SIX Scottish start-up businesses have secured a place in The Curiosity Shop, a new space at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, dedicated to showcasing sustainable Scottish businesses.
Created in partnership with Virgin StartUp, Virgin’s not-for-profit incubator for entrepreneurs, The Curiosity Shop features a wide range of beautifully crafted Scottish products, all from businesses whose founders have been supported by Virgin StartUp to start-up and thrive.
The Curiosity Shop is exclusively available to Virgin Hotels’ guests and offers them the opportunity to discover and support new Scottish brands. All the companies featured in The Curiosity Shop have considered sustainability throughout their manufacturing and packaging processes. From wild-harvested Hebridean seaweed to Scottish spun yarns and hand-crafted gin; The Curiosity Shop is full of Scottish treasures ready to explore.
Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, explained: “Virgin has always been entrepreneurial at its heart, so it’s great to see Virgin Hotels providing this space to showcase Virgin StartUp companies, particularly those that are making sustainably-driven products right on the doorstep here in Scotland.”
Scott McArdle, General Manager at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, commented: “We are proud to have a space of the hotel dedicated to championing small Scottish businesses and we have already received great feedback from hotel guests who are enjoying exploring the shop and discovering new sustainable Scottish products. All Virgin Hotels are unique and draw inspiration from their location, so the Curiosity Shop is one of many things we are doing at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh to tell the story of this spectacular country.”
Rutland Square Gin is one of the six businesses featured in the Curiosity Shop. Nishant Sharma, the Founder, said: “We launched Rutland Square Gin last year in November with a vision to make small batch artisan gin that has Scottish spirit with an Indian soul. Each batch is distilled in the heart of Edinburgh, with inspiration from the far east. The support we have received from Virgin StartUp has been brilliant from the beginning and now, to get this opportunity to share our products with international visitors at a landmark new hotel in the city is incredible. We are really excited to see what interest it generates in our products.”
The Curiosity Shop Businesses are:
1. Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful – Founded by a Scottish marine biologist, a wide range of seaweed supplements made using organic Hebridean seaweed that is sustainably wild-harvested from pristine Scottish waters.
2. Genevieve Sweeney – Timeless knitwear, made in Scotland with both traditional artisan and innovative knitting techniques that showcase the natural beauty of Scottish spun yarns.
3. Meander Apparel – Edinburgh-based outdoor clothing brand. Around 90% of the collection is made using natural or recycled, low-impact materials.
4. Rutland Square Gin – Small batch craft gin, handcrafted by most talented and experienced master blender in the heart of Edinburgh. Rutland Square Gin makes the world’s first oolong white tea infused Chai Spiced Scottish Gin made using sustainably sourced oolong white tea from Assam, India.
5. Seilich – A small, family-run company based in the Lothians and created by botanist, Dr Sally Gouldstone. Inspired by a passion for Scottish wildlife, the family sell an award-winning range of natural skincare products, made using ingredients grown in their wildflower meadow.
6. Sensi – launched in 2022 by 25-year-old Jennifer Norrie. Jennifer discovered a love of silk when she tried sleeping on silk pillowslips for the first time and found that her skin was glowier and her hair less frizzy.