At The Guild Dumfries, we aim to provide our growing audience of loyal supporters and visitors to each of our events and projects with a diverse and varied range of makers, creatives, independent businesses, food and beverage producers, with an emphasis on quality, regional and seasonal produce. Over a short space of time, we’ve built a strong reputation in the community as a key platform for emerging business owners to gain exposure and develop a brand presence.
Being part of the Retail Collective at Flourish is a great way for you and your business to interact both offline and online with new and existing audiences, gain feedback about your products and services, increase your visibility, gain exposure, learn new skills and we hopefully have some fun being part of a collective of like minded individuals.
To ensure we continue to maintain our reputation we take care and commitment throughout our entire application process. The Guild Dumfries will review each and every application thoughtfully, and we don't take it lightly. It’s a serious business and a big job! If you’ve never applied to be involved in one of our events or projects before, please don’t be scared! We LOVE to hear from new makers and we are happy to give advice before you make an application. We’re keen to support all of our applicants, both fledgling and the more experienced businesses. We hope we have provided extensive information regarding our application process as well as our selection criteria.
Our selection process for this project is based upon our criteria below, please take the time to read through it and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need further advice. Scroll further down the page and you'll find our Terms & Conditions that includes the finer details and costs etc.
Got a question about taking part in our new retail collective at Flourish before you apply? Please get in touch and we will try our best to answer your query.
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR WITHIN APPLICATIONS
• Independent designs, or products of a handmade nature should be original and creative, of the absolute highest quality, finished to the highest standards. You must show a high level of professionalism in your work and an obvious commitment to your creative practice and your business.
• Consistency between your work and brand as a cohesive story.
• You must hand make or small batch produce your work, designs must be your own and the majority of elements made by or designed by yourself. We will not accept applications from people who assemble pre-existing products, mass-produced items, or work that has not been designed / produced by the person making the application.
• Your online presence, products and brand should be considered, well designed and aesthetically appealing. Presentation should be considered and you should display your products/services to their fullest potential.
• It is recommended that you have at least one business account setup on either Facebook or Instagram, so that each successful applicant can get the most out of taking part and we can work together as a community to promote everyone involved on social media.
• Creative and original designs and products designed and/or handmade by you, and not sourced in an unethical way. If the product is not handmade it must be made ethically and sustainably. If it is made elsewhere we prioritise products that are fair-trade, made in support of local communities, sweatshops free, cruelty free and created with an environmental conscience.
• Items sold should have a wide range of prices to appeal to a variety of shoppers; our events are promoted as affordable and accessible to all pockets.
• You must be able to provide a minimum of 5 high quality and clear images of your work.
• Food & drinks providers should have an offering that makes the most of the produce in season using fresh, local or Scottish, sustainable and nutritionally balanced produce and highlighting healthy options where available. You must also ensure that products provided meet legal standards for food hygiene and food standards.
• As part of the Green Arts Initiative, The Guild aims to promote zero waste to reduce their environmental impact. Therefore, we encourage all our applicants to consider their carbon footprint, the recycling of food waste and the use environmentally friendly packaging.
• If you're a returning applicant, you must show how your work has progressed since participating in any past events or projects. You must demonstrate that you’re offering new products, or have developed variations on designs in order to keep the events we curate fresh and exciting for our returning customers and visitors.
Please read the information below before applying for this experiential Retail Collective project.
We will send you all the details you need to make payment of rental fees if your application is successful. Please do NOT send payment with your application form. The Guild can receive payment in advance by bank transfer, details of which will be included within your acceptance email. Payment will be required by a date specified in the acceptance email. Your rental is not secure until full payment has been made and copies of all required documents have been received by the deadline. If payment has not been received before the payment deadline stated in your acceptance email, your rented space within the Retail Collective will be allocated to another business on our waiting list.
Each month, The Guild will issue a simple sales summary of items sold minus a 10% commission. (Transaction fees of 1.75% for any sales made by a credit card will be absorbed by The Guild) All makers will then be asked to send an invoice to The Guild and payments will be made by bank transfer after this has been received.
Makers will pay a rental fee to take part in the Retail Collective at Flourish, this will be paid by monthly instalments in advance of each month of your rental period. All sales that are made during the rental period will be yours, minus a 10% commission charged. Transaction fees of 1.75% for any sales made by a credit card in the shop will be absorbed by The Guild. We will provide a concession space, display furniture and props within our physical retail space right in the heart of Dumfries town centre. The income generated from the rental fee you pay will contribute towards the costs of renting the premises in a priime site loaction, to pay for members of staff who'll be working during the trading period of the project which will be no less than 12 months, marketing and promotion of each maker, any packaging at point of sale, a small storage area for additional stock not on the shop floor and any other overheads. As a social enterprise any additional profits made will be re-invested into developing the types of facilities, projects, events, activities and opportunities our community and town needs.
