Modern family-run gift shop Keepsakes has opened its doors in the heart of the city.
The Port Street store offers a wide range of high-quality products including jewellery, ornaments, artworks, homeware, cushions and cards and is part of a small chain of gift shops which started in Pitlochry.
The award-winning shops are run by brothers Stephen and Scott Nicol who decided to combine their experience and passion for retail to establish a modern gift shop which focuses on both local people and tourists. The first store opened in Pitlochry in early 2020 followed by Loch Lomond Shores later that year while the Inverness shop opened in April 2021.
Stirling’s Keepsakes, which is managed by Gristo Kulagin, launched in
February this year while a fifth shop will open in Ayr this August and plans for more Keepsakes stores are on the horizon.
Stephen says: “Scott and I had always talked about running a business together and we know the retail industry well having both worked in it. We decided to go down the gifting route and spent a lot of time looking for the right products – it was very much trial and error travelling around shops, going to trade fairs and conducting online research to come up with the type of gifts we wanted to see in our shops.
We try and get most of our products from independent artists and suppliers in the UK and we aim for modern and creative ideas which are a bit different and which will appeal to both visitors and local people.”
The brothers began their venture by opening their flagship store in Pitlochry just before the pandemic hit. Stephen says: “We used to holiday in Pitlochry so know the area and when a shop become available there, we decided to go for it as we knew it would be busy. We opened just before the pandemic hit so that was quite eventful!”
Despite having to close for a while due to lockdown restrictions, the Pitlochry shop was able to continue selling online – www.keepsake-scotland.com – via an extensive catalogue of gifts. It proved an enormous success and more shops quickly followed.
The brothers were delighted to open their fourth store in Stirling, at the
premises previously used by The Works, in February. Stephen says: “We were keen to come to Stirling – I’ve worked in the city and we have family here so we know the city and were sure it would be a great place to run another Keepsakes store.
It was just a matter of waiting for the right shop to come up which would suit the style of our shops and we were pleased to secure The Works premises and get that refurbished and open. We’ve been here for five months now and it’s going well and hopefully it will keep on getting better and better.”
Keepsakes is open daily from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am till 5.30pm on Sundays.
The range features homeware, jewellery and gifts from a variety of Scottish companies including Essence of Harris, Arran Aromatics, Ness of Scotland and Highland Soap Company.