‘AUDACIOUSLY AMBITIOUS – Reshape the Scottish business economy and the world will follow’

We think this core value from a new retailer on our high street in Scotland is brilliant.

We all love our well-known brand high street retailers – they are our bread and butter and their consistent presence is needed! But now and again we long for more variety across the cities we work in.

The new Scottish Design Exchange is a great example of a retailer breaking the mould and shows that, with a little imagination and well-placed strategic effort, creativity in the high street is not dead.

The Scottish Design Exchange provides Scottish artists, designers, fledgling businesses with support, advice and, crucially, a shop floor, where talent as diverse as fashion designers, chocolatiers, artists, educational material and furniture makers, amongst others, can then sell ‘products’ from a professionally run retail shop, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best.

Each artist is given space to sell their products for a basic rent per month and all they sell in the store is theirs – no commission at all. It’s a phenomenal idea and it works brilliantly.

The result is a shop that’s totally different both in terms of how it looks – stocking a range of quality of goods that cannot be bought elsewhere on the high street – but also its ethos: ‘Creativity beyond profit, and people as capital – that the human spirit and resourcefulness are worth more than all the money in the world.

This unique model of retail business is a social enterprise that re-invests its profits into providing specialist art education in deprived areas of Scotland. The brain behind this is Lynzi Leroy who says,

The success of the Scottish Design Exchange has shown that small businesses working together, to create a unique High Street experience for customers, is a model that can be replicated. I don’t believe our High Streets are failing, it’s High Street brands that are failing to deliver.

They have some wonderful options for unique gifts – perfect for individual Christmas gift ideas!