Introduce yourself and your store.
Hi, I'm Gayle and and own Willow Boutique in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. I sell babywear, toys, womenswear, gifts and cards.
Is there a story behind the name?
Not really just think it's a lovely name.
How long have you been doing this?
Since 28th August 2016, although been in retail for a very long time.
Best moment of store life so far?
Meeting and chatting with so many lovely customers and the support we get from near and far is overwhelming.
How did you come across Text From A Friend?
We were introduced via an agent for another card company.
What's your favourite Text From A Friend product?
It's got to be 'You Put The Boom Boom into my Heart'...Bit of a Wham! fan haha.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a nurse because my mum was one but then became interested in textiles (which I went on to study) and art so wanted to be a fashion designer. My Fashion Wheel was the best and most overused present ever!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be yourself because you're enough.
When you get time off, what do you do?
It's easier to actually get time off now my kids are at school so I like to meet friends for a cuppa or head into town and have a rummage around the shops.
Favourite city/destination to visit?
We're pretty spoiled in Edinburgh because it's so pretty and will never get bored of it but I am absolutely in love with Berlin! My brother and his family live there, so we've been a few times and it's just such a vibrant, crazy, artistic, incredible city. So much to see and do and a great place to take kids.
What inspires you to buy a maker's product?
Apart from being unique, I get that maker's products are made with passion and drive as, like myself and any small business owner, this is their livelihood.
What do you love most about having the store?
Being my own boss and buying in products I love. It's always really exciting finding something that is new and just perfect for the store.
My new website is like having a second shop that is allowing me to sell further afield. I hope to grow this from strength to strength and continue to search for new and exciting products.
Dream product to have in store?
I've recently brought in lots of new brands, in particular jewellery brands, which, for now, completes the shop. I have a few brands that I have been wanting for a while, so hopefully one day soon will be able to stock them. Right now though I stock my dream product which is The Happy Newspaper by Emily Coxhead. Very welcome in these turbulent times.
Top tips for visitors to your city?
Walk! Edinburgh is a small enough city to explore on foot and this way you won't miss all the stunning hidden streets. Stockbridge is a must visit because it's only a 10 minute walk from Princes Street and apart from our store being there, there are so many more gorgeous independent boutiques and coffee shops and lots of green open space with the Royal Botanic Gardens on our doorstep.