A Closer Look at the Philadelphia Design District
An Interview with the Founders: Eugenie Perret and Claudia Roux
What inspired you both to start the district?
CR: Both Eugenie and I, being in the design businesses, we realized that over the past few years the area was rapidly expanding with many passionate business owners in Old City that focused on art, architecture and design.
EP: We felt it was a good opportunity to form a non-profit where we could showcase the incredible diversity of design that was happening in one place.
When did the PDD officially open?
EP: The district was formed about a year ago, after some discussion among the founding members. Soon after, a non-profit was formed and the membership interest followed, and continues to grow to this day.
What has been the process of growing the PDD?
CR: Our focus is to create good design content and create a community of design-oriented businesses in Old City. We also outreach to partner with business outside of the Old City limits to encourage a collaboration of ideas. Being in a collaboration of the Philadelphia Design District businesses also enables us to aid each other by passing knowledge and gaining visibility within Philadelphia and on a national, and international level.
How did you apply your own experience to PDD?
CR: At Petit Jardin, we are in the business if creativity. Creating the programing for PDD enables us as members to collaborate on design ideas and have the support of a network to see those ideas realized.
What advice would you give looking to start an organization?
CR: My advice is believe in the idea, commit to it and trust the process. Creating an organization from scratch can be a daunting task and it takes time to create. Overtime, you will see the organization grow, and see the positive reaction to it both inside and outside the community. Remember to encourage those within your group, communicate, and learn from each other.