WATCH: How a Liverpool businesswoman is using her nightclub Jaloux to help showcase other city brands
1 year ago
Liverpool nightclub owner Amy Gwynn is using her venues to give other city brands a high street presence as they recover post-pandemic.
Amy, who owns four clubs including the super-glam Jaloux and Avenue on Victoria Street, wants to support female entrepreneurs like herself by offering them a chance to showcase their businesses face-to-face as well as online.
She’s already held two events at Jaloux, bringing together around 30 different brands for daytime pop-ups shops with DJs, live music and cocktails.
They were so successful that she’s now planning to grow the concept, making them at least twice a year to coincide with the start of the autumn/winter and spring/summer seasons.
“The feedback we had from the first two events was just so positive, not only about the sales but because business owners were able to meet in person other brands and customers who they’d maybe only spoken to online before,” says Amy. “It was fantastic – all girl bosses together, helping each other out, and looking to achieve the same thing.”
The idea for the pop-ups came after Amy experienced first-hand the importance of staying connected during Covid.
“Jaloux opened in spring 2019, and we opened the sister club Avenue in the week before lockdown,” she explains. “We had an amazing launch and then the following Saturday we had to close so obviously we had the most horrendous start, and we didn’t get to reopen until a year later under restrictions.
“The only positive to take from it was that it got me in touch with so many other people in similar situations, who either had a high street presence and had to close or were starting a business and stopped in their tracks and unable to get that presence.
“We were all different, but also in many ways we were the same.
“I think Liverpool is a great place for coming together in difficult times because it’s just naturally inbred in us that we stick together and help each other out. So we had other club owners ringing us saying ‘how are you getting on?’ because no-one wanted to see anyone fall flat on their face.
“I’ve got friends now who I would never have met if I hadn’t gone through that time, because we bonded through being in a similar situation and being able to advise each other.
“Once we were able to open up again, that’s when I started to think we could use the venue for something else, to work closely with other brands in the city. I’d seen that need among businesses, and women in business especially, to support each other.
“One of the worst things about lockdowns was the isolation so as much as Instagram shopping is fantastic, and it’s allowing so many young people to get online and show what they can do, it’s still not in person.
“That’s why I think the pop-up events are great because it gets the people behind the businesses out at the front, meeting customers and interacting with other businesses so they can collaborate or help each other out. We all learn from each other and that’s something you can’t do sitting behind a computer.”
After making so many changes post-pandemic, Amy says the idea of opening up a club in the daytime didn’t seem such a stretch.
“It became normal to just constantly adapt week by week. Before that we were living in a nocturnal world, so we’d never have done a day event, but operating under curfews we’d got used to day working, so putting this together didn’t seem like a huge deal.
“All the brands at the pop-ups have the same target audience, young women, for businesses covering fashion, fitness, hair extensions, swimwear, crystals, jewellery, accessories. So, with DJs, cocktails and shopping, it was just a nice girls’ day out – like all our favourite things brought together in one afternoon!”
As for the clubs, Amy says she’s looking forward to seeing business as usual again very soon.
“The party vibe is slowly coming back in the city centre so hopefully, once everyone’s back from summer holidays, September to December will be our busiest time and we’ll see everywhere really come back to life.”