As a member of the collective as well as having products stocked in the shop you'll also benefit from these additional perks....
- You will be featured in our online directory that connects your business directly with our growing audience of loyal supporters, this will include more details about your business, links and images.
- You will have an opportunity to be featured in our meet the maker blog series and instagram take overs.
- We will help you to nurture and grow your business with a monthly training and development workshop hosted online and in person.
- You will be part of a network of other like-minded makers in our private facebook group.
- You will be have the opportunity to attend an in person gathering for our collective held every two months at our community space at 111 High Street.
- You will be have the opportunity to attend a weekly online session to connect with other makers and producers.
- You will have access to dedicated workshop and events space and benefit from a discounted rate as a member of the collective.
- You will have access to equipment, tools and materials and benefit from a discounted hire rate as a member of the collective.
- You will have the opportunity to share your skills and expertise, inspiring creativity and entrepreneurship at our curated programme of events and activities.
- You will be part of community making positive social change and playing a part in the regeneration of Dumfries.
RENTAL FEE FOR SIX MONTHS | £780 (£130 paid in advance per month)
RENTAL FEE FOR THREE MONTHS | £450 (£150 paid in advance per month)
RENTAL FEE FOR ONE MONTH | £175 paid in advance
We are offering an opportunity to rent for just one month so that young fledgling businesses can take the first steps into a retail environment as less investment and stock is required. This also allows us to showcase more makers and rotate the stock we have for sale. This innovative aspect of this project will allow us to change the look and feel of our physical retail space and vary the visual merchandising from month to month, seasonally and themed with other events going on in the town. This gives our customers a fresh shopping experience and an excuse to repeat visit.
As part of this project we also hope to provide an additional opportunity for successful applicants to be part of a curated online e-commerce marketplace, subject to funding. We will showcase our collective of makers, creatives and producers taking part on our e-commerce website that integrates with our in store inventory and EPOS system. We hope that we can also provide an online platform for both young fledgling and more established businesses for minimal investment if they do not already have their own website. Makers & Producers will be given the option to list up to 20 product listings so that customers can have items delivered directly to their door or click & collect at the retail space. The Online Marketplace will allow us to give our customers and loyal followers an online shopping experience alongside in person by visiting the high street. They are able to purchase items anytime and shop local from the comfort of their own home. We hope by offering a range of routes to retail , we will be accessible to all makers and shoppers alike.
ADMIN FEE | £10 PER CALENDAR MONTH
SET-UP, STOCK DELIVERY & COLLECTION
You will be sent more specific details of set up, stock delivery and collection information if your application is successful, and when payment and documentation have been received by us. Makers will need to be available to deliver stock 2 weeks before the retail collective opens for launch, dates and times agreed in advance by yourself and The Guild.
This can be by post or in person. If you choose the option to post your stock to us, makers will assume all postage costs to/from the Retail Collective.
Successful applicants will drop off stock for launch | Estimated Date for stock delivery is the 5th, 6th & 7th November 2021
The Guild and our team of volunteers will be transforming the empty property into our new multi purpose community space which includes a curated experiential physical retail space. Makers are not required to be at the retail collective when we are open for business, although we'd love you to volunteer some of your time! Our in house team and volunteers will work at the shop during the entirety of the trading period. Our in house team will design and style the retail space. The positioning of products and merchandising is the decision of The Guild.
Once the retail collective is open for business to the general public, replenishment stock should only be delivered on a Tuesday morning between 8am and 9am via the High Street entrance, please note cars and vehicles are only permitted on the High Street at certain times. A staff member will be available from 8.00am on a Tuesday to allow access. We may be able to take delivery of stock at other times but this must be arranged by appointment. You will need to provide a paper copy of your stock inventory that is being delivered.
Once your rental period comes to an end, you will have the opportunity to collect any unsold items by appointment outside trading hours. New stockists will be invited to drop off their items a week before their rental period commences to allow time for pricing, adding to inventory and merchandising, the date will be agreed in advance by yourself and The Guild.
While we will work our socks off to promote our collective of makers & producers and sell your work, there are no guarantees that your products will sell at the Retail Collective. Please do not be offended if we have to return unsold stock to you at the end of the trading period. We will of course report back to you on any customer feedback we have gathered about your items and that we feel will be helpful to you.
We request that you provide details of other Dumfries and Galloway based stockists you supply your products to. If you are already selling your products via other retailers in the town, this does not mean you cannot make an application. The Guild does not operate exclusivity contracts, but it is important that we ensure that you are not stocking the Retail Collective with exactly the same products as other nearby retailers. We want to make sure that we limit where possible any duplication, so that customers can purchase covetable products they might not find elsewhere in the town. Our aim is to provide additionality to Dumfries town centre, not to detract from it.
