CURATED S T O R Y By Ella B. MacDonald
CURATED S T O R Y By Ella B. MacDonald 2
contents 6 Editorâ€™s Letter Interview: 8 Tytti Peltoniemi
Fashion: 46 Northern Nuance Interview: 68 Hannah Gibson Fashion: 20 Butcher Shop Interview: 34 Ollie Watt
Lifestyle: 118 Table For Two Interview: 128 Kali Thorp
Fashion: 82 Breathe 90 Cosmetics:
Lifestyle: 136 Breakfast
106 Michelle Ferguson
142 Katie McCracken
Lifestyle: 154 Curious Objects 174 Brand Index
editors letter â€œin this age of constant creation, someone is telling a story all the time. In fact, we are all immersed in them and even make our life choices because of them. Thus, it is necessary for us to harness our own stories and tell them well.â€? Do Story, by Bobette Buster.
Welcome to Curated Story, My name is Ella MacDonald, I am a Fashion Management student at Robert Gordon University, currently working as an intern for the shop Curated Stories located on Claremont Street here in Aberdeen. I have created this magazine with the sole purpose of informing individuals of the small marvel that is Curated Stories. Curated Stories is a design led concept store established in 2009. Starting off with only three brands the shop has enhanced itâ€™s ever growing, unique portfolio to over 250 brands in 2018.. Curated Stories believe that shopping should be an enhancing experience, all about new discovery, creativity and joy! When I first entered Curated Stories unexpectedly a few yeas ago, it felt like a little haven distracting from the dreariness of everyday life. When considering what I wanted to achieve during my my twelve weeks here as an interen I reflected upon my first moments in the store. Consequently, I decided my time would be best spent championing the six wonderful women who have built Curated Stories into the shop that it is today.
This magazine will tell each individual story whilst highlighting the fantastic products in store and online. I also wanted Curated Stor y Magazine to prove that Aberdeen itself is a destination. Excluding oil and granite, this silver city has an undercurrent of individualistic creativity and passion which is enabling Aberdeen to constantly evolve into a new and exceptional place; almost every photoshoot within the magazine has taken place in Aberdeen and surrounding areas. Think of Curated Stor y magazine as a chronicle of Curated Stories, at this exact moment in time. I hope it incapsulates the excitement I felt when I first discovered the store and that you enjoy reading this magazine even half as much as I enjoyed making it.
Ella Shop Instagram: @curatedstories Personal Instagram: @ellabmcd 7
Tytti Peltoniemi (owner)
â€œyou choose what you want to become then you make it happen.â€?
For almost a decade, Tytti Peltoniemi has spearheaded an Aberdeen based haven in shop form, Curated Stories.
So, let’s begin.. I know that you’re from
She also owns a thriving interior design business and is
Finland, are there any particular values you
currently in the depths of a creating a new convenience
take from being brought up there?
store project, Park. I see myself more as a Scot, or maybe a citizen of the world
Finnish born, Tytti arrived in the UK in her twenties
or something. I think the place you live defines you... I
armed with an abundance of ‘sisu’ (a Finnish term for
have some values from Finland for sure. I’m stubborn as
determination). From then onwards, after a stint in
f*ck, excuse the language; there’s a great Finnish word
Amsterdam selling her own handbag designs, her awe
called ‘sisu’, Denmark has got Hygge and Sweden has got
inspiring ideas have been at the forefront of encouraging
Lagom, now Hygge and Lagom are all really nice but sisu
independent business throughout the city of Aberdeen
is determination of a completely different type. It is the
essence of determination. We have a saying in Finnish, ‘you go through the grey stone’ grey stone being granite
Tytti has created something beautiful but this beauty is
which is always the hardest, it means you will go through
not exclusive just to her home; there are various items I
even granite to achieve something. Sisu means you will
spot which can be found on the shelves of Curated Stories.
not give up, no matter what. I think I definitely have got
It’s enthralling to see pieces such as a rhino wall vase come
a lot of sisu, if I decide I am going to do something I will
alive whilst also humbly fitting in. It is quite fantastic to
do it, no matter how difficult it is. That determination is
witness Tytti’s personality ooze from her home to her shop making it easily accessible for all.
something I have taken from Finland and I will carry it with me forever. A sense of fairness probably also comes
Tytti sits cosy and cross legged in a grey cardigan, white
form Finland, fairness has to be in everything. At Curated
shirt and jeans, keen and ready to converse.
