Cherith Harrison is a designer and printmaker in Edinburgh who creates Great British animal inspired gifts. From bags and stationery to mugs and tea towels her designs are unique and inspirational.
- Who or what inspired you to start your own design business?
I kind of started my business by accident! After graduating from ECA (Edinburgh College of Art) in 2005 I began working at a design agency and while I absolutely loved my job, I missed ‘getting my hands dirty’ as ultimately, I was working on a computer every day. I joined the Edinburgh Printmakers where I would spend a few evenings a week and the odd Saturday screen-printing my illustrations onto different surfaces such as paper, wood and fabric.
I have always been crafty and enjoyed making things from a young age and so would use the fabric to make cushions, purses and bunting. When friends and family started requesting I make more for them to buy, I started selling my items at craft fairs throughout Edinburgh. In 2010 I decided to take a 3-week stall during Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and after seeing how well my products were selling I knew then I wanted to take my ‘hobby’ further. It was a hard slog, selling constantly and remaining upbeat when the weather was terrible, but I surprised myself at how much I loved selling.
2. What has been your most satisfying moment in business to date?
Making the short list for a Great British Entrepreneur award in November 2015 was quite nice.
When I am out walking, be it in the city or in my home-town (Peebles). Equally, casual chit chats with friends/family can often turn into brain storming session which always inspires me. It was my husband who suggested I do a highland cow design during a conversation we were having about holidaying up north. Now a best seller of mine!
4. Out of all of your animal designs, which one is your favourite?
That’s like asking, ‘which of your children do you love most?! I suppose…like parents, I have times when I favour one over the other. Right now, I am loving my dragonflies collection as the colours sit so nicely together, very Spring-like.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Exporting across the globe, growing and expanding my collection onto other products as well as producing lots of new designs. Hopefully in 5 years I will be focussing purely on design and development and less of the admin! Getting a company pet however, is the ultimate goal.
And Just For Fun…
If you were an animal what would you be?
At the moment, a dragonfly as I’m flying all over the place doing a million things at once.
What was the last programme you watched?
The Night Manager.
If you could witness any event in the past, present or future what would it be?
Hard to pick, too many events spring to mind! Seeing the Beatles perform in Hamburg before they were famous is one of them though.
What have you learned in the last week?
That I can run 18 miles and survive
What is your favourite quote?
“Think big, act small”
– don’t actually know who said this but I first heard it from my Dad.
Cherith Harrison products are available online at cherithharrison.com and also at the following retailers:
McEwens of Perth
Scottish Parliament (gift shop)
Bonkers (In Edinburgh and St Andrews)