Meet Curiouser and Curiouser – Beautiful Things Made by Creative People!
Edinburgh is brimming with independent retailers who are proud to show off their artisan, handmade and often-bespoke products! This month, we’re very excited to share one business in particular with you, Curiouser and Curiouser. Curiouser and Curiouser is a charming independent Edinburgh business run by husband and wife duo, Laura and Ian. The business has two lovely stores, one on 93 Broughton Street and the other at 106 Bruntsfield Place, as well as an online shop. Both shops are wonderful treasure troves, filled with a wide range of products ranging from illustrative prints, to jewellery and homewares with an emphasis on good design and bright colours. The best bit is Curiouser and Curiouser love to support local designers, so the majority of the products in their store are made by British based business/artists.
We’ve got in touch with the lovely owner Laura to ask her a few questions about her wonderful business, Curiouser and Curiouser. Also, it gets even better, Laura is very kindly giving away a gorgeous signed limited edition print by Scott Naismith, so make sure you scroll down to the bottom to find out how to enter the competition (Competition now closed)!
1. Could you tell us a little bit about your business and how it started?
Curiouser and Curiouser is run by a team of people fronted by husband and wife, Laura and Ian. It consists of two shops in Edinburgh, one at 93 Broughton Street and the second at 106 Bruntsfield Place.
Having opened in the middle of the recession, we decided to spread the risk of opening a shop by offering a diverse range of products. We sell homewares, gifts, jewellery, a huge range prints by local printmakers, Scandinavian homewares, artisanal chocolate, a wide selection of books, wonderful plant pots and much more! To complement that we also offer a framing service – we like to keep ourselves very busy!!
Ian and I both had a real desire to run our own business. We spent 3 years looking at businesses that already existed in Edinburgh – a café, a few delicatessens and the like. Although they were great businesses, none of them really clicked with us. In the spring of 2010, our local video shop (Alphabet Video) put a notice in their window to say that they were closing down and looking for someone to take on the lease…..on a complete whim we decided to go for it! Curiouser and Curiouser opened its door on the 16th September 2010 and we’ve never looked back!
2. Your stores are filled with wonderful items. How do you select what you sell?
A key aim for us is to keep the stock evolving and changing. We are lucky to have shops in two fantastic areas in Edinburgh and depend largely on our local customers to keep the shops thriving. Having a local customer base means we see a lot of people on a regular basis. I do all of the buying for the shops. It is absolutely the best part of the job for me (I’m not really a number person!!) I am very conscious of keeping things changing and we regularly change the displays in the shops to keep things interesting. As for selecting the items, it is very much based on intuition. Generally, if I love a product I hope that our customers will love it too. There isn’t a formula, just gut instinct!
3. What does a typical working day look like for you?
Hmm…I really don’t have a typical day. I try to keep to some sort of routine though. So, generally the day starts with breakfast and a dog walk (we have a greyhound called Benny) Quickly followed by a strong coffee. We also sell online, so next job would be to check for any orders, then package them up and ship them out. I would also deal with any queries in the shops and help with any deliveries that might arrive through the day. In the last 6 months, I have taken a step back from the shop front, I was finding juggling the shop floor alongside all of the behind the scenes “shop stuff” overwhelming. Running two shops involves a lot of paperwork and a lot of organising! So I spend a lot of time in our office (aka our kitchen) placing orders, researching new suppliers and keeping on top of admin. My working day stops as the shops close at 6pm. I have been fairly strict with myself about having the evenings free from shop work. A typical evening would be head out on another dog walk with Benny, eat dinner and then a quiet night in front of Netflix! Rock and Roll!
4. Top 3 best sellers at the moment
1. “50 Shades of Scotland” by Emily Mackenzie, this print has been in the number one spot for a while now and it’s easy to see why! It’s a wonderful mix of colour and humour, an absolute shop favourite!
2. Our range of plant pots. Particularly a new range of vases and pots with faces on from Danish company “Madam Stoltz” beautifully detailed and tactile. I reckon they will be popular through Autumn, they look amazing with dried Hydrangea heads to mimic hair.
3. Cards – we sell a lot of cards! It’s another area that I try to keep changing, generally, they’re bright and funny. It’s always lovely to hear people chuckling when they are looking through our card range!
5. What does the rest of 2018 hold in store for Curiouser and Curiouser
The end of the year is always the busiest for us. It is our 8th Birthday on the 16th September. We will hold our annual birthday sale and will be offering other treats over our birthday weekend. Join us!! It would be lovely to see you. Following that, we will start to receive our Christmas orders, so our days will be spent pricing and finding homes for all of the new items. I’m really excited about the change in seasons, it means that we will be able to introduce a lot of new ranges to the shops. I have already ordered lots of new things that I am really excited to share with you all. December is mad! I usually say to friends and family that I will see them in January, but it is absolutely the highlight of our year.
6. What would a perfect day in Edinburgh entail?
We love a lazy Sunday. So a lie in would be super lovely! We live very close to our Broughton Street shop, so are lucky to be very central! A leisurely stroll over to Stockbridge Market is always a treat. We are addicted to the Gyoza from Harajuku Kitchen, so would definitely make a bee-line to their stall! I also love a mooch on St Stephen’s Street, so would pop into Golden Hare Books, The Method, Bon Tot and Catalog. Generally, I will spend far too much money here….. If the weather is good we would walk back through The Botanics and head back to The OX on Broughton Street for a Sunday Roast. If you haven’t been for a roast here, you must!!! They’re super tasty. If you’re feeling a little fragile they also make a really great spicy Bloody Mary. Sunday Perfection!
Win a stunning signed limited edition print of Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crags by Scott Naismith (worth £120)!
The competition runs from noon on Tuesday the 11th of September until midnight on Sunday the 16th of September 2018. The giveaway is open to everybody over 18 in the UK. We will pick the winner within 24 hours after the competition has ended and contact the lucky person through the social media platform they have used to enter the giveaway. This promotion is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
To be in with a chance to win choose from the options below:
Make sure you follow us on social media so you don’t miss out on our monthly giveaways!