Stories, I always want to make sure that everybody is treated equally and there is fairness in everything. It is important for me that there is equality, solidarity in some sense.
You have mentioned previously that you’ve had a highly opposed career path, can you tell me a bit more about that and how it led you to where you are today? I think its almost like a circle, when I graduated doing my
Then I did theology, religious studies, at Helsinki
a-levels, I went straight into doing fashion. I only lasted
University. I wanted to be one of those people who sit
maybe two, three months or something it wasn’t moving
in the library with massive stacks of books... I think in
fast enough for me and I felt like the fashion that I had in
each of the career choices that I’ve made, there’s been this
my mind was so far removed from the reality. was young,
image that I’ve wanted to fit in to. Almost like an actor,
18, and I wanted things to happen straight away. I did
or an actress, where you choose your role and then you
loads of different qualifications; I went to do a midwifery
become that. I’ve never actually thought of it from that
qualification which was meant to be three years but I only
point of view but thats pretty much it, you just choose
did the first year because my approach was too academic,
what you want to become then you make it happen.
they told me that I’d need to go to medical school and I didn’t want to become a doctor, so I quit that. Then a
I’ve always believed that if you want to try something
couple of months later I started another course doing
you should just try it, don’t to consider too much what
something completely different, so first from fashion to
other people are going to think about it or if it’s going to
midwifery.. but then from there I went to do a draftmans
fit your career path because otherwise you’ll always think
qualification. Which is a person between an engineer and
about it, would it have worked? Or maybe you would’ve
an architect, so the technical side of things. Kind of funny
been happier doing something else, you will never know
because again the loop closes on that one as well because
unless you try and you can’t actually ever lose anything by
now I’ve got my interior design company.
trying something because you will always be enriched by the experience. You will always learn and as long as you
I was really young and impatient and didn’t have the
keep learning you will keep on getting richer in life.
patience to stick with one thing, I wanted to do everything. So, then I jumped into another thing again and I qualified as a therapist of massage… I started my own company doing that but then relatively soon I figured that it wasn’t something I wanted to do with my whole life.
What do you think makes Curated Stories unique as a business? Is it unique? Anything and everything is unique, what makes Curated Stories unique is possibly the people; the way we are, the way the team is, how we treat our customers who are more like friends to us. The random selection of brands that don’t make sense, lace underwear next to hand made screw drivers, or some toys that have been made in Japan in the shape of a lamb next to some random ass book on feminism. You cannot pin point the buying direction and I think that makes it interesting because its always surprising. It can come from any angle, any design, any brand philosophy or ethos as long as we identify with it. It becomes part of us. It’s a mash of different colours but when you look at it from a distance it is a very specific colour and that’s us.
I’d love to think that people think it’s unique, because retail is just retail, you buy things and you sell things but what makes it special has to be something else other than just a transaction. Therefore its more to do with the experience, the music choices, the lighting choices, the beautiful, knowledgeable and friendly staff who present themselves always in creative individual stylish way, nothing is fake everything is true to what it is. We are all lady bosses, there is no one boss, I come in and say get this done but everybody knows that if it doesn’t need to be done or it shouldn’t be done you don’t need to do it; I’m no more boss than any of the others, we are all equal and we all make decisions in the same way, unfortunately I just need to take the responsibility.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would
Can you tell me about your new adventure,
like to create and start their own business?
