Meet the former Boroughmuir High pupil running a thriving designer gift shop in Marchmont

It's only since putting her own name to her products that self-taught designer Jenni Douglas has seen her business take off.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 2:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 2:14 pm
Jenni Douglas Designs, Marchmont, Edinburgh.
Jenni Douglas Designs, Marchmont, Edinburgh.

Originally trading as A Pair of Blue Eyes, the former Boroughmuir High School pupil is now the proud owner of Jenni Douglas Designs and a thriving gift shop in Marchmont to showcase her brand.

Putting herself out there – to use her own expression – was a big step for Jenni, 43, who only took up printmaking as a way of combating the stress that led her to step back from her previous job as a data analyst in the oil and gas industry.

“I had always been creative and as part of my recovery I started doing evening classes in printmaking, which was something I’d always wanted to do. I started making gifts for family and friends who told me I should sell my products, but I just thought they were being kind,” she says.

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It was in 2011 when she attended her first craft fair and unexpectedly sold out that she realised she could be on to something.

“Eventually, I decided to be brave and put my own name out there and it seemed to be a turning point,” she adds.

A couple of high profile commissions – creating bespoke gift ranges for the Scottish Parliament and the National Museum of Scotland gift shop – proved the perfect endorsement for her products.

Opened last year, her shop and studio now provide a space where she can make, teach and sell, all under one roof. As well as offering a full range of prints, textiles, cards and homewares, Jenni also takes commissions for bespoke wallpaper, curtain fabrics, textile panels and lampshades. “Everything in the shop is designed and hand-made by me on the premises. I feel really passionate about the fact that nothing is mass-produced,” she says.

Jenni Douglas Designs, 100 Marchmont Crescent, www.jennidouglas.co.uk. Open seven days a week from September.