Since the end of last year, 2018, I have been really lucky to have my work in the Scottish Design Exchange in the thriving Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow. After stocking them up with some new work at the weekend, I wanted to do a little blog post to explain what it is, why it is so awesome, and why you definitely should shop there!
“The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) is a Community Interest Company with two not-for-profit shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow to support more than 150 Scotland-based artists and designers.
The original idea in the summer of 2015 was to start a concept store to show how this collaborative model could work, and in the first six months, it proved an enormous success.
SDX not only allows emerging and independent makers to profit in a retail environment, but also benefits the public who can invest in locally made, quality products in the knowledge that their money is going to the right place.”
Basically, it is a very unique business model whereby artists and designers can pay to ‘rent’ a small space, within a bigger space, in a location with a high volume of footfall which would usually otherwise be very expensive to rent for an individual. Then, each sale goes directly to the artist/ designer, the Scottish Design Exchange takes zero commission. Which, if you have not experienced this side of things, is virtually unheard of. The other options for most artists and designers to sell their work in a physical space is either sale or return where you loan shops/ galleries your work/stock in the hope that it will sell, and then if it does sell, the shop/gallery takes on average 50% commission. Or, you sell your work/ products to a retailer at a wholesale price, which usually means at approx 50% of what it would sell for.
This means that the SDX is a great way to support artists and designers and to buy directly from them, so if you are in Glasgow or Edinburgh and are looking for a unique piece of art for yourself, or a special present for someone else, you should definitely stop by here. There is a huge array of work and products by various artists and designers, and it really is a step forward in shopping ethically and supporting small businesses/ creatives!
Thank you to The Scottish Design Exchange, and I hope they will lead the way for others to rethink their business models in an otherwise diminishing high street here in the UK.