Indie of the Week #8: Papa Stour

Every Wednesday 'Indie of the week' celebrates the best independent stores around. These places sell interesting and varied collections of design-related things you don't see everywhere else. They may support young or local designers or be great at finding unique things from around the world. By thinking a little more creatively about what they stock they are fighting the bland homogenisation of so much of the high street. And since I'm down with the realities of modern life, online only stores count too, because a beautiful and easy to use website is just as delightful an encounter in cyberspace.
Do you you have a favourite store?  I'd love to hear from you.

Former London interiors stylist Rosie Brown has been championing the work of Scottish designers and makers for the past eight years. She set up Papa Stour - an online showcase for local craftsmen - after moving back to Scotland to sort out her work/life balance. It's the kind of company the internet was made for, giving these products an audience way beyond national borders. Brown has also refurbished, and rents, a holiday cottage called Callakille so you can live out your Highland fantasy, if only for a week.
Who are you? Rosie Brown of Papa Stour
Where can we find you? Online at
Describe your store in five words: finest contemporary scottish craft & design
What makes you different? Papa Stour is a curated collection of work by designer/ makers based in Scotland. We like people to think about how they source homeware and gifts and we offer beautiful handcrafted work at affordable prices.
How do you decide what makes the cut? Our artists are often Art School graduates based in their own studios all around Scotland, they produce fresh designs and a quality product which we feel shows off the finest of Scottish design. Our Collections show pieces which we believe would look fabulous in any home.
What were you doing before you did this? I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone Art School (Printed Textiles) and Glasgow School of Art (MA). I was then a freelance stylist based in London working with interiors editors at magazine such as Elle Deco and Living etc. I loved London, but returned home to Scotland to get the right work/life balance.
If you were starting again what advice would you give yourself? Planning is all important, make a date to regularly review how you are doing. It's too easy to focus on what you are doing and not how you are doing it - take a step back and you'll get lots new ideas.
What are you most proud of? I set up Papa Stour in 2005, and it has continued to grow from 20 artists (many of whom are still with us) to over 60. We are proud to support them and delighted when we can get them national and international press coverage and awareness. We're also proud to get mentions such as The Sunday Times Style section saying we are one of the online retailers: "revolutionising the way we kit out our homes".
Do you have a favourite thing in the store right now? Ooh... a luxurious handmade suede Kindle case which is handcrafted using local leather and lined with charcoal coloured felt. It's fun because it's embroidered with a graphic embroidery motifs in sign language to spell out the word B -O - O - K.
What's hot for 2013? We love the fresh colour in Yoke's bright prints such as Hello Sunshine, the ethereal quality of Elin's hand blown glass work and Sharon's beautiful wooden Key Hooks which are sculpted using the shape of the wood so each is unique and unusual.