Gift shop owner Jill has earned her stripes

An Independent Zebra, gift shop in Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.
An Independent Zebra, gift shop in Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.
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Accustomed as they are to quirky pop-ups, An Independent Zebra was apparently the last thing shoppers in Stockbridge were expecting.

Engineer-turned-entrepreneur Jill Scott took customers by surprise when she opened her new shop in Raeburn Place at the end of last month.

With its eclectic collection of gifts, homeware and furniture, the shop brings a diverse group of makers under one roof to showcase and sell their products. The business model for An Independent Zebra – whereby producers rent space in the shop and keep all the proceeds from their sales – had already been tried and tested by Jill, whose previous venture, Popping Up in Stockbridge, had operated successfully since 2016. Originally intended as a three-month pop-up, the business was immediately embraced by the local community. It eventually closed in February when the lease expired and Jill took the opportunity to move to bigger, permanent premises, just across the road. “An Independent Zebra has only been open a week or two and we feel quite overwhelmed by the response we have had from customers,” she says. “People seem surprised that it’s us and delighted that we are back – and we didn’t think they’d noticed we were gone.”

Everything found in store is made, designed or upcycled in Scotland by small independent businesses, including Jill’s own brand, Tylers Attic, specialising in lampshades, cushions and other soft furnishings. “We are more maker-focused because we are makers ourselves and we know what it’s like to try and get your products out there. We want to give makers a platform to get their work out there to the masses,” adds Jill, who currently has 120 different stockists. “It’s good for customers too because they find unique things that they won’t find on the high street.”

An Independent Zebra, 88 Raeburn Place, 0131 332 1973. Mon-Sat, 10-5.30, Sun 11-5.