Welcome to The Curiosity Shop: Discover Virgin StartUp products at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh

The Curiosity Shop at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
Virgin StartUp
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
16 August 2022

With more people opting to shop small than ever before, Virgin Hotels Edinburgh has opened The Curiosity Shop to showcase six sustainable small businesses. 

Created in partnership with Virgin StartUp, the not-for-profit incubator for entrepreneurs, The Curiosity Shop features beautifully crafted Scottish products – all from businesses that have received support from Virgin StartUp to launch and thrive. 

Meander founders Jill and Steve Henry outside Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
Virgin StartUp

The Curiosity Shop is open to Virgin Hotels guests, giving them the opportunity to discover new Scottish brands and take home something special as a gift for a friend or a loved one, or simply to treat themselves. There are all kinds of treasures there – from wild-harvested Hebridean seaweed, to Scottish spun yarns and hand-crafted gins.  

The six businesses currently stocked at The Curiosity Shop are: 

  • Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful–a wide range of seaweed supplements made using organic Hebridean seaweed that is sustainably wild-harvested from pristine Scottish waters, founded by a Scottish marine biologist.  

  • Genevieve Sweeney – timeless knitwear, made in Scotland with both traditional artisan and innovative knitting techniques that showcase the natural beauty of Scottish spun yarns.  

  • Meander Apparel– Edinburgh-based outdoor clothing brand, around 90% of the collection is made using natural or recycled, low-impact materials. 

Nishant Sharmer and Jill and Steve Henry next to The Curiosity Shop display at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
Virgin StartUp
  • Rutland Square Gin– boutique gin, handcrafted in small batches, includingthe world’s first oolong white tea infused Chai Gin, made using sustainably sourced oolong white tea from Assam, India.  

  • Seilich– a small, family-run company based in the Lothians and created by botanist, Dr Sally Gouldstone. Inspired by a passion for Scottish wildlife, Seilichhas created an award-winning range of natural skincare products, made using ingredients grown in the family’s wildflower meadow.  

  • Sensi– launched in 2022 by 25-year-old Jennifer Norrie, after she discovered a love of silk when sleeping on silk pillowslips, which – according to Jennifer –leave your skin glowing and your hair less frizzy.

Some of these businesses have only been running for a very short time so it’s a massive boost to be featured in The Curiosity Shop, where guests can explore their products. Nishant Sharma, founder of Rutland Square Gin, launched his business in November 2021, he said: “The support we have received from Virgin StartUp has been brilliant from the beginning. And now, to get this opportunity to share our products with visitors at a landmark new hotel is incredible. We are really excited.” 

Nishant Sharma, founder of Rutland Square Gin, holding a bottle of gin next to The Curiosity Shop display
Virgin StartUp

Andy Fishburn, managing director of Virgin StartUp, said: “Virgin has always been entrepreneurial at its heart, so it’s great to see Virgin Hotels providing this space to showcase Virgin StartUp companies, particularly those that are making sustainably-driven products right on the doorstep here in Scotland.” 

Scott McArdle, general manager at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, added: “We are proud to have a space of the hotel dedicated to championing small Scottish businesses and we have already received great feedback from hotel guests who are enjoying exploring the shop and discovering new sustainable Scottish products. All Virgin Hotels are unique and draw inspiration from their location, so the Curiosity Shop is one of many things we are doing at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh to tell the story of this spectacular country.” 

Visit Virgin Hotels to book your stay at Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and explore The Curiosity Shop for yourself. 

Can’t make it to Edinburgh? Use your Virgin Points to shop start-ups with Virgin Red