Executive’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of Dunedin Designed Inc 8 June 2017
It’s my pleasure to present the executive committee’s report to the AGM of DDI today.
Looking back at the last year it’s hard to be believe we have only been going 2 1/2 years.
Our key project, the Guild space, already seems like a fixture on the city’s retail/gallery
scene and I think this underlines the good work we are doing with the society to celebrate
and support Dunedin design - the mandate of DDI. This report summarises the work we
have done this year to achieve our society’s goals.
For the first time, in May this year, we applied for funding to the Dunedin City Council for
operating costs for Guild. Regardless of whether our application is successful, the process of
applying was helpful in articulating what we have achieved on our own to date, the benefits
we provide to the community and where we wish to go. I’d like to share aspects of our
application here in our AGM summary report for Guild.
Guild is the key ongoing provider of the service goals of DDI. Guild is a retail and gallery
space that was conceived in 2015 by a group of like-minded Dunedin designers looking for a
new and interesting way to reach customers in a highly competitive commercial climate. By
sharing costs and staffing, the designers have established a space to promote their work
that is cost-effective and builds on the strengths of each other. The store is situated in
Dunedin’s Moray Arts Quarter at 45 Moray Place. The store is staffed entirely by the
designers, and boasts everything from luxe and zero waste fashion to homewares, original
art prints, artisan gifts and distinctive jewellery. The high-end store has gone from strength to
strength, rapidly becoming the go-to destination for locals and visitors looking for quality
Dunedin design. The store boasts a 12-strong line-up of permanent local retailers and an
ever-changing array of pop-up designers and makers from around Aotearoa, most of whom
are unrepresented elsewhere in the city. The space also provides a venue for the popular
workshops held by resident and visiting designers to share their skills with the community.
Guild is currently operating completely self-funded. The designers pay their share of the rent
and outgoings such as electricity and insurance. All sales are held by DDI on behalf of the
designers with weekly “reimbursement”. DDI takes a small commission from designers’ sales
(10% - its only true income) which is used to pay for packaging costs, stationery and credit
A key indicator of the economic benefits of Guild’s services is the level of income achieved
for Dunedin designers through sales. This financial year sales increased by 39% on the
previous year, providing income of $120,000 in sales to designers.
A second, smart measure of the benefits of Guild’s work is the social media reach achieved
for both independent brands and collectively for Guild. One of the most important benefits
that Guild can provide (and has done very well in the past) is to increase the visibility of
Dunedin designers in the public eye. This is a difficult task for designers to achieve on their
own but has massive ongoing value. Designers and workshop holders report that promoting
their work or event through Guild has been of huge benefit to them as Guild’s reach far
exceeds their own.
Guild continues to serve the Dunedin design community in general - contributing to the
design culture of Dunedin. Dunedin is a fantastic creative city but it can be difficult for
practitioners to make a start on their creative career. Retaining graduates after study and
attracting newcomers requires a network of support and opportunities and Guild is an
important link for these people.
I’d like to thank the people from the design community who have provided letters of support
of our work: Caroline Terpstra (Head of Design at Otago Polytechnic), Three Cups of Tea,
Jackie Ryder, Aunty, Cheese Before Bedtime and Meniscus. The content of these letters will
be available on the DDI website - the text is too extensive to include here but it is so
wonderful to read!
The current retailers at Guild are Señorita Awesumo, Aunty, Silkbody, Born Original, Three
Cups of Tea, Tinch, Melanie Child (welcome back!) Mu, Darlene Gore, Jackie Ryder and
Jewellery by Idour, Beats Clothing and Self Destruct Studio. I'd like to acknowledge the
moving-on from Guild of designers Inge Flinte, Mixie, Honey and Spice, and Beau.
Guild celebrated two years anniversary with a series of workshops this year. Customers
learnt to make beeswax food wraps (Fiona Clements), create a nest of ceramic bowls (Susie
Ripley), paint an original piece of art (Inge Flinte) and paint ceramics (Amanda Shanley).
Very special thanks is extended to Helen Riley-Duddin, our curator and marketing manager
for Guild. It is thanks to Helen that we have such an enviable reputation for Guild’s social
media profile (and the benefits of this to the designers) and a cohort of appreciative popup
designers. Her skill and energy are priceless. Helen is also a key link to the Otago
Polytehnic Design School, connecting students to a real marketplace learning facility beyond
the classroom. Thank you Helen.
We have also enjoyed excellent publicity this year in the Otago Daily Times (with a profile on
Three Cups of Tea), the Star newspaper, Insiders Dunedin and Queenstown Life blog. Thank
you to Enterprise Dunedin for your ongoing support and for bringing in visiting media to
DUNEDIN DESIGN AWARDS
Further to our society’s mandate of celebrating and supporting Dunedin design, the idea for
DDA was brought up last year and extensive work has been done by the subcommittee, in
particular Craig Scott, towards the organisation of this event, with a date of September 2017
in mind. Despite much work completed to date on identity (thank you Will White!), funding/
sponsorship, event planning and judging, it is unlikely that this event will go forward this
September and the work will carry over to a target of September 2018 for the inaugural
DUNEDIN DESIGNED INC
This year we spent much time refining and adjusting our society’s objects to better reflect
our aims. By revising our official rules we hope to be successful in gaining charitable status
and opening up opportunities to apply to funding bodies. This process has now been
completed and our rules have been updated. These are available on the website. Our
thanks to Caryl O’Connor from Community Law Otago for her valuable guidance with this.
In our capacity as a recognised body of designers in the city, we were honoured to be invited
to join the panel choosing the artists to show in the Otago Museum’s exhibition ‘Current’ this
year and I very much enjoyed serving on the panel on behalf of the executive.
Congratulations to Jamie Metzger on a successful and wonderful exhibition.
We have a new website showcasing the society’s work. Check it out at
Thank you to all the DDI committee members for your support this year. Thank you to
outgoing committee members Emma Francesca and Jude Chelliah for giving your skill and
Thank you to the executive members for your valuable volunteer work for the committee.
Special thanks to Bailey Ross for her work as the treasurer this year and to Dr Rosalind
Whiting, Head of Department of Accountancy and Finance at Otago University for facilitating
Bailey’s appointment! A huge thank you to Dallas Synnott who is stepping down from
executive duties. Thank you for your energy and hard work. Also thank you to the other
members of the Executive for their support - Fiona Clements and Helen Riley-Duddin.
I look forward to the continuation and development of DDI’s work in providing benefits to the
Dunedin design community.
Dunedin Designed Inc
On behalf of the executive committee:
Dallas Synnott (secretary)
Bailey Ross (treasurer)