Yes I do… DO IT! do it, do it! If you want to, do it, be
Park is a little convenience store that is on the North East
prepared to go without pay, go without a pension, go
Side road. It has been a general store for over 100 years
without savings or holidays. If you have a passion follow
and the previous owner left without any notice about a
it, absolutely 100% and success will follow but it might
year ago and left the community pretty devastated; no
take time. I could never work for anybody, no way. Once
paper, no eggs, no milk, no bread, no nothing, left only
you do your own thing you cant go back and if you’ve got a
with option to drive 15 mins to Banchory for Tesco and
passion for something why wouldn’t you do it? Everybody
Morrisons or 10 minutes to Peterculter to go to Spar or
is better off if we start small businesses, communities
Co-operative which leaves you with zero chance of
are better. If there were more people starting up small
spending your money locally. It’s a little, little, little store
businesses, everybody would benefit; whether thats in
with big dreams. We’ll see what its going to be but hopefully
food, design or anything. If you start small it will grow
Park will have local produce with some international
bigger, because the influence goes like a spiders web. You
additions as well but lots of Scottish produce, coffee, food,
start a small company thinking its not going to make
wine, spirits and a small lovely selection of gifts because I
much of a difference.. I didn’t think that I would ever
can’t have a shop and not have some gifts in it! But this is
make any difference when I started my company and now
nothing to do with Curated Stories, completely different
I’ve got five beautiful girls working with me and we have
style, completely different ethos, completely different
got two stores, an interior design studio and an online
things; hopefully also with some Scandinavian cooking
store. It’s pulsing in every direction, what the girls are
doing with the salary that I pay them has got an impact, they spend it locally rather than all of them finding a job in Glasgow, Edinburgh or London, they have stayed in Aberdeen which means that the money that is given to us in exchange for things at Curated Stories stays locally because their salaries are spent in small business and you can only shop in small business if other people start these small businesses so its a network of networks! So in answer to the question, yes do it 100%.
Do you have any particular highlights from
in shapes Curated Stories, the beauty of it is that every
Curated Stories nine years?
single person is different and brings different things to the table. So, whats in store for future is, god willing,
Highlights… getting Ollie (the store manager) to join me,
more wonderful people to join us and make it even better
she started three years ago. That’s definitely a highlight
in multiple ways,
we wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done without Ollie she’s the heart of the business these days.
To finish, can ask you your favourite quote?
Another one would be, for us together, designing and building Curated Stories because that’s when we changed
This is a quote that I use a lot and I keep going bwack to it
the name, it was Peltoniemi Concept Store before, then
“bloom where you are planted”, I can finally say that I live
we moved into the bigger premises and we re-branded.
according to this because when I first came to Aberdeen I
We came up with the name when we were walking in
hated it and for 3 years I swore to the customers who came
London, we were throwing words at each other and then
to the shop, I swore to them how much I hated Aberdeen.
it was there! Curated Stories! We were both like ‘we’ve got
I don’t know how they put up with me, I don’t understand
it!’. We absolutely 100% came up with the name together.
why they every did but they did and most of them are still
Also starting up the online store, those are the main
with me. These days I’ve made changes in my life, I’ve
highlights… Ollie, bigger store and online store.
moved outside of Aberdeen, I go on road trips a lot and I get the best out of Scotland and once I started doing that
What do you think the future holds for
I can say that I am blooming where I am planted and I
am happy to be planted here. It’s so easy to always dream your life away and think that you’d be better somewhere
What does it not hold would probably be easier to
else but be in the moment be where you are and do the
answer! Anything and everything that we want, more
best you can.
creative stuff, more collaborations, keeping our eyes open constantly, doing things differently. Anything that anyone wants to bring forward to the table, it’s just finding the right people to be part of the team and then letting them do what they do best because thats where the passion is. Curated Stories is not just a vision of mine, it’s a vision of individuals and whoever brings anything
i on butcher shop northern nuance breathe
butcher shop 20
Showcasing our spring/ summer collection, with special thanks to our neighbours Chattan Quality Meats.
Throughout this shoot, Sofia wears clothing from Curated Stories. dress, jacket and bags all Kate Sheridan. Jewellery: necklaces both Comfort Station, ring Pernille Corydon.
Ollie Watt (Store Manager)
“we’re just going to get bigger and better and that’s all there is to it.”
