Yorkshire Sculpture Park Shop
YSP Shop is a treasure trove of beautiful products, from contemporary applied art and design to limited edition prints and homewares. Nestled in the 500-acre grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the shop benefits from a location as stunning and unique as the products it sells.
The shop – stocking a varied range of gifts, homewares and textiles, prints and stationery, toys and games, books and DVDs – has gone from strength to strength, since establishing in 2002. As a result of the hard work and dedication of the small team we continue to be highly regarded within the industry both regionally and nationally.
Never ones to rest on our laurels, we’re constantly thriving to improve and expand the service and experience for our shoppers. The past year has seen new display space within the shop allowing us to extend our range of cards and gift-wrap, promotions to increase spend, and developments to YSP Shop’s online offer. Improvements to the website’s functionality have made the site more intuitive and easier to navigate, and the introduction of a ‘wish-list’ facility has made using the site a more personal experience. ‘Gift lists’ functionality has been improved enabling targeted seasonal and exhibition–specific campaigns, particularly within the shop’s quarterly e-news, which is distributed to over 1,000 people. Offline, improved signage in the shop, including prominent floor vinyl, has succeeded in raising awareness of the online offer, the ever-changing range of products and YSP’s charity status. These improvements, alongside the development of social media profiles on Twitter (@YSPShop) – with over 1,200 followers – and more recently, Facebook (facebook.com/ShopYSP), have bought with it new customer bases from further afield, including growth within European and American markets. Providing integrated campaigns with joined up online and offline messaging has led to a 5% increase in web traffic over the last year.
Our success is very much built on the relationships we develop with producers, brands, artists and designers. We pride ourselves on supporting British companies and working with UK producers as much as possible. We are meticulous in our choice of brands and designers; attending trade shows in the UK and Europe to help with our selection. Our designer brands are cherry-picked to sit alongside artist-led ranges of contemporary craft from Nathalie Choux, Angela Harding, Seven Gauge Studios, Karen Mabon and Jenny Collicott. Developing strong relationships with renowned designers – most recently Mark Hearld and Angie Lewin – enables us to work together to create contemporary craft exhibitions, with limited editions and exclusive merchandise contributing to the successful formula. We continue to work with Art Finder and Own Art.
In 2012 we worked closely with Mark Hearld on exhibition Birds & Beasts (17 November 2012–17 February 2013). With Mark, we developed an exclusive range of merchandise to accompany the exhibition including a silk scarf, canvas tote bag and Creamware mug. The exhibition was extremely successful, receiving coverage in publications such as Country Living, Elle Decoration and Gardens Illustrated, and achieving huge demand from collectors, nationally and internationally. We have continued to work with Mark since; inviting him to paint a permanent original artwork on the walls of YSP Centre, and continuing to stock his limited editions, original wood works and exclusive merchandise, which customers enjoy so much.
We are currently working with Angie Lewin on forthcoming exhibition, A Natural Line (16 November 2013–23 February 2014). Angie is celebrated for her striking prints of skeletal plant forms set against the sky and has taken inspiration from YSP’s historic landscape to create a series of new prints and watercolours for this solo exhibition, all of which are available to buy. We have supported Angie in creating an exclusive range of merchandise including Creamware mugs, a canvas bag, tea towel and wool scarf, and we are working with St Jude’s to promote Angie’s new screen-printed fabric, Meadow’s Edge. We have successfully secured media partnership for the exhibition from Gardens Illustrated.
Every year we work closely with artists who feature in the wider YSP programme. This year we worked with Yinka Shonibare MBE, to produce an original limited edition, which received high profile coverage on the FT’s How to Spend it website, to accompany his exhibition FABRIC-ATION (2 March 2013–1 September 2013). Together with Yinka, we also developed a popular range of complementary merchandise, decorated with the artist’s much-loved foxes and fabric aliens.
The installation at YSP of Roger Hiorns’ Seizure, 2008/2013, an empty council flat transformed into a sparkling environment of copper sulphate crystals, in spring 2013, provided the perfect opportunity to develop an associated range of merchandise. We worked with the Arts Council Collection to create a Seizure poster and postcards to complement Hiorns’ limited edition cast of the piece, which has huge popularity amongst art collectors worldwide.
Despite refreshing our branded children’s merchandise in 2011, we are currently in the early stages of developing a new range of fun, interactive souvenirs that appeal to the large number of children that visit YSP. The new range, YSP Wild, will take inspiration from the abundance of wildlife living within the Park and include products that will inform and delight children whilst exploring the Park.
We have exciting plans for the year ahead, which include developing a limited edition screen print with artist Rob Ryan, a keen cyclist himself, to mark the Tour De France Grand Départ in Yorkshire; working with artists Tom Frost and Emily Sutton who both have solo shows with YSP Shop in 2014; refreshing the point of sale design; and expanding our book signing programme with forthcoming authors and artists such as Laura Carlin and Michael Palin. We are also working with Campaign for Wool and Rowan to promote British Wool Week (14–20 October 2013); working with knitwear artist Donna Wilson, we have picked a selection of beautiful lambswool products for the shop and will have a fun photo booth for visitors to interact with.
The YSP team work tirelessly to ensure continued success in working with contemporary artists and designers, and relish the challenges and opportunities this brings.