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Aberdeenshire’s Simply Scottish Prints celebrates the nation’s heritage

simply scottish prints

Showcasing and celebrating everything Scotland has to offer, Kareen Murray set up Simply Scottish Prints as her creative outlet during the first coronavirus lockdown.

“After I graduated from university, I decided to set up my Etsy shop in May 2020 as a creative outlet,” said Kareen, who studied design for textiles at Heriot-Watt University.

“This gave me purpose throughout the first lockdown and kept me motivated to continue to be creative.”

As her business name suggests, Kareen aims to create unique textiles, stationery and homeware, which represent Scotland in a contemporary way.

She said: “I am from a small seaside town in Aberdeenshire and its beauty provides me with so much inspiration.

“I offer a range of different prints from flowers and animals to buildings.

“My prints are available on different types of paper too and this allows people with different budgets to be able to afford my work.”

After Kareen, who is based in Stonehaven, and her fiance got a puppy last October, dogs started to feature in her work more and more.

And her dog prints and coasters have been a hit with her customers too.

She said: “My ‘long boy’ (sausage dogs) print has definitely been the most popular one so far.

“My best-selling products are my long boy tees and my long boy coasters.

“I have recently started offering custom pet portraits too and these have been popular as well.”

Focusing on layouts and lines, Kareen adds a pop of colour to her work once she’s happy with her designs.

simply scottish prints

She said: “I tend to start-off designing in black and white fine liner pens and add most of the detail this way.

“I don’t usually add colour to my designs until I am happy with the motifs and layout.

“My designs are usually quite realistic in drawing style, however, I have recently been trying out a more stylised look.”

In addition to homeware, Kareen also offers a few T-shirts and bags.

She said: “I added tote bags, coin purses and make-up bags to my offering during summer 2020.

“As it was lockdown, I had a lot of time to create new items and I had done a lot of sewing during my time at college and uni and decided to utilise this talent.”

Kareen works from her Stonehaven home to create all her designs.

She said: “I recently turned our spare bedroom into a small studio space and that is where I have all my things set up – but if I am being honest, I do most of my drawing and designing on the couch.”

The Simply Scottish Prints owner said she always wanted to make her business sustainable as possible.

She stated: “When I am sourcing fabrics and other materials I want to ensure I am buying good quality that I know my customers will appreciate.

“I would rather spend a little extra on materials to ensure they will last.”

Stonehaven War Memorial print

And Kareen is delighted she already has a strong loyal following.

She said: “I would say I have loyal customers and I have had a few repeat customers which is so amazing since I am only a small business.

“I am super grateful for all my customers who have decided to buy from my small business – it makes me so happy to know that other people enjoy my designs.”

Setting up her business during a global pandemic, Kareen hasn’t had a chance to attend any north-east markets but hopes to do so in the future.

She said: “I have not attended any north-east fairs but once lockdown is over I am very keen to get involved in all the fairs.

“As I started selling on Etsy during lockdown, coronavirus has not affected my business too much.

“If anything, it has probably helped my small business as more people are buying online now.”

Kareen, who currently works as an early years practitioner and works on Simply Scottish Prints in her free time, hopes her small business will become her full-time job in a few years’ time.

She said: “I am hopeful that my business will have grown a lot in the next couple of years and that I can do it as my full-time job.

“My goal for 2021 is to design and sell a dog product range such as harnesses, collars and leads.

“I am in the middle of designing this range and I am really excited to see where it takes me.”

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.