Eeek it feels like I’ve been away for ages! Victoria has been doing a great job while I’ve been tottering around the Scottish lands. I had a great time, thanks for asking. Lot’s of walking, seeing sandy beaches and fun family times! A much needed break!
I didn’t forget about you guys though! Whilst on my travels I was looking out for things to report back to you all and success! As I was puddle hopping my way around the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh (a place I highly recommend you all go. Now!) I stumbled upon a wondrous, almost magical, find: Black Box Boutique!
Black Box is the wonderful creation of Hannah and Sarah: together they have created this charming boutique shop, almost like a bricks and mortar ETSY shop!
Situated on the winding West Bow street in Edinburgh’s old town this little treasure trove is stuffed full of imaginative and creative products. Not only was I in awe of the hand crafted jewellery, illustrations, cards and supplies but the interior was magical!
I love these sort of finds; I love being transported into the world independent shops like these create. But rather than me gab on about it why don’t we hear from the lovely ladies themselves! I was able to ask Hannah and Sarah a few questions so I hope you enjoy!
1/ Please introduce yourselves and your business.
Hello, I am Hannah, and I run Black Box with my good friend Sarah. Black Box is an independent design boutique based in the heart of Edinburghs Old Town. We stock a wide range of stationery, illustration, homeware and gifts, but at the heart of it we are a jewellery boutique. All of our products are made by British-based independent designers and small companies, with a few from a bit further afield. Both myself and Sarah are jewellers, and we have our workshop at the back of the shop so our customers can peek at jewellery being made.
2/ How did you start out and how did black box boutique evolve?
Black Box is a family run business, but to begin with we were starting from scratch. Our initial vision for Black Box was to be a sort of wonderland with the jewellery displayed in unusual ways, enabling the customer to feel like they were discovering hidden treasures throughout the boutique. So often jewellery stores are rows of endless glass cabinets, where the jewellery almost becomes lost. We wanted to have each cabinet tell it’s own story, and in turn the jewellery comes to life!
We’ve come a long way from when we opened, and our designer base has risen from 25 to begin with, up to around 100 at the moment. It’s a constant learning curve, so we continually update our displays, and strive to deliver something fresh.
3/ You have so many amazing handmade goodies in your shop; what are you loving right now?
It’s so hard to choose, we love all of our designers! Wolf & Moon and AndSmile are going down a storm with our customers, as is the new collection from DeeLyn made from recycled guitar strings. Both myself and Sarah are totally in love with Yasmin Everley’s Entomology collection, and I might just have to treat myself to one of Myia Bonner’s new initial necklaces…!
4/ What or who inspires you most?
Black Box grew from a love of fairytales and secret things, childhood curiosities and particularly books like The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. It’s always been important for our boutique to mix the old with the new, so we source old furniture and objects to include in our displays. I’ve collected ‘antiques’ for years, not for their value (which is little) but for a love of imagining what sort of history the item could have had; who owned it, what sort of life did they lead, if the object could speak what tales would it tell? etc. There is such value in history, it’s all so fascinating, and really the only limit is your imagination!
5/ Do you have any advice for those creative people out there looking to open up a crafty business?
Make sure that your craft is your passion. Being a creative and a business owner is often difficult, as the two tend to be at crossed purposes in terms of motivation, but it can definitely work. I’d say that feedback is invaluable, because it’s always vital to gain a fresh perspective. Listen to your customers, and don’t give up. Persevere and believe in yourself – You can do it!
A huge thank you to Black Box Boutique for answering all of our questions! We hope you all enjoyed hearing what they had to say and if you’re in the Edinburgh area get your Google maps out, type in this address: 98 WEST BOW, EDINBURGH, MIDLOTHIAN, EH1 2HH, and get your behinds down there!