Scotsman Homes Q&A: Lynn Gatherer, owner of Greenshoots

Lynn Gatherer with some of her designs, pictured in her shop Greenshoots, Gorgie. Picture: Esme Allen
Lynn Gatherer with some of her designs, pictured in her shop Greenshoots, Gorgie. Picture: Esme Allen
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FORMER police officer Lynn Gatherer took the plunge and has turned her passion for food and homewares into a thriving Edinburgh business, Lynn O’Rourke discovers

How did you end up doing what you do?

For 10 years I was working as a police officer with Tayside and whilst it was fulfilling, I had always had a passion for healthy seasonal cooking, artisan coffee and beautiful homewares. So one day I thought, ‘life is too short’, and decided to follow my dream and work towards opening Greenshoots – an artisan coffee shop and innovative homeware crafts store, and I’m delighted with how well it’s going, it was definitely the right move.

Who or what inspires you?

My family and friends are inspiring. My father built up his business from very humble beginnings and I also have some close female friends who inspire me. I don’t really look up to any celebrities or very wealthy business people. For me, it’s more inspiring when people live their lives with a passion.

What is your starting point for any new project?

I use my own style and colours and prints that I would want in my own home as a starting point. Sometimes it comes as a surprise when something inspires a collection. It can be the way the light comes in through the window, the colours in the sky and particularly the changing seasons.

What makes a home?

Of course the people in it primarily, but it should reflect your own personal taste, whatever that may be. My home is a very busy, noisy and fun place, with two young children and a big, old black Labrador.

What designers/makers do you admire?

There are a lot of very talented Scottish designers around just now. At Greenshoots we love to champion those new to the commercial market. The guys at Staunch Industries, for example, have some great prints and fragrances, which really appeal to a masculine taste.

Were you involved in craft from an early age?

Not on a personal level, however I was very opinionated on how my mother designed her home!  

Is there any object you desire?

I love the Autumn prints from the new collection from A Wooden Tree. I’m also trying to decide between the black and olive leather rushed bags just now...

What is your idea of a great escape?

I love travelling and I have a real passion for it. A great escape would be travelling to a new country and immersing myself in the culture. I especially love to explore local markets.

Do you prefer to camp under the stars or hotel comforts? 

I like to have the best of both worlds. So that is going away in my campervan, which is filled with home comforts and good food.

Big screen movie or TV drama?

I don’t have time to watch much television, although I did really enjoy the Homeland series and I always watch Strictly Come Dancing with my little girl. I also loved The Great British Bake Off.

What book would you recommend to a friend?

I love reading and one of my all-time favourite books is Shantaram by Gregory Roberts.

Best music to work to?

I love some of the new country artists out there just now. I’m also listening to Lianne La Havas and King Charles.

What are your top tips for 24 hours in Edinburgh?

I’m an early riser and would recommend an early morning walk in the Pentland hills, followed by a healthy lunch in Greenshoots. Then perhaps a walk around the Edinburgh Art Gallery followed by a sharing platter and a nice bottle of red in my favourite little bar, Pickles on Broughton Street.

What makes you laugh?

I have quite a dry sense of humour. I find my six-year-old daughter very humorous, she’s a great little comedian.

• Greenshoots, 6-8 Alexander Drive, Gorgie, Edinburgh (0131-261 7323,