Braw Wee is an online Scottish gift and music shop stocking a carefully curated selection of greeting cards, gifts and homewares. Run by sisters Jennifer McGlone and Erin Molloy, we opened back in November 2014, in Jennifer's office space in the heart of the Barras Market, everything Braw Wee sells is created by Scottish producers, artists, and designers.
We are hugely excited by Scotland’s flourishing creative scene, and want to do everything I can to support the industry and to provide a platform for our stockists to develop sustainable businesses and increase awareness of their brands.
We’re on a mission to show shoppers in Scotland, the UK and beyond that, the benefits of shopping local make life better for everyone! Shopping local means creating sustainable small businesses, building stronger communities, helping the environment, generating new jobs, and lots more.
When Jennifer opened the doors to Braw Wee back in 2014, it was just a wee side project to help give folk a reason to visit the Barras again and sell her fab musical pals music - she was quick to realise that customers might also be interested in some of the fab quirky products made by Scottish designers and suppliers that she loved, so it became Braw Wee Emporium - Music and Gift Shop.
The shop was initially based in the fab Barras Art and Design Centre (BAaD), before it was transformed into the restaurant, bar and venue that is now there. These were exciting times, but challenging for a tiny business like Braw Wee, footfall was still quiet in the Barras at the weekend while the regeneration work went on. So we started up our crafty workshop programme, making lampshades and bottle lamps and later adding the popular Arm Knitting Workshops.
In 2018, Braw Wee had the opportunity to move from BAaD to a prime spot on the Gallowgate - where we had more space for the shop and workshops, no noise from the bar and gigs, and definitely easier to find that our wee corner of Stevenson Street. We were part of Creative East End, a new creative hub, that unfortunately is no longer in operation. The team grew, the stock grew, we were open 7 days a week and the stresses grew until in early 2020. Jennifer made the extremely difficult decision to close the physical shop and concentrate on online sales and workshops, as this is where 50% of our sales came from and could do that without the massive overheads and be able to look after her health.
So in Jan 2020 - Braw Wee moved to Park Lane House, Bridgeton, to a smaller space and back to Jennifer just working on her own again and just as she was getting the Braw Wee ball rolling again with plans for workshops, marketings and pop-ups the Covid-19 pandemic hit. We had a scary few months of low sales, no workshops until she started making Face Masks (over 800 sewn) and took our Arm Knitting and Bottle Lamp Workshops online! Then in the autumn, as we got busier with Christmas, Jennifer asked Erin if she'd be able to help out with the online orders - thankfully she agreed because we had a crazy one! We opened up our studio to our customers to collect orders, home deliveries were made and plans started to be hatched!
In spring 2021, Jennifer and Erin started talking about what they wanted from their work and life, and how we could make that happen with Braw Wee. Things that are important to us are Creativity, Fun, Family, Friends and Community! So we looked at the sums and worked out that Erin could leave her other job in retail, and help Jennifer grow the business so it would not only support our own wages but also our fantastic community of Scottish suppliers!
So here we are, June 2021 and working as a sister team to bring you fab quirky products and lots of joy to your life! You can check out our blog posts for more Braw Wee Adventures!
2022 - Update
We went back to being a one-woman show in April 2022, unfortunately our sales couldn't sustain the wages this year. So we had to restructure, Jennifer increased her freelance work and then took on a part-time job in October. In December 2022 we have had the opportunity to move to a new studio space that will make our workshops more accessible! From 2023, we will be hosting our workshops at 249 West George Street alongside our partner venues!