what is foundry?
foundry is a wonderful little artist collective, hidden down a laneway in bairnsdale, victoria.
foundry is an artist co-operative-cum-retail store + we sell everything from hand-formed sterling silver jewelry, to unique illustrations, paintings, prints & cards, to vintage clothing sourced locally [made from natural fibres], to bespoke homewares, to sustainable goods encouraging an eco-friendly life such as beeswax wraps, produce bags, bamboo crocheted washcloths, to high-quality ceramics, to handmade children's toys
we opened our doors in mid-2014 - but due to our kind-of secret location down a little laneway, many people still have no idea we exist. or what beautiful surprises we hold in-store! the teams has been evolving in partnership over the past two years and is now operated by three women, hosting approximately 45 local, creative guests [see more below].
the MOST important thing about foundry - we think! - is that when you make a purchase with us, you are supporting local artists and grassroots business, unique and creative economics, and our radical dream concept of supporting ourselves through honing and utilising our passions + skills!
how do we all share a shop so nicely? well - foundry is very special. we are a truly great team. we operate like a true business - with A LOT of soul! everything is shared, from the space to the finances to the job titles. we each have our own loves + skills that we bring to the desk and with that, we keep the wheels turning; we keep the bills paid. we pay each and every artist 100% of their sales at their nominated prices and we add a small commission to each item to contribute to the rent and bills that we simply must pay to keep the shop alive! all staff volunteer their time to shop-sit, and dedicate themselves to learning about all the little important bits and pieces that will ot only ensure that foundry sticks around, but that it grows and evolves and thrives as long as it is in existence!
foundry hosts an artist-in-residency program, wherein we support a local artist in their creative pursuit - by providing a space from which to work one day a week [and meet locals and new customers!], and a space to feature + sell their wares. [are YOU interested? so far we have had Little Red Cat, D e e v a, Lief Leather, Tales of Blue Roan, TerraPod, Freerange Designs, Art with Heart by Andrea McKey, Paddy's Pants + Adventures of Tara's Art as our guest resident artists + we welcome applications from anyone living in east gippsland making beautiful unique and sustainable wares. see our informative residency page here.]
we also love interesting + unique local creative works that we can sell on behalf of local artists - a symbiotic relationship that benefits us through fresh ware circulation + the artist through retail exposure. we are currently not accepting new stock - please get in contact with us personally to discuss when we will be next, and what we might be looking for. see more here.
currently we stock beautiful goods of:
tales of blue roan
environment east gippsland
little red cat
D E E V A
blackat design + penny's pure beeswax candles
love you to pieces + stonekeeper
the dirty souls
F.INC east gippsland inc.
melanie anderson [x jill hermans]
adventure's of tara's art
marlo + the sailor
dead wood carpentry
the pallet man
see more about our nice maker-guests here.
what is our finance model?
we volunteer our time to shop-sit at foundry, + to our co-manage + organise the business side of things.
from all the income foundry generates*, 30% is taken as a commission to the shop, and the remaining 70% is paid out direct to artists. the commissions kitty then goes straight towards all shop-keeping + business expenditure that we encounter - this includes shop rental, electricity, water usage + rates, council rates, insurance, marketing or advertising, banking fees + general office costs.
our dream is increase our sales so that we can increase our commissioned income, + ultimately, use this fund to pay locals to work in the shop on a day-by-day basis. we already are so proud of our contribution to our community + in financially supporting local artists to pursue their dreams + share their talents. but! we know we can do more! as we grow, we will continue to make business choices then benefit our community + increase the options available for creative career-paths.
*we do not charge commissions on sales we make on behalf of community groups, as such as GECO, and the artist-in-residence only pays a 10% commission. this results in the actual percentage of total income paid to artists being closer to 80% and 20% contributing to the commissions kitty.