Mister Hound’s handmade dog leads walked out the door, Rustic Electric’s metal box lights attracted great interest and there was late rush on Quinnoa’s crafted jewellery at RMIT’s Design Market.
Twenty entrepreneurial RMIT student and graduate retailers used the one-day market at Melbourne Central to test their retail concepts as part of the Shop the City event, which attracted more than 180,000 people to the city shopping complex.
Participants gained invaluable exposure for their brands and business ideas, with the Design Market also doubling as a testing ground for pop-up opportunities in the retail space of the New Academic Street (NAS) project.
Once completed, the pop-up store element of NAS will allow students to apply for space and trial their products in a live retail environment similar to the Design Market.
Jeremy Elia, Director of the NAS Project, said the market was a great way for students and graduates to test their pop-up store concepts.
“Store holders could test what type of products sold well, which price points shift, and what’s the wow factor that encourages people to stop at their stall,” he said.
“All this information is really useful for them.
“At NAS, we will use what we’ve learned at the Design Market to feed back into the design of our new retail areas, informing us how we can better engage with students to help boost their businesses.”
Elia said it was tough for any entrepreneur to find prime retail space, let alone in the CBD, but RMIT was giving students the opportunity to claim space in the heart of the city through NAS.
Student and graduate businesses featured at the RMIT Design Market, which took over the Level One link bridge between Melbourne Central and the Emporium recently, were:
- Craftsman Chin – Zheng Chin, Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours)
- Sweets with Friands – Olivia Giovinazzo, Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work)
- Blksmth Apparel – Dave Forge, Bachelor of Design (Landscape Architecture)
- Rustic Electric – Daniel Curtis, Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic Product Design) (Honours)
- Cint Clare – Jacinta Stephenson, Graduate Diploma of Graphic Design
- ARK & Co. – Alexandra Kimpton, Master of Communication Design
- The Willowy – Jacklyn Wu, Master of Communication
- Poisonous Paper – Kezia Handoyo, Master of Advertising
- Innuendo – Yinchi Liu, Bachelor of Business Marketing
- Eubi Chargers – Christy Lim, MBA
- Elite Eleven – Lisandro Paz, Associate Degree in Business
- Get Your Goat Longboards – Caitlin Spratling, Bachelor of Design (Landscape Architecture)
- Hayley Lauren Designs – Hayley Blode, Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design)
- Lesign – Ssu-Ting Chen, Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design)(Honours)
- Mamahuhu – Maria Guerrero, Master of Public Policy
- Greening RMIT – Benjamin McMenamin, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
- Mister Hound – Emily Collins, Advanced Diploma of Building Design
- Te Claire – Te Claire, Bachelor of Fine Arts
The next market at Melbourne Central will kick off the Christmas shopping season on Tuesday 1 December. Apply to be a Design Market stallholder now.
Story: Kelly Bosman