The Street Store is an idea that I helped bring to life digitally at M&C Saatchi Abel from 2014 – 2017.
It is a rent-free, premises-free, pop-up clothes store for the homeless, set up on the street and stocked by clothing donations. Interactive cardboard posters act as campaign advertisements and hangers for clothes, a simple gesture that gives the homeless a dignified shopping experience. Because homelessness is a global issue, M&C took the campaign open-source. Over 930 stores have popped up in over 250 cities, each sparing homeless people the indignity of begging and rummaging in bins for clothes.
We were receiving 100’s of applications a month, 1000’s of images from Street Stores being hosted around the world and managing a community of 66,000 people on Facebook.
The original application process was manual and I was in charge of going through every applicant, sending each one the open files in the language that they had requested, and adding their details to a spread sheet. Post event, I would upload all the pictures they sent to us of the event onto the website.
The process was extremely time consuming, therefore we needed to create a website that automated the process of sharing the open source files and images, inform people about all the up and coming events near them, as well as tell the unique story of the Street Store in a beautiful and simple way.
By creating a interactive pledge online, that also allowed users to add their details and what language they wanted the posters, the hosts could automatically download their files. This helped us to create a database so we could keep track of all the applications and the analytics.
Using a Facebook events plugin we managed to track all events on Facebook and pull them into our website, so that they were never out of date and people could easily search events near them on our site. It also pulled in images that were uploaded to the Facebook event…
This highly effective user experience gave us an extra few hours a week to drive the initiative and focus on the community.