Lynzi Leroy - Scottish Design Exchange (SDX)

The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) supports aspiring Scottish artists and designers to sell and promote their work in Edinburgh.

SDX offers affordable retail space to artists, designers, publishers and other creative people to sell their products. Key to the business is making good quality artwork, fashion and products with strong designs more accessible to consumers at a reasonable cost.

Instead of paying hefty commission fees for their sales, the artists purchase a space in the SDX shop in Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre in Leith, Edinburgh. Customers who come through the shop can purchase some of the wide ranging products on offer. Additional revenue is reinvested back to support clients and also in community and school projects in the area surrounding Ocean Terminal.

Around 120 independent fashion designers, artists, textile and jewellery designers, publishers and photographers now display their creations in the SDX store in Edinburgh. Some of the items are produced by people who suffer from mental health issues, or come from disadvantaged backgrounds, while others are made from recycled materials.

As well as retail space, SDX provides support and training to help them develop a profitable product and promote themselves to other retailers.

With the Edinburgh store at capacity, SDX Director Lynzi Leroy applied to the LaunchMe programme looking to expand the store.

Lynzi said "The support and investment through LaunchMe enabled us to employ the staff and carry out the expansion to our current store and support even more aspiring artists and designers."

Work has now completed to increase the floor space of the Edinburgh store and in September 2018, SDX expanded to open a second store in Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries. Products are also now available to buy online through their online shop.

“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.”

Read more case studies of entrepreneurs who are part of our LaunchMe programme.

Click here for more information on LaunchMe.