“Totally overwhelmed” Soapbox winner reacts

26th April 2023 | Jack Oliver

Chris Saville, founder of Gootopia, was “totally overwhelmed” after being announced as the winner of Completely Retail Marketplace’s Soapbox competition.

“We’re so passionate about this company and we don’t often get the chance to tell people about it, and it’s actually a really exciting feeling”, he told Completely Retail News.

Gootopia, formerly Slime Planet, was founded in 2018 and runs workshops for children to make and play with their own slime. It also offers ‘Wine and Slime’ and ‘Slimefulness’ workshops for adults.

The Soapbox competition gives 10 retailers the chance to win a month’s long pop-up lease at a Landsec shopping destination. This year’s prize also included a 15-minute takeover of the iconic Piccadilly Lights.

Chris’ jaw dropped when he was announced as the winner, before hugging his wife Nishi with whom he started the company. The competition was tight, with the four judges granting honourable mentions to fashion rental brand Loanhood and micro garden subscription service Finding Roots.

Gootopia currently operates in a former railway arch unit in Brixton, and recently launched a pop-up store at a Lewisham shopping centre, however Chris believes the business’s offer “can work anywhere, irrespective of location”.

“We’ve always dreamed of having a Gootopia in lots of different areas across the UK”, he added.

Chris describes Gootopia’s current location as the “grottiest little road”, but adds: “if it works there it’ll definitely work in shopping centres”.

“We can see 20, 30, 40 Gootopias existing in the UK, and that’s really what we’re aiming for. Along with this pop-up we’ve won, we really hope in the next few months that we’ll open two more down south and one up north in Newcastle”.


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