From a tiny shop between Stockbridge and Canonmills, Scottish designer Alex Feechan is providing her own gateway to the great outdoors.
Since opening in May, the compact space in Henderson Row has provided the perfect showcase for her women’s activewear brand, FINDRA.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the fashion industry, Alex launched the brand online four years ago, inspired by her love of walking, cycling and running.
“I got into mountain biking and when I went to buy kit, I didn’t like what I saw. I felt the products available for women were a bit of an afterthought to the men’s range,” she says
“There was nothing stylish or well-designed and everything was made from man-made fabrics rather than natural materials. Basically, there was nothing inspiring about it and I felt I could do better.”
Using Australian merino wool, she set out to create a range of high performance outdoor and lifestyle clothing, with the versatility to transfer from one activity to another – and the style to transfer from activity to chilling in a coffee shop or bar.
It was after creating a small retail space at the front of her design hub in Innerleithen that Alex decided on an outlet in Edinburgh.
“We found that people who had seen the product online and thought it was innovative wanted to come in to see it and touch it. It also gave us a chance to interact with customers and receive direct feedback,” she adds.
“The shop in Henderson Row is a small base, but we are a small company and we have been able to fit it out in our own niche way.”
Ironically, as the women’s range became popular Alex found demand for a men’s range, resulting in the recent launch of a capsule menswear collection ‘Designed by Demand’.
FINDRA, 15 Henderson Row, 0131 558 1900. Open Tues-Sat 10am to 5pm.