Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) – Lynzi Leroy

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 come through the shop and 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.

SDX have successfully supported over 200 people and raised over £375,000 in sales since they began trading in August 2015 . The items for sale are extremely varied, but have a strong Scottish background to their story. This keeps the look and feel of the shop in keeping with the SDX brand, but also supportive of the core social activity. Some sale items are produced by people who suffer from mental health issues or from disadvantaged backgrounds while others are made from recycled materials.

Additional support is given to these beneficiaries offering them business advice and support to ensure that they remain in self-employment rather than having a very low income. Partnership have been developed with Whale Arts and other organizations in deprived communities who signpost people in particular need who would benefit from the sales space and support offered by SDX. The mental health benefits will be enhanced through self-esteem programmes such as ‘meet the maker’, allowing the product creators to speak to customers.

SDX plans to develop a community outreach programme which will support people in need in communities around Ocean Terminal as well as expand their store.

Linzi Leroy said:

We want to extend our Edinburgh premises and also expand into new premises in Glasgow in order to access new markets. LaunchMe will enable us to employ the staff and carry out the expansion to our current store to achieve this and support even more aspiring artists and designers.

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

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