Hi Amber, when and why did you decide to open Aume?
It started three years ago when I finally gathered the courage to go for it… with a big confidence nudge from my partner.
I’ve always been obsessed with Danish design and really gravitated to their homeware brands. They’re so well designed and effortlessly stylish. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in European cities where there are so many independent concept stores. I made it an ambition to create my own.
How did you decide on the name?
I wanted something soft sounding and memorable. I went through hundreds of iterations of letters and sounds together until this one seemed right. I pronounce it Aume – like home. I also wanted a 4 letter domain which is super difficult to secure these days.
What had you done before? Did any of these skills help?
I worked in interiors for a long time, mostly e-commerce start-ups in London and Berlin. I totally love websites, especially how easy and fast it is to shop them, but shopping in person is a different experience and clearly one that people still value when it’s done right.
Shops have to adapt to compete for attention, that’s why I think the space, atmosphere and service are more important than ever. I understand that if you create somewhere people enjoy being, they’ll keep coming back and want to buy. Retail is changing and it’s so exciting.
How would you describe the interior style of the store?
I designed the space to be relaxed, welcoming and to show off the original Victorian features. It was a newsagents for decades, so there was a lot to strip back. Hidden under everything was the original cornicing, a beautiful ceiling rose, wooden wall panelling and an original cast iron fireplace. It has its own character so I started restoring from there. Mixing my own paint colour to brighten the north facing shopfront, I also chose solid oak flooring and fittings to soften, all bespoke made by my partner (@ralphblairparquet).
I keep the shop minimal to give people space to imagine the products in their own home – as they might use them. I’m conscious it’s not solely about offering as much as possible, the space is just as considered as the homewares. That’s what I wanted.
What is the neighbourhood like?
Strathbungo on the south side of Glasgow is pretty special. I grew up nearby and it has completely changed in the last few years. There’s a growing group of independent small businesses. Oat milk flat white type places, vintage shops, ceramics studios, incredible spots for food and some of the most beautiful houses in the city. There’s a row of Alexander “Greek” Thomson houses that I’ve dreamed of living in since I was at school.
Tell us about the range of products you stock…
It’s a carefully curated selection of softly minimal interiors. There’s a lot of stoneware ceramics, distinctive glassware, seagrass baskets, homemade natural soaps and artists’ prints.
I started out with a lot of the Danish brands and have expanded to include products from Sweden, The Netherlands and a growing number of British and American makers. Everything is selected with my customers in mind from brands that I admire. I’m sourcing for them all the time.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like?
A good day would be unpacking deliveries, shooting content, sourcing new brands, spreadsheets, budgets, making the space look good and a lot of recycling.
How do you source your stockists?
Social media has been a gift, especially when I’m looking for newly launched small makers. I also find that the makers I work with are great at connecting you with others.
Do you create anything in-house?
I’m working on it! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so so long and I hope to launch it this year.
Which item is your bestseller? Why do you think that is?
It really changes month to month. New products are arriving constantly to keep it fresh. At the moment, the latest Hidden Scotland magazine is getting a lot of attention. They’ve just launched the second issue and it’s full of beautiful tucked away places in Scotland. Highly recommend.
What items are your personal can’t-live-without?
Definitely candles. They just make a room feel more relaxed and I think my favourite scents make me feel happier. I buy them everywhere, especially when I travel. Then they’re little reminders of that place.
What do you enjoy most about running Aume?
I love sourcing, curating the range, styling the shop and chatting with regular faces. It’s a calm space so it allows people their own time to wander through and chat away if they like.
What has been your career highlight (so far!)?
Opening the shop, that first day was a real proud moment for me. I’ve always gravitated to all sorts of curated spaces and now I have my own. I opened the shop with the hope that others would enjoy the same. So far so good.
Do you have any advice for those thinking of starting their own store?
Having the guts to open your own business can be a big part of getting going. It’s such a privilege and a total joy to do what you love but be prepared for it to completely take over your life. My saviour has been planning absolutely everything so I know if it’s likely to work before I even get started. Know when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen… and how much.
Find Aume at 707 Pollokshaws Road, Strathbungo, Glasgow.