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Ross Bailey

"I remember thinking I liked the idea of being taught by people who’d built up successful businesses themselves. The practical element was important to me."

“It was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the country was buzzing and I wanted to make the most of the moment. So my friend and I decided to launch Rock and Rule – a pop-up shop on Carnaby Street selling rebellious t-shirts featuring the Queen. This was my starting point for Appear Here. Having had difficulties finding the shop space – and having heard about difficulties faced by others who had tried to do the same and failed – I decided to create an online marketplace for listing and booking short-term space. I wanted to find a way to make booking a shop as easy as booking a hotel room. 

Fast forward to today: Appear Here lists over 250 spaces nationwide and has thousands of brands and retailers signed up to use the service. We’ve got an exciting range of big brands and independent retailers launching their ideas in our spaces, including Google, Microsoft, Stylist Magazine, Antler and Candy Kittens. We’ve just received backing from investors behind game-changing companies such as Hailo, Trivago, Spotify and Pinterest, so I’m excited to see where we can go next.  

I first came across the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy through an advert in a newspaper. I remember thinking I liked the idea of being taught by people who’d built up successful businesses themselves. The practical element was important to me. One thing I took away from the Academy, which has impacted my life greatly, was how to spot an opportunity and then focus on it. That’s something I’ve always kept close in mind with Appear Here – staying true to what the brand is about and not overcomplicating things with diversions. 

After graduating, I joined the School of Communication Arts. The school’s curriculum was determined by its network of mentors who came by every day. This meant I got some great exposure to a whole range of people in the business and advertising world. A lot of their advice has helped me run Appear Here. 

Currently, I’m putting what I learnt at the Academy and the School of Communication Arts to the test by running my company. I want to focus on perfecting our product in the UK, before scaling it. The grand vision is to create a global network of spaces that allows people to make their ideas travel – booking shop space in cities and streets across the world.”