Indie retailers’ close ties with Christmas market

Independent retailers across the Lothians are using Edinburgh’s Christmas Market to set out their stalls – in the quest to build a year-round following.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 2:14 pm
Hannah Carpenter, Edinburgh Bow Tie Company

Now a veteran of the annual event, Hannah Carpenter of Edinburgh Bow Tie Company is one of a growing number of small business owners who see the market as the perfect platform to raise their profile, while providing customers a “shop local” option.

“We first made the decision to take part after a particularly poor Christmas for the business. We used the time to look into where we could be in order to put our brand in front of the Christmas shoppers, and the answer was obvious,” says Hannah, who now has a shop-share on Rose Street.

“The wonderful thing about the market, for us, is that it allows us to showcase our brand to the people of Edinburgh, as well as the visitors. For years we dreamed of having a permanent location, but the reality of the Edinburgh retail scene is that it is incredibly difficult for indie brands to get a foothold on the high street.”

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Buck and Birch – set up in East Lothian by keen foragers Tom Chisholm and Rupert Waites - is another local company that has successfully used the market as a shop window for its wares.

Using their passion and expertise to elevate overlooked Scottish ingredients into sophisticated food and drink, they find their wild-inspired Aelder (elderberry) and Amarosa (rosehip) liqueurs are particularly popular at this time of year. “The Christmas Market is a great way for us to showcase our ideas and products. Many people don’t realise we are a small local company so it’s great to actually meet market goers who know our products already,” says Tom.

This year’s local line-up also includes Pickering’s Gin, Fiona Luing Jewellery, Diedododa, Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company, Macraes of Edinburgh, the Real Scot Shop and a range of hot food traders. The market runs until January 4.