6 months and some of our original 13 businesses wanted to move on as it was only intended to be a short-term project. This resulted in a small group of the original 13 deciding to take 89 forward due to its success and establish it as a permanent presence in Barnet. They re-named it ‘Room 89’ taking on new premises at 10 Union Street around the corner from the original pop-up shop and turned it into a wonderful and thriving local business.
Today Room 89 is run by Jo Ireland, who has successfully run her own clothes business locally for many years, and Jane Northam, who sources interior accessories and gifts. The lifestyle and gift section is located at the front of the shop and a pretty boutique area is located at the back.