Monday, December 1, 2008
As I previously mentioned, major New Zealand-designed furniture stockist Eon Design Centre went into receivership last week. Due to many of the designers not having proper knowledge of New Zealand's business laws, when they went to Eon to retrieve their unpaid stock, they were informed that they could not do so, and then removed by security personnel. Further, if they were to overpower security and remove their stock, they could be prosecuted for theft. The reasons are clearly listed in this NBR article.
Now one of New Zealand's most successful furniture designers David Trubridge – though not a New Zealander himself – (pictured above) has spoken out about what's going on. In an email sent out at 12:30pm and addressed to 'Undisclosed Recipients' (who one would assume would include most of the design specific media and wider design community) he details the impact that this receivership will have on the small design businesses, and the injustice he sees existing in the big business world where the rich get richer and the little guys suffer.
I would like to draw your attention to a sad drama happening in Auckland where eon design centre has gone into liquidation. Receivers have been appointed and are holding a sale of stock in order to repay a loan of $400,000 to Blackbird Finance (partly owned by Fay Richwhite).
eon design centre was set up by Angela Roper as the flagship of New Zealand design and has been one of the main outlets for most of the country's design community. It would appear that none of these small businesses (including myself) will receive any of the, often large, debts that eon owe us. This will have a serious knock-on effect throughout the New Zealand design community. We are shocked and horrified that the carefully designed law ensures the big boys always get their pound of flesh, and the small guys end up loosing. We are seeing the same thing all over Wall St and London and it is the rotten heart of capitalism where financial laws are made by the super rich to protect the super rich.
I publicly challenge Blackbird and Fay Richwhite to promote a Kiwi sense of community and to share their pickings with those of us who are suffering in this collapse far more than they possibly could. They only have money to play with because people like us, the creative community are earning it at the coal face. By their standards the amounts are negligible compared to what they could gain in good PR, while the amounts to us are crippling.
It is important to remember just how much the creative community punches way above its weight in contributing towards the worldwide image of New Zealand. Just over the last year my company has been responsible for literally hundreds of articles in design, fashion and lifestyle magazines around the world. This could be over a million dollars of editorial; they all mention New Zealand and give it a sophisticated, creative image which attracts an affluent cultural traveller. I have been included in a French design magazine as one of the 15 'plus grands' designers in the world, and my Coral light is in the current Time magazine style and fashion luxury list. We do this on an extremely small budget and do not have the resources to absorb events such as the eon collapse.
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If you would like to show your support for David Trubridge and the designers losing out over the Eon debacle email him at email@example.com