Scottish designers target New York market

The New York trade mission

Scottish designers target New York market

Online studio Craft Design House jets off to America to showcase eclectic mix of artists

Cutting-edge Scottish designers have taken their wares to the other side of the world.

Edinburgh-based Craft Design House – a curated online studio marketplace which showcases a treasure trove of goods from leading designers, artists and craftspeople -  jetting off to New York on a trade mission organised by Enterprise Nation and supported by Scottish Development International.

The trip was a fashion, beauty and accessories focused mission offering UK business owners the chance to understand the opportunities offered by the US market, meet customers, visit stores, discover how to do a successful pop-up, sell at a pop-up, attend a fashion show, meet local partners, hear from trade experts and devise a plan to successfully enter the market.

Established in 2016 Craft Design House (CDH) is the brainchild of Gillian Scott, an Edinburgh-based entrepreneur and arts aficionado who spent many years in the tourism sector and came into contact with many talented artisans throughout the world.

Gillian told BQ: "New York was a critical Trade Mission for us and it was well organised and packed.

"We made amazing connections, had key meetings with large, niche and online retailers and learned new ways to present our products, gaining significant business and customer insights into the US market. We believe, to really make an impact it is critical to be on the ground asking questions and seeing for ourselves how the US remains the undisputed leader of the retail industry. The US accounts for almost 30% of the world’s consumer market and with an expenditure of $10 trillion it's the ideal environment for Craft Design House to investigate as an export market.

"It is more important than ever to export, the US being a clear priority for us. With no language barrier we seek to attract the European diaspora through the provenance and story behind each piece of work. More and more customers are looking for a traceable and transparent supply chain and Craft Design House offers the ultimate trusted platform by working directly with designer maker partner studios."

Gillian said the sector needed to be proactive in sourcing strong partners and audiences worldwide, and needed to make sure it knew its marketplace and sought out new collaborations all the time, adding: “New York is the hub for retail and fashion and we were there to learn more about how we can sell our exclusive and unique designer maker collections into the US market. The US market has been in our sights for some time and I am hoping this mission will be the catalyst to launch us into the American market. "

The Craft Design House site offers an eclectic mix of original and limited-edition objects ranging from jewellery and accessories, fashion and textiles to ceramics, furniture and lighting.  Customers can also use the site to commission bespoke pieces with the site acting as a conduit to leading artisans and selling products from £12 to £12,000.

Winner of the Scottish Enterprise Innovation Award, Craft Design House has also recently introduced a new service called Source.  Aimed at the corporate world, retail and tourism, the service enables organisations to commission unique objects from CDH’s roster of over 100 designer makers. It also caters for the wedding market offering unique and bespoke tableware, gifts and favours.