In January 2015 Dunedin Design Inc. (DDI) was established by a group of local designers, including Dallas Cunningham and Dallas Synnott of clothing label Aunty, Emily Cooper of Silkbody and several other Dunedin designers, as a non-profit organisation to support fellow makers and creators. In conjunction with the establishment of the DDI, the group opened Guild - a retail and gallery space where Dunedin designers have the opportunity to sell and exhibit their products. The group run the store as a collective, renting one metre of space each to sell their products, sharing amenity expenses and working in the store on a rotating roster. Sharing overheads has allowed the designers to enter into the retail market, which in many cases wouldn't have been feasible as small business owners.
"None of us could survive or maintain individual retail stores and it's hard to make money through wholesale unless it's mass produced, so banding together was one force has been a great option for all of us," Dallas Synnott of Aunty explains.
Guild currently stocks 13 designers selling everything from womenswear, children's clothing, perfume, homewares, accessories, art and more from brands such as Aunty, Melanie Child, Silkbody, Senorita AweSUMO, Tinch, Goldminers Daughter, Jackie Ryder, Idour, Beau, Born Original and Honey and Spice.
Each month Guild also hosts a New Zealand guest artist who exhibits their work through an in-store 'pop-up' gallery.
“The response to the store has been great, everyone loves it, with people continuously coming back to see what's new in store. They also love the fact that when they visit Guild they know they'll get the opportunity to meet one of the talented designers”
Guild is located at 45 Moray Place and is open 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Post submitted by Amy Parsons-King