Pencil Me In inspires fellow indies with #myshoplife2018 challenge

Sarah Holmes, owner of card and stationery shop, Pencil Me In, Elgin, Scotland is gaining great traction with her instagram challenge, #myshoplife2018, prompting 150 fellow independents to share their stories to inspire and motivate their peers.

Sarah Holmes is the main force behind #myshoplife2018.
Sarah Holmes is the main force behind #myshoplife2018.

Sarah took the plunge to set the My Shoplife challenge, having spotted something which operated along similar lines on Instagram.

Last year around 50 UK indie retailers took part, posting their stories and photos about life as an independent shopkeeper. At the end of that challenge Sarah decided to take things a stage further and set up a closed Facebook group called My Shoplife Creative where retailers can post asking for help, inspiration, advice or just share funny stories.

Indies are prompted to post on a different theme throughout April.
Indies are prompted to post on a different theme throughout April.

Over 150 independent shops are taking part in the #myshoplife2018 challenge, set by Sarah which runs the entire month of April. The challenge is aimed at inspiring and motivating retailers, while building a network with fellow indie shop keepers. “A lot of retailer struggle with content for social media posts, often thinking they need to post to sell, sell, sell,” says Sarah. “This month’s challenge is designed to help shopkeepers tell their story about them and the shop in an engaging way. Audiences are more likely to engage with more genuine posts especially at a time when social media algorithms are chopping and changing.”

My Beautiful Caravan in Stonehaven takes part in the challenge on Instagram.
My Beautiful Caravan in Stonehaven takes part in the challenge on Instagram.

The challenge includes new prompts, such as ‘why did I open a store’ and ‘weirdest customer requests’, with people posting under the hashtag #myshoplife2018. “Some shops are also sharing their stories over on Facebook too,” says Sarah. “We have seen a huge increase in engagement from our following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as we did in 2017. Feedback from the suppliers/designers and illustrators supplying these shops has also been super positive as they get to know information about indie shops not accessible previously.”

To get involved, join in on Instagram at #myshoplife2018

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