Inc Design: Supporting creatives and creating a feast for the senses

We caught up with Helen Riley-Duddin, the founder, owner and curator of Inc Design Store who runs the space with her husband and team, to understand why supporting creatives is at the heart of her business.

Based in the South Island’s Oamaru on Itchen Street, Inc Design is a beautiful concept store showcasing a curated mix of art, homewares, jewellery, clothing and lighting by independent design thinkers. It may be small but it is mighty, with destination visitors from all around the world every day.

Helen’s background is in design, having studied and taught design on degree programmes. Working with aspiring and emerging independent creatives is her bread and butter, with Inc Design being the natural evolution of Helen’s 20-year career working with creatives to-date.

We've always said, stepping into Inc Design is an experience for all the senses.

“Most of our designers are NZ based, but some are from further afield,” explains Helen.

Inc Design Store

“The visuals are the space itself, the lighting, the artworks, the visual feast as you take in the store. There's a feeling of spaciousness with our 6m high ceilings, we keep the temperature comfortable, and we welcome the glassware and the objects being touched and interacted with.”

Music plays a big part in this experience too. The team use it to set both a pace for perusing the creative space, but also to give space to each visitor to enjoy browsing in the company of the music without a pressure to enter conversation until they're ready.

“We love to create a welcoming atmosphere - a slower pace, upbeat, positive, soulful, jazzy, sometimes creative covers, often female vocalists.” Helen enthuses.

Our space is about creativity and inspiration, so we ensure the music is a fit with this vibe.

Inc. Store carefully curated 33-hour playlist is available for all to listen to. The playlist has been 10 years in the making and is something Helen has curated and used for many of her workspaces and retail stores in the past decade - with the addition and subtraction of a few as to keep things fresh and evolving. It includes some favourite NZ artists, such as Benee's Kua Kore He Kupu/Soaked, Six60's Pepeha, and some classics from Bic Runga.

Paying for our licence to play music, and proudly showing our OneMusic sticker on our door shows that we stand behind supporting creatives, which is integral to our business.

She proudly adds: “Almost always, our visitors complement our playlist as part of the super cool experience of visiting our store. When you get the music right it's very memorable.”

Visit Inc Design Store on 6 Itchen Street, Oamaru.


Find out about the music licences that are right for your business here.