Interview by Nicola Sanders
What did you do before Papa Stour?
After completing a Master of Design at Glasgow School of Art, I worked for Sanderson in London where I was involved in developing a more modern incarnation of the brand. I then went on to become a freelance stylist and art director, working with the likes of Sunday Times Style, Homes & Gardens and Elle Decoration and with companies such as The White Company, Dulux and Laura Ashley.
What gave you the idea for the business? What research did you do before starting up?
When I moved back up to Scotland I produced a range of hand-screen-printed Harris Tweed products and I was looking for outlets to sell them; at the same time, I kept coming across really interesting work. I thought it would be a great idea to bring together a collection of contemporary craft and design under one roof, with everything made in Scotland. I looked at the competition in this area to see if any websites were doing the same thing and noticed that there was a gap in the market. I contacted artists whose work I liked and seven years on, the collection we have is still carefully curated in this way.
What advice would you offer to other potential online businesses?
Believe in what you are offering, do your research and try to show that you are different from the thousands of other online shops out there.
(Extract from Issue 3 of 91 Magazine)