Yorkshire Sculpture Park Shop
YSP Shop is a destination store showcasing original work by international artists and contemporary designers and makers, providing a unique alternative to high street shopping. The shop is a thriving part of the internationally renowned Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and every purchase supports the park as a registered charity.
Established in the YSP's award winning visitor centre in 2002, the shop opened with a small selection of craft, books and gifts. Our small and dedicated team has transformed the shop over the past decade and we now enjoy a reputation as one of the best museum stores in the UK (“One of the best shops of any gallery I have ever visited” comment via Twitter, “More than your average pedlar of gifts” Elle Decoration). Other museums seek our advice when making plans for their own organisations – we have worked with Turner Contemporary, The Hepworth Wakefield and Sheffield Museums in the last year – and we have good working relationships with partners such as Culture Label, Art Finder and Own Art.
We stock a varied range of homewares, textiles, prints and stationery, toys and games, books and DVDs, souvenirs and gifts. Brands include Avoca, Orla Kiely, Rice and Jansen + Co with artist-led ranges of contemporary craft from John Dilnot, Matt Fothergill, Redbrick North, and Alice Mara. We are proactive in our approach to buying, researching new designers and products tirelessly. We attend many trade shows including New Designers, Maison & Objet, Pulse, and Top Drawer, and use social media to track down hard to find products. Our hard work pays off – we were one of the first UK stockists of Italian brand Miho Unexpected Things, now one of our best selling ranges, and following a find on Pinterest we are currently the sole UK stockist of Australian printmakers Inaluxe.
We work hard to build strong relationships with established designers including Rob Ryan, David Mellor, Donna Wilson and Mark Hearld. We approached Rob Ryan in early 2009 and after falling in love with the Park he quickly decided he wanted to work with us. A few months later we had created a successful solo exhibition, a limited edition print and a new publication. We continue to work with Rob and in November 2011 organised a book signing which generated record sales.
In 2011 we worked with Donna Wilson on exhibition ‘Endangered Species’ (19 November 2011–26 February 2012). We created an eccentric display of knitted trees and curiosities featuring Donna’s trademark patterns and colours alongside her first ever screen print. The exhibition was very well received with press coverage in Elle Decoration, Crafts magazine, Wrap magazine, and BBC Homes & Antiques. Associated events that we organised included a professional practice talk for 200 students wanting to follow in Donna’s footsteps.
At the moment we’re working alongside Mark Hearld on the forthcoming exhibition, ‘Birds & Beasts’ (17 November 2012–17 March 2013). Mark has taken inspiration from the park to create a range of one-off collages, limited edition lithographic prints, handmade and decorated ceramics, and wooden objects, all of which are available to buy. Together we have created an exclusive range of merchandise including a silk scarf, a canvas tote bag and a creamware mug, all of which have been developed and produced using UK-based skilled craftsmen.
Every year we work closely with artists who feature in the wider YSP programme to produce original limited editions and complimentary merchandise. This year we worked closely with the Joan Miró Foundation and the artist’s grandsons to produce a range of tried and tested merchandise including a children’s t-shirt and tote bag. The Miró family, who guard the legacy of Joan Miró closely, were more than confident we could translate the artist’s work across several products.
We decided the Miró exhibition presented an ideal opportunity to commission new products and approached textile designer Margo Selby, ceramic designer Lubna Chowdhary and interior designer Susan Bradley to create an ‘Inspired by Miró’ range, exclusive to YSP. This is a mutually beneficial relationship and the designers are pleased to be associated with both the exhibition and YSP.
Recognising the demand for well-designed souvenirs from the many school children that visit YSP, we refreshed our branded range of children’s merchandise in 2011. We used the landscape as inspiration, creating characters based on the wildlife found within the park, at the same time as designing objects that children would use and cherish. The Young Explorer and Young Artist ranges include products suited to a walk in the park: binoculars, a water bottle, a compass, and best-selling sketchbooks.
We continue to make changes and improvements to the shop. This year we have launched a new print framing service and expanded into a second space, known as the Garden Gallery, to showcase the full range of artist- produced limited edition multiples and prints, produced over several years. Later this year we plan to install a new wall to expand our stationery, greetings cards and gift-wrap range, and we have exciting new designs for packaging and signage in the pipeline. Our website has doubled in sales since its redesign in 2010 and we are planning further developments over the coming year to improve functionality and customer experience.