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

Jenni Douglas Designs, Marchmont, Edinburgh.
Jenni Douglas Designs, Marchmont, Edinburgh.
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It’s only since putting her own name to her products that self-taught designer Jenni Douglas has seen her business take off.

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.

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.