The emergence of Morningside as one of the Capital’s most popular local shopping destinations has not been lost on Irish designer and illustrator Cara Coleman.
The area seemed to be the perfect choice when relocating her own gift shop from Dublin to Edinburgh.
Cara believes the close proximity of other similar businesses - including a well-established and successful gift shop right next door – is to be welcomed rather than avoided.
“It’s easy to co-exist with the other shops because we all offer something different,” she says. “A lot of people see Morningside as a shopping destination, so having a few similar shops together is great because we all complement each other and benefit from each other.
“People tell me they come here to look around all the little shops. In Dublin, where I had nothing similar nearby, it was much harder.”
Her shop Rua – the Irish word for red – opened just before Christmas last year and has been well-received by customers, who seem to love her eclectic collection of unusual and locally sourced products.
Bestsellers include photo frames made from whisky barrels, leather handbags that look like book covers and a range of refurbished furniture featuring reclaimed cinema seats. The shop is also an outlet for Red Fox Designs, Cara’s own range of cards and gifts. As a designer herself, she is part of strong network of talented makers who supply her products. Now living in East Lothian with her husband James, retail manager at the Scottish Seabird Centre gift shop in North Berwick, the couple are delighted to have settled in Scotland.
Cara adds: “We fell in love with Edinburgh while visiting for a Valentine’s weekend before we were married and always thought we would like to live here.”
Rua, 215 Morningside Road, 0131 210 0122. Open: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.