Retail

Published: November 17, 2019 | Updated: November 17, 2019

Celebrating Dorset: New online marketplace is devoted to all things made in our great county

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new online marketplace dedicated solely to goods and produce from Dorset has officially launched – just in time for Christmas.

Designed in Dorset – www.designedindorset.co.uk – is the brainchild of Rupert Brown, Dan Childs and Jim Chetwode.

(left to right) Rupert Brown, Dan Childs and Jim Chetwode.

All three have been working on the project for six months with the website going live at the beginning of this month.

They describe it as Dorset’s answer to e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Etsy.

As well as promoting goods and produce from Dorset, the trio also want to encourage visitors to shop locally, putting more money back into the local economy as a result.

Jim, who has worked in marketing for more than 20 years, said: “You don’t have to be in Dorset for long to realise the passion that exists among locals for the county, its beautiful countryside and stunning landmarks.

“We want to help Dorset businesses sell their products further afield without sign up fees and large commissions.

One of the items featured on Designed in Dorset – a library book candle from Made at Milldown

“Our service is free to join and you only pay ten per cent commission when you make a sale, that includes the payment charged for using a card.”

Products already featured on the site range from cured, smoked and dried meats to handwoven scarfs and fragrances.

The website is expected to appeal to hundreds of small businesses and sole traders producing food, drink, clothing and home accessories.

Jim said: “The website is all about giving them a voice as well as encourage people to shop locally and help small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our economy, grow.

“We want to boost these businesses by giving them their own shop in much the same way as a farmers market.

“Dorset is full of some of the most gifted makers, builders and growers in the UK.

“We want to help push their products and produce to new audiences across the country and the globe.”

A scarf from Handwoven By Jac.

Designed in Dorset, which is based in Shaftesbury and a limited company, is also helping small businesses to tell their story and show off their products.

The team is starting to gather the stories and will be creating videos to promote the sellers and their wares on social media, the website and in press releases.

The new site has been warmly welcomed by small businesses.

Sophie Weld-Davies, Owner of Made at Milldown, said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity to join Designed in Dorset.

“The idea of a marketplace that encourages people to shop from local producers like me is great and hopefully we will get more orders for Christmas as a result.”

  • Designed in Dorset is looking for more Dorset based businesses to sign up and add their products ready for Christmas. Contact Jim at jim@designedin.co.uk or phone 07824 157730.