Scottish art and design not-for-profit retailer set to expand

A social enterprise set up to help artists and designers sell their work without paying commission is set to expand its Edinburgh store and open a second outlet in Glasgow.

The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) is a unique concept store and not-for-profit creative community, bringing artists and designers together to share retail space that benefits both the producers and customers.

Around 120 independent fashion designers, artists, textile and jewellery designers, publishers and photographers now display their creations in the SDX store in Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh. As well as retail space, SDX provides support and training to help them develop a profitable product and promote themselves to other retailers.

The Edinburgh store is now at full capacity, and SDX has increased the floor space of the upstairs area. Plans are underway to open a second store in Glasgow and launch an online shop.

Director Lynzi Leroy said: “The commission-free model allows the artists and designers to sell unique and handmade items at High Street prices. The idea has also proved popular with customers who can buy locally made items, knowing that the manufacturers will be benefitting directly from their support.

“We help artists and designers become profitable, instead of relying on funding and start-up loans. We also support other social enterprises, by helping them to build up a profitable product range to raise funds for their projects.”

SDX was selected to join LaunchMe, Scotland’s only social enterprise accelerator programme, earlier this year. Delivered by Firstport and funded by the Big Lottery, LaunchMe supports social enterprises to scale up by providing seed funding, getting them investment ready and connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns.

ENDS

For further information please contact Carol Stewart or Jess Gray, Firstport communications team, on 0131 558 2724 or 07944 060322

Editor’s Notes

  • LaunchMe was launched in 2014 and is delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s social enterprise development agency. Firstport provides free business advice and financial support to individuals who want to start a business which will help people and communities.
  • A social enterprise is a trading concern that operates in the business place, but places social or environmental aims at the core of its ethos. For example, it could work with disadvantaged volunteers on placement, collect materials for recycling or aim to improve the health of the community. Profits are typically reinvested back into the business to grow the social or environmental aims.
  • Social investment refers to repayable finance that is intended to stimulate both financial and social returns.
  • LaunchMe is an initiative of the Big Lottery Fund, designed to grow the social investment market in Scotland, and is also supported by the Scottish Government.