I can barely contain my excitement...

Ever get the feeling that the moons have been aligned in your favour? Yeah, me neither!! But.... that was before today!! 

This morning I meet with Ginny from 'The Neighbourhood Trust', a local not-for-profit organisation that works to enrich the lives of those living in my area! The trust is working hard to secure funding for a social enterprise here in Mairehau to help fill those empty shop fronts that we are seeing about the place, to bring people into the area, to support those that are already here. 

New to the concept of social enterprise? Me too! The Addington Coffee Co-op is a successful example, and Ginny has been receiving mentoring from one of the founders!

What sort of displays would our store have?

The concept is to develop a store run by the people for the people, with a strong focus on locally made and developed goods. Up skilling people in retail and small business skills and providing an environment where people want to stop in to browse, have a cup of tea, have a natter and read a book (from a selection of second hand books).

It will also provide a community meeting place where we can create workshops, to nurture Indie Design - for both those wanting to learn how to craft, and for those who already craft teaching them how to run their small business successfully.

It will be a place to support up and coming designers with design competitions, potentially market stalls and so much more! 

Which is where 'Hazel Loves Design' comes in, we will be directly involved with selecting and nurturing the designers who come on board and sell their wares through the store and it's website. Helping with merchandising, quality control and ensuring the stores stocks a variety of well made pieces. 

An ideal table for group discussions!

But I need your help!

I need a show of interest, who would be like to be involved with this? What would be your level of support? Do you think a charge of $10 per week, keeping all profits is fair and ideal? Do you think this is too cheap? Do you think it would be better to sell goods on a commission basis? Or would you like to offer your time in lieu of money? How do you think we should operate this store to best suit your needs?

Ideally we will reassess this all after the first six months, once we know the popularity of the venture. I also need to know what terms and conditions you think we need to include when taking on designers. As well as any other general ideas and suggestions you may have. 

So many colourful images to draw inspiration from

At this stage we know that we want to take on only twelve designers to begin with, that there will be restrictions on the quantities of different products we can take on (for example we will start with only two jewellery designers) and we will solely be taking on designers from the Canterbury region. 

If you are outside of the Canterbury region I will still love to hear your ideas for making this venture as successful as possible!! 

Due to applications for funding, we need all shows of interest by Friday November 9th at the latest please!! 


Ana said...


Gill @ Mudbird Ceramics said...

Wow fantastic IDEA Hazel!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hazel - my friends and I run Craft Country in Featherston, which seems like a similar situation. At the outset we charged a weekly rent but then switched to charging commission. Commission (we charge 40%) was far and away the best option because if crafters/stockists don't sell they don't have to pay - it's better for them and better for the customer too because we had a few people pull out because they didn't want to keep paying rent while not making sales. We've been going for a year and a half now on volunteer power and make enough to pay our stockists, power and rent.