Based in Haymarket, Pippin brings together the best of British design with friendly helpful customer service. Erica Stahl, the woman behind it, tells us how she set out to create something a bit different: “I wanted to bring together a great mix of products not seen in other gift shops in Edinburgh, and to present them in a beautiful, calm and relaxing atmosphere where people would be free to browse at their own pace. Being a jewellery designer myself at the time, I wanted to support other makers and give them a platform to showcase their work.”
Lockdown has meant embracing a different kind of retail, while maintaining that personal touch as much as possible. “I've built an online shop to help serve my customers during lockdown. Selling online is not something I was ever keen to do, because for me the joy of retail is the face-to-face interaction with customers, and making the shop itself look great with displays.
“But these are unprecedented times, and who knows how long it will be until we're back to normal, so I've taken this step to keep looking after my customers from a safe distance. There's only a small percentage of my products on the website so far but I plan to keep adding to it all the time, and I'm always happy to discuss other options with customers.”
Lockdown has served to strengthen Erica's relationship with her customers, and given her hope for the future of local: “It's shown me how much people really do care about one another, and about the small businesses in their local area too.
“So many people have reached out to tell me how much they miss popping into the shop and check if I'm okay, and so many have bought cards and wee gifts to send to their loved ones to give them a boost. I hope we will come out of this with a stronger sense of community, and a little more perspective on the things that really matter in life.”
And it’s not just Pippin who are taking lockdown in their stride. “House of Hound in Roseburn, Curiouser in Broughton St, and Willow Boutique in Stockbridge are all doing a brilliant job of powering through under lockdown conditions!”
However, for Erica there’s some personal relationships that you just can’t beat. “Once this is over, as soon as it's definitely safe, I'm going to go and hug my Mum and my sister!”
Erica hopes to open Pippin's doors again soon but wants to ensure everything is perfectly in place first. In the meantime you can still shop a range of her unique and beautiful gifts online, with delivery or click & collect available.
Marketer, foodie, traveller, rugby geek, petter of other people's dogs.Contact the author
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