239 The High Street, Portobello
Located over in Portobello is John Paul, the proud owner of 239 The High Street! As well as keeping a range of Wonky Woolies the shop has a large collection of Harris Tweed products – including footwear, clothing, accessories, and gifts.
When John Paul is not busy welcoming customers and stocking the shop, he also runs a courier business. So if you’re buying from 239 The High Street’s website, you know it’s going to be a fast and efficient service!
We got in contact with John Paul to ask him a few questions about 239 The High Street:
Could you tell us a little bit about how you started your business?
“239 The High Street first opened two years ago, back in November 2017. When I bought the shop, it was originally an office space and a friend suggested I stock Harris Tweed products. We started with handbags, gloves, and purses. From then on, we began to keep a range of Snow Paw footwear for men & women as well as scarves, hats and hip flasks. We have now expanded our range to homeware gifts such as jewellery, candles and cards. The stock has grown to include clothing, as well as Wonky Woolies! It’s all a work in progress!”
What do you love most about having your own shop?
“If you want an honest answer, it’s hard work! But I get to pick the products I want to sell. It’s always flattering when people approach me and want to buy something I’ve chosen. I get to find nice gems – like the beautiful jewellery I stock is all from Scottish designers. 239 The High Street is the only shop in the world that stocks Harris Tweed Bomber Jackets by Tweend.
It allows me to bring unique things to Portobello – you have to have courage to sell new products and be prepared to try. We are trying to revive the high street!
We made the move to sell online and our new website just launched in December. 239 The High Street will be launching exciting new products online soon!”
Where would you recommend visiting in Portobello?
“The main attraction would be the beach! There are lots of lovely places to eat and grab a coffee from along the promenade. There are a few niche gifts shops. At Christmas time, all the independent shops come together and open late for a Christmas fair – with lots of drinks and nibbles on offer!
The butcher and fishmonger on the high street have been here for many years – maybe 3rd or 4th generation! We also have the best chippy in Edinburgh!”
Being situated right by the seaside, do you get a lot of tourists or locals?
“It’s a bit of both! During the summertime, I would say 2/3 of visitors to the shop are tourists and during the winter it’s mainly locals. Tourists love to buy products that are ‘made in Scotland’ to take back home with them as a reminder of their trip.”
How did you find out about Wonky Woolies?
“I met Alison and Graham at the Scottish Trade Show at Glasgow’s SECC back in September 2017 before I opened the shop. I loved the products! We had a meeting and the shop has stocked Wonky Woolies since the start!”
From your current range of Wonky Woolies, what would you say is the best seller?
“A bit of everything really! The thistle hats are quite popular with tourists!”
If you asked us to design your perfect custom hat, what would you choose and why?
“I think I would like a navy blue hat with a bold saltire across it – like the Scottish flag. Or one with the Lion Rampant! I think they would be really popular with tourists visiting in the summertime.”
Shop opening times
Next time you’re in Portobello, make sure to pop into the shop and see John Paul’s collection of Scottish products.
The shop is open Tuesday – Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Thanks John Paul for taking the time to chat to us today, we’re really happy you selected our products for your lovely shop!