About us

Meet Martin Larsen founder and CEO

We all know of one extraordinary Martin who had a very important dream!  
Yes, Martin Luther had a dream that gave hope to several generations and changed the course of history. 
Well let's introduce you to another Martin who had a dream.... meet Martin Larsen. 
Granted, this dream will have no effect on history whatsoever or give hope to any generation but this dream is actually the only reason you are here on thatshopthing.com reading About Us. 

Martin Larsen is a Danish born, London living energy consultant by trade (we don't entirely understand what that means either ) but, if your dreams are supposed to say a lot about you then we aren't quite sure what it says that one cold winter's night, tucked up in his flannel pyjamas Martin began to dream he was walking along the bustling streets of London ; nothing out of the ordinary there, until, out of the blue and all of a sudden rows of vibrant shops with their colourful patterned logos and whimsical window displays began to dance and one by one popped out on to the pavement right in front him. 

Admittedly strange, maybe it was a subconscious anxiety that he'd forget to buy a present for his wife's upcoming birthday, as chaps so often do... who knows..... but when he woke up the next morning and told her about that odd little shop dancing dream, she didn't think it was that strange at all. She admitted she often wished there was a website where all the most fabulous shops and stylish cafes nearby popped out on the screen in a way that allowed her to plan each shopping trip before she even left the house. 
What a great idea Martin thought and  the rest as they say "is history". 
Martin took it as a sign and enlisted the help of his energy company's marketing director Yana Sai and his executive assistant Marianna Alessandro. Armed with compass and notebook in hand he sent them pounding the pavements of the British high street collecting data (shop names, addresses and geographical locations)...........very efficient, yes..... but fabulous and fun? Not so much, now that's where I come in......

Gigi Morley - Creative Director 

After hearing about  an energy consultant who dreams about dancing shops, I'm sure you won't be too surprised when I tell you the quirky story of how I met Martin Larsen.  I was leaving the Hammersmith Novotel in London after a delightful lunch with my glamorous American friend Marie Lousie and my phone rang just as I was getting in the lift to the ground floor. I was vaguely aware of someone stood directly opposite me but so engrossed in conversation I didn't pay much attention to who it was until our eyes met (steady on.....not like that) and this blonde, suited and spectacled gentleman took the mars bar he was eating out of his mouth and offered me a bite! Well what's a girl to do but shake her head and giggle.

We ended up walking to the tube together exachanging polite 'so what do you dos'? I am a lifestyle broadcaster and writer and Martin thought  I might be able to give him some fresh ideas for branding and marketing his energy company. This involved thinking about energy in new ways including introducing him in his own words to "the mad world of FreeRunning and BeatBoxing – wow...!"

Things really clicked when he asked me to a meeting to discuss his new idea called THATSHOPTHING. 

One fine London morning, Martin gathered a few of his creative friends at Beaufort House to present his shopping planning website called thatshopthing.com. The minute he started talking I got excited because in my mind he was describing destination shopping for the high street, somehting I'd been exploring for quite some time. I was less excited by the fact that the launch site I was looking at didn't quite match up and so the oppportunity to help develop the concept style and content for TST was an altogether interesting prospect for me. 

Yana Sai - Marketing Director

I mentioned a little earlier that Martin dispatched his marketing executive to roam the streets of London gathering shop location information, well, enter the beautiful and painfully stylish Yana Sai.

"Gigi came along full of enthusiasm about destination shopping. I have to admit, I didn’t quite get what destination shopping was, but Gigi did not give up on us, instead she wrote couple of destination shopping articles, passed them on, sat back and watched the magic happen. I read her INTERIOR SHOPPING CAMDEN PASSAGE TO SOUTHGATE ROAD article and that's how I fell in love with Islington.  I followed the destination trail and discovered hidden shops, a beautiful canal walk and handy tips for great food & cocktail stops. I now return to Islington confident I can find a gift for any occasion or pick up a beautiful piece of furniture for my flat, be it vintage or a trendy Scandinavian piece. On sunny weekends I can’t think of anything better than spending the day on Regent’s Canal or along the secret New River Walk. I can’t wait for TST to expand so I can explore new areas and share them with friends."

Starting with London and then expanding to other major cities across the UK, www.thatshopthing.com (TST) is a one stop for retail inspiration when planning all your shopping trips. Whether you’re looking for what’s new and exciting  on your own doorstep or a well-known store in another part of town, TST’s lifestyle content will provide you with ‘insider knowledge’ of the most stylish places to shop, eat and have fun . What makes TST unique is our interactive shopping planning map which helps you to easily view all intended locations, making it easy to decide how to get there and what else might be worth a look nearby. 

Our mission is to champion savvy independent shoppers and fabulous independent shops, making all your shopping trips fabulous, efficient and fun.