Oxford St. Design Store: testing low-cost design ideas

Oxford St Design StoreThe Oxford St. Design Store at 58 Oxford Street is a shop where local designers, artists, creative and writers sell their limited edition work, with one condition – nothing can be sold for more than $20.

This is the first venture into retail by graphic designers Lou Helliwell and Alex De Bonis; aka arts bloggers, Tough Titties, Fitted out via Reverse Garbage with creative reuse-style in milk crates, cardboard tubes and palette wood, the store was set up to pose a challenge to local designers to produce design to a budget and then see what happens.

Alex De Bonis says, “We both have a background where we’ve been used to working on tight budgets, so we thought we’d take it to the extreme and see how that would work.”


The shop acts as a testing ground to see how pieces react in a retail environment, providing a space for young artists to easily test out an idea before reworking it and turning it into a more viable thing. 

Oxford Street Design Store with Alex de BonisLoosely based on San Francisco’s McSweeney’s shop and learning environment, the store aims to make design accessible to the public and promote new and existing female design talent. 

Alex De Bonis says, “We’re building a community of like-minded folk who can join forces, collaborate, exchange ideas…and change the world!”

The shop space itself is divided into three busy sections: the front retail section, then a middle workshop space which includes weekly talks, a desk space for hire (at $3 per hour including wifi), a stencil press where designers can get cheap printing done and a residency by the Rizzeria printing collective. And finally, at the back of the shop, in the old stockroom, there’s an artist in residence. 

Operating as a multi-purpose venue within a regular shopfront, the Oxford St. Design Store is using their space to challenge the idea of what a retail space can be.

Oxford St Design Store Website

Image Captions: Oxford St Design Store with co-founder Alex de Bonis.