The Guild promises to adhere to the pricing you outline in your application and the details you send. We presume in good faith that the pricing used is a consistent one. We hope that you agree that it's in the interests of no one having your products available to buy elsewhere at a different price. If you think you need advice on pricing your work both realistically and effectively, then we can happily help you.
MARKETING & PR
We will be regularly marketing the Retail Collective on all our social media accounts, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We will also promote the project on our website, which will include a dedicated directory to showcase the work of each business in the collective, including photos, some information and social links. We'll also send regular updates specifically about this project to our mailing list and within our network of organisations, partners and supporters. Each successful applicant to the collective will receive a media kit including branded graphics and templates that we encourage you to use on your social media and website. We will release announcements and information to press and media, publish the event on online calendars, do extensive marketing on social media leading up to the launch and when we are open as well as place posters and flyers around the region. During the run up to launch and during the project, we aim to create a visual presence around our high street location to attract passing trade.
FEEDBACK & EVALUATION
As part of your involvement in this project we ask that all successful applicants provide us with feedback about your participation and let us know your experience of being involved. You will be required to complete an online evaluation form and submit by a deadline date at the beginning and end of your rental period. Gathering your feedback is crucial, it provides us with a better understanding of what you thought about taking part, what impact its had on you, your business and where we may be able to provide support and training to raise your profiles, upskill and grow your business in the future. It helps us to identify what we did right and where improvements can be made. The feedback also allows us to provide evidence to potential funders, stakeholders and others.
THEFT & LIABILITY
The Guild(Dumfries) C.I.C takes no responsibility for loss or damage to you, your products or belongings during this project. The Guild will not be held liable for any thefts or accidents that may arise during set up, trading hours and breakdown of the Retail Collective. It is your responsibility as a business to have suitable Product & Public Liability Insurance. We will do everything within our power to prevent theft of products and displays, but we cannot guarantee that items will not go missing or get broken. Inventory stock lists will be supplied by each business, we will verify whether the numbers, descriptions, and/or prices match the physical inventory dropped off at the designated times and dates. The team at The Guild will make every effort to prevent any incidents. However, we cannot be held responsible if theft or damage does occur. You will need to provide us with a copy of all insurances if your application is successful and when payment is required.
At any of our events, food safety is important. All food producers will need to provide us with copies of the following documents if their application is successful.
• Food Hygiene Certificate/s.
• Food Hygiene Rating.
• Details of the local authority you are registered with.
REFUND & CANCELLATIONS
A full refund of the rental fee will be given if cancellation is made within 21 days of your payment and booking. No refund will be given if you fail to notify us of a cancellation or do not show up to deliver stock. If a cancellation is made after 21 days, we will of course try our best to fill your concession space if you cannot take part in the project. You will be charged in full if a replacement cannot be found. Please be aware of the time and administration required to re advertise your space.
The Guild shall be under no liability for delay or failure to provide any services as a result of any act or circumstances beyond reasonable control including and not limited to, Act of God, bad weather conditions, failure to power supply, injury, terrorism, fire, war, lock out or strike.
FRIENDS OF THE GUILD
We ask that all successful applicants become FRIENDS OF THE GUILD so that you are showing your support for The Guild (Dumfries) C.I.C. It also allows us to show potential funders, stakeholders and others that the community supports the work that we are doing.
We ask that all successful applicants become members of MIDSTEEPLE QUARTER so that you are showing your support to this local community benefit society. We are working in partnership with them during this project and by allowing us to use one of their properties they are helping us to make this project happen.
WHAT WE’D LIKE YOU TO DO
Our Retail Collective is an exciting showcase and experiential physical retail space. Its part of a much bigger project to specifically promote our aims and vision but also to promote your work and business. We want customers who come to our retail space to know the makers and people behind the marvellous products they purchase. We want them to get to know you a little better and discover more about our collective of makers & producers taking part. To do this and to help us sell your products effectively we will need a few things from you. More details will be sent to you if your application is successful.
If you are successful, we would also like our collective of makers & producers to promote their involvement in this project and being part of our collective, let your mailing list know, post details or share e-flyers on social media, your blog and website. You can also help distribute printed flyers and posters. We happily invite and encourage you to send us content, social media posts and images that can be used in the run up to our launch and during the project so we can share your story. You will also have the opportunity to feature in our Meet the Maker series on our blog and be involved in social media takeovers. We know that the best way to connect and engage with your audience is by showing the people behind the business. In the run up to the retail space opening and before your rental period begins we would love you to share videos about yourself, your business and your products and the other businesses taking part.
If you're a maker, designer. artist, producer or indie business owner and are keen to find new ways to get your products in front of new customers in a prime location in Dumfries then why not get involved in our Retail Collective.
We are keen to collaborate with makers & producers from across the region and beyond. We hope that we can work together to offer an affordable platform, opportunities and support to grow your business within a collective. If you love the sound of our plans then apply today!