A Q&A With Kerri Middleton, Owner of Busy B Posted on 15 Sep 17:00
Busy B is an Edinburgh brand full of clever ideas for organising your busy life! With notebooks, diaries, planners, and accessories, there are so many fantastic options to choose from. At Paper Tiger, we are completely enamored with Busy B’s mix of practicality and style - we love the colourful splash they add to our range!
Kerri Middleton is the owner and managing director of Busy B - which she founded in 1998 from the spare bedroom of her flat in Leith! Kerri is Edinburgh born and raised, and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Her company has grown substantially over the years, but Kerri still working to create brilliant products that tackle the chaos of modern life. We asked Kerri a few questions about her Edinburgh memories and the creative process.
What are your first memories of Edinburgh?
Admiring the flower clock in Princes Street Gardens as a young child, and then as a young teenager I loved going into Habitat at the West End to look around with my mum.
What are your first memories of Paper Tiger?
As a student at Glasgow School of Art I loved going in to look at the cards and lovely wrapping paper in Paper Tiger in Stafford Street when I was home in the holidays, and then going downstairs to Studio One to admire all the lovely things I couldn’t afford to buy as a student!
Where is your favourite place in the city?
The beach at Portobello. I'm lucky enough to live near the beach now with my family and can go there every day. I also really like Stockbridge where I had my first job working in a design studio on Circus lane - it's full of lovely architecture and little lanes and the walk along the river of leith is great too.
What drew you to your current career?
I studied Product Design, so my heart lies in designing products that solve problems and people will love to use - this still lies at the centre of what we do at Busy B now. My first job (the one in Stockbridge) was working for an entrepreneur, and that gave me the encouragement to do something for myself and take a product to market.
What inspires your work?
As a team, we get inspiration for new ranges and colour pallets, textures, and finishes from lots of different places including fashion and textiles, accessories, interiors, and other lifestyle brands and our product team gather visuals constantly.
How do you record your ideas/sketches/designs?
I keep a notebook and have lists for everything. I also still sketch things on paper to work out ideas but it’s the product team and designers at Busy B who are the real creative talent bringing all our designs to life.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love working in a team - it’s so exciting when plans come together and you see new initiatives take flight, whether its new product ranges arriving, innovative ideas, cover finishes, or a marketing initiative going live. Working as a team is so important and collaborating and communicating well is key to the whole process working well.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
“Never give up!” And also the quote from Christopher Robin in Pooh’s Grand Adventure: “You are braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”
What are you working on next?
Some lovely new kitchen items and diary formats for next year.
You can browse our range of Busy B stationery here: Busy B.