Lady Jojo’s Boutique brings some glam to Edinburgh

Posted by Jodie On November - 28 - 20104,292 views

Lady Jojo's Boutique in Edinburgh's Grassmarket

I’m new to Edinburgh.  In fact, it’s been just a little over two months since I landed my two feet on the cobblestone streets of this beautiful city.

A consumer to the core, I had already researched the ins and outs of Edinburgh’s shops before arriving.  I thought I knew it all. But one never really knows a city until they’ve explored every side-street, tunnel and close.  While visiting the city’s infamous Grassmarket, I came across a little purple shop that caught my eye – Lady Jojo’s Boutique. I had not encountered this shop during my pre-arrival research, but that made finding it all the more exciting. And I knew I had to share my discovery with all of you lovely folk.

I spoke to Lady Jojo’s Boutique owner Joanna Potts about the shops first year, and her mission to bring to old Hollywood glamour to this side of the pond.

How did Lady Jojo’s Boutique get started?

Owning my own business was never really a plan of mine.  I didn’t know anybody that had their own business so it always seemed far too difficult and complicated to me.  However, after graduating from University and spending some time travelling I returned when the recession was just beginning and there was not many prospects.  Fashion has always been my main passion but as I am not a designer it never crossed my mind to follow that path.  I was at a lose end career-wise and as all of the conventional routes were closed due to the recession I began to think about what I would really love to do in a perfect world and owning my own clothing boutique was right at the top.  I believe we can do anything if we put our mind to it so I really couldn’t find a reason not to try.  After receiving funding from the Scottish government to support young people starting a business and falling head over heels in love with the premises where my boutique is… the rest fell into place.

Why did you open the boutique?

I have spent quite a lot of time in California and lived in Sydney for a while and they both have the most amazing faux vintage shops catering to pin-up beauties.  Upon my return to Edinburgh I realised that there was nowhere that I enjoyed shopping.  I knew that there was a big scene and a lot of interest in this style of clothing so decided to take a gamble and bring Hollywood glamour to the people of Edinburgh!

Did you see a niche for that style/era of clothing?

I couldn’t find any clothing I personally got excited about in Edinburgh or even Glasgow so I certainly did see a niche.  Although I have to say that since opening I have discovered that many woman love the cut of these dress and although they do not necessarily intend to go for the vintage look they simply love the shape.

Dress available at Lady Jojo's Boutique

Is it important to have a niche before you set out on a business venture like this?

I think it depends on your business but it certainly helps to have a unique selling point and a niche is perhaps the most efficient way of doing this.  However, beware because there are lots of niche products but the key is that there needs to be a demand for what you are selling.

The shop is still new, how has the first year been?

The first year has been fantastic.  I couldn’t have asked for a better response from Edinburgh women.  Of course, it has also been extremely difficult at times and I would do anything for a week off to catch up on sleep.  Lady JoJo’s is a very different shop now compared to my opening day so I can’t wait to see how it evolves and changes over the next year.

Did you encounter any challenges that took you by surprise?

Every day there is a new challenge!  The main challenge though is how difficult it is to run a business on your own.  You can’t just pop out to the bank or the post office so you end up with a never-ending list of chores and have to spend your time before opening the shop running around trying to complete all of these.  I have had to alter my opening hours to allow enough time in the morning to get these jobs done and with the addition of the online shop I need even more time now.

What does Lady Jojo’s Boutique offer the men/women of Edinburgh, that other stores do not?

I would like to think that we offer the women of Edinburgh clothing which can make them feel sexy and yet classy.  We carefully select dresses to flatter the female form and like to think that we have a dress to suit all body shapes.

What has been your favourite part of this whole experience?

I think our society has a tendency to suppress and ridicule femininity and I want to celebrate and make women proud of what makes us special.  No matter what age customers are or what fashion they are interested in, when women come into the shop they become all girly and giggly and I love seeing them feel free to twirl around the shop floor in petticoats.  Many women struggle with mainstream fashions and there is nothing more satisfying than helping a customer find a dress which makes them feel sexy and proud of their body again.

Any tips for budding entrepreneurs out there looking to open their own shops?

Be prepared for hard work and you must have a genuine passion for what you do as in the beginning you constantly have to remind yourself why you are working non-stop for few rewards.  I also could not have got this far without the support from family and friends who have both helped me out practically and listened patiently to my endless dilemmas.  If it was easy, everyone would do it so work hard and stay positive!

Lady Jojos’ boutique is located in Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket.

Can’t afford a flight to Scotland? Check out their website here: http://www.ladyjojosboutique.com/

One Response to “Lady Jojo’s Boutique brings some glam to Edinburgh”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joanna Potts, Jo Barnaby. Jo Barnaby said: New post- http://www.rockabilly-online.com/?p=4495 @rockabillyonlne @LadyJoJos […]

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