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March 11, 2019 —

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Dahlia

Shelley Welti
91 Magazine online content editor,
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Located in Marchmont, Edinburgh, Dahlia has quickly bloomed into life, becoming a go-to destination for plant-lovers, stocking all you need to add some gorgeous greenery to your home and life (from the plants themselves to ceramics to house them and more). 

We chat to owner Phoebe Hutcheson to talk plants, interior style and how Instagram inspires her…

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When and why did you decide to open Dahlia?

From a result of always having a love for plants and nature as well as many years in retail, I decided to open Dahlia – with support from family and friends, the dream Iʼd been working on for a year became reality.

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What had you done before? Did any of these skills help?

Prior to opening Dahlia, I had trained as a barista and also did a foundation year in art school. These experiences helped me immensely in both confidence and in being able creatively run my shop, always having an eye for new products and merchandising.

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How did you decide on the name?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted our name to be along the botanical lines but something that I hadnʼt seen before! After about a week of researching flower names landed on Dahlia and it just felt right after that!

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How would you describe Dahlia’s interior style?

Colourfully minimal. I like to group colours in certain areas of the shop, for example one of our most photographed areas is ‘the pink cornerʼ which is where we display our Boy Smells candles and all of our various pink ceramics!

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You’re passionate about all things plants and plant-inspired, why do you love them so much? And why do you think other people do too?

I think my childhood and going to the Edinburgh Steiner School contributes a lot to my love of all things green. I have always enjoyed being outdoors and being able to bring a bit of that inside is always a positive. Additionally, I think that due to life being so fast-paced and technological these days, having a bit of greenery in your home is good for your health, both mentally and physically.

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How do you source your gorgeous stock?

We source our stock from multiple places. A lot of our ceramics are handmade in Morocco which makes them all very individual and special. Instagram is also an amazing tool in finding new makers! There are so many talented local artists showcasing their work these days.

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Do you create any of your wares in-house?

Last year I started to read up on terrariums. I love the idea of being able to create mini green spaces in sourced glassware, as well as them being incredibly easy to look after. I make our terrariums both in store and at home in Leith.

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Which item is your bestseller? Why do you think that is? 

Our matte painted ceramic pots have always been our number one item! Weʼve had them since day one. I think due to the vast amount of colours they come in; thereʼs a pot for everyone. As well as our pots, our best selling plant has got to be the pin-striped calathea. We get a lot of questions as to whether they are real or not due to their very distinctive blush pink stripes running up their leaves.

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Which is your personal favourite?

My canʼt-live-without would have to be all of our small cacti and succulents! Along with our range of small matte paint pots they all fit into – theyʼre our most favourite pick up item for birthdays, thank you gifts and all occasions!

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You have a loyal Instagram following, how has social media helped Dahlia to grow?

Instagram has massively helped Dahlia establish a name for herself! Although being fairly centrally located, weʼre a bit far out for some of our customers, so being able to post regularly showing all of our new pots, plants or candles is really helpful for people who may have to make a journey to see us! Instagram has also allowed us to get to know our customers and other local businesses on a more personal level which has been lovely.

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Do you have any top tips/advice for those thinking of starting their own store?

My advice would always be to trust your own instincts and really believe in what youʼre wanting to share with the world. Starting your own business isnʼt easy, but when you are truly passionate about what youʼre doing, it’s the most rewarding thing in the world. Expect to make mistakes along the way but try to remember them and grow from them, because they will have happened for a reason.

Find Dahlia at 17 Roseneath St, Edinburgh, EH9 1JH

Follow them on Instagram

Photography: Mcglynn Sisters

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