Interview -Jenny of the Hill Street Design House

Interview -Jenny of the Hill Street Design House


Back in June, we moved into the Hill Street Design House which is located in Edinburgh's historic New Town. It was launched in 2014 by founder Jenny Hazel as much needed creative addition to the centre of Edinburgh, the residents are a mix of upcoming and established design-let businesses.  As well as the studios it also hosts exhibitions, pop-up shops, workshops, product launches and parties.

We sat down with Jenny to talk about the ins and outs of running your own business, first jobs and dogs! 

Q: What does a typical day at work involve?

My days are never the same! Answering enquiries, updating social media, making sure all the resident designers are happy (biggest task, haha!), and promoting the business are all daily jobs, but I can also be working on anything from broken toilets to fancy exhibition launches. I wear many hats.

Q: What was your first job?

My very first job was babysitting, but my first payroll job was as a shelf-stacker in the toy department in Jenners. I had to go in in the evening and restock all the toys, like a little elf. I loved it.

Q: What is the key lesson you have learnt running your business.

Use your network and talk about your problems. There is always someone who has experience of the issues you are facing and will have good advice to help you overcome them. This is especially true in the creative industries, and in a small city like Edinburgh we all support each other, it's heartwarming.

Q: What has been your proudest moment so far? 

Opening Hill Street Design House (should I have said the birth of my daughter or something?). I faced a lot of hurdles, closed doors, and closed minds trying to open a creative space in the New Town, so when we had our launch party I was very, very proud. Still am.

Q: What is one item you can’t live without?

My bed. I have spent an inordinate amount of money on an antique French bed frame, mattresses, bedding and blankets. It's my beautiful safe place and I love sleeping. I am still searching for the perfect pillow though, any tips welcome.

(Again, I feel like I should have said my daughter here but I didn't want to call her an 'item'. Plus she's 13 and pretty hard work so...)

Jenny Hazel and her daughter Rosie
Jenny and her daughter Rosi

Q: Dog or cat?!

I can't possibly choose. I have a cat but I'd really like a dog. One day, possibly once the teenager leaves!

Q: What is your favourite MAiK product?

The Botanic Socks! They are perfect for this season. The colours and print make me want to go for a walk kicking leaves around, and then cosy up by the fire with a glass of red wine :)

Autumn Botanic socks from MAiK

Botanic Socks

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