Scottish Design Exchange (SDX)
Last year, before Christmas, I took a part time job working at the Scottish Design Exchange, and I’m now working there 4 days a week! It has lead to me spending less time on my jewellery business, which isn’t awesome, but as a single person brand, it is nice to have that guaranteed income, particularly when I love the job and what the company stands for.
So, what is SDX?
The SDX is a not for profit social enterprise that supports local creatives. There are two shops, one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow, and rumour has it that there will be more soon! In the Glasgow shop alone, there are more that 150 artists represented. It is chocked full of beautiful design led, handmade pieces.
The SDX started in Edinburgh in 2015 as a more collaborative way for artists to sell their work. It was so successful that another one was opened in Glasgow last autumn. It allows members of the general public to see the amazing talent that Scotland has to offer. The shops are in high footfall areas (Buchanan Galleries and Ocean Terminal), exposing the artists to customers they may never have had before. As an employee, I can absolutely say that it is a delight to see customers’ reactions to the shop and the work in it. When a customer buys a piece, they know that 100% of the purchase goes directly to the maker. The SDX works on a space rental basis, so artists pay a nominal fee, but no commission is taken from the sales. The Design Exchange also holds business workshops for the artists, meet and greet evenings, and special events in the shop.
My work ranges from customer service to logistics, to coordination of artists and their merchandise, to hours spent in front of the computer looking at spreadsheets. It has allowed me to meet so many interesting people and learn so much about retail that I really had no clue about, and my coworkers are ace! My favourite part is definitely meeting and getting to know more of the fantastic people in the creative community of Glasgow and beyond.
If you haven’t been to either of the shops, you should pop in for a browse. At the very least, check out the SDX website at www.scottishdesignexchange.com.