Ollie is the bright and wonderful store manager here at Curated Stroies. Her smiling face will most likely be the one you see upon entering Curated Stories she’s here almost every day! Ollie’s love and passion for
I know that you’re heavily involved with
her work oozes through each and every day; from her
the buying at Curated are there any
conversations with customers to her fabulous choice of
brands you think we should be looking
outfits, to unique and creative stock that she chooses to
out for at the moment?
buy for the store. Instagram for me is a source of inspiration, I find myself
Can you tell me a little bit about how you
constantly flicking through it, Instagram really helps to
first starting working at Curated Stories?
find new brands. There are just so many, for me jewellery and fashion are the things I am obsessed with, there
I was shopping, as always! I was in Curated Stories.. well
are so many jewellers like Pheobe Simpson who we’re
Peltoniemi Concept Store (Curated Stories previous
thinking about maybe getting on board because she has
name) and Tytti was in a bit of a fluster, she didn’t know
fab stuff but then we also have Bjorg and Comfort Station
what she was going to do for help at Christmas time
in the shop which are a few of my favourites. There are
and then my mum offered me up! Tytti said “great, start
just so many great brands I couldn’t even pinpoint one,
tomorrow” and just like that, that’s been it for nearly
they’re all amazing.
Do you have anyone in particular that What do you think makes Curated
Stories Unique? Everyday people in general always influence me! I love Well, I think because we’ve got so many brands, we are
attention to detail so I always look at people, to see what
so diverse and that makes the shop very unique. Also,
they’re doing… I mean if they’re wearing one earring or
we have got Tytti, she as a person has brought so much
something like that. I am in a fortunate position where
to the store and is inspirational in her own right. We
I have people coming in to the shop every day who
are just a different store, especially in Aberdeen, which
influence me. People to me are so interesting.. I mean
doesn’t have the best shopping experience overall so I
obviously, I love Kate Moss, but in general it’s everyday
think we just bring that little extra something that you
don’t get elsewhere.
What do you think makes Aberdeen in
Do you have a favourite quote?
particular unique? I’ve been thinking about this and there’s no specific quote I’ve been born and bred here, so I’ve always got a special place for Aberdeen in my heart. I’m always quite passionate about it, you’ve just got to go out and look for things because it is unique! It’s just Aberdeen and there’s no other place quite like it, you can take that as a negative thing or a positive thing but I’ve always liked to be more positive about it.
I know you have a beautiful home, do you have any particular tips on home styling? My problem is I have so many different tastes and styles but with my house I’ve gone down a more African route because I lived there for a few years as a child. My mum also has a house with lots of African pieces but I wanted to take that and make it a bit more modern. I think the most important thing when it comes to styling your home is just to collect nice pieces from all over, I love travelling and when I go away I love to pick up different
that I think “oh yeah I’m going to live by that” but I think if you want to be remembered and irreplaceable you have got to be different and put yourself out there, go for it! Do things you want to do, go travel, don’t talk about it just do it! I am guilty of sometimes just talk about things and not doing them but I think you do have to push yourself !
Do you have a favourite product or item in the store? It’s difficult to pinpoint one item in particular but it’s always jewellery, jewellery and clothes.. I have a long list but that’s always my go to!
have a strong interest in fashion
and you studied a Fashion Management degree.. who inspired you to get into fashion?
things for my home, I think that really adds more culture to a house, it’s good to have a mixture of old and new.
My mum has definitely influenced me, my first job was working for my mum in her shop “The Dress Agency” so thats always been an influence. I come from a family of a lot of women and they’re all into fashion and love jewellery, so I really had no option! Even my dad has an interest in fashion, so the influence comes from every aspect of my family.
Can you tell me a bit about what you’re
What do you believe the future holds for
Leopard trousers, I love leopard print it’s my favourite!
I’m a strong believer ‘in anything can happen’, we offer
Also a Maison Margiela shirt, one of many white shirts…
something that nobody else does, we’re just going to get
I must have about 15/20 shirts most of them white. My
bigger and better and that’s all there is to it! We have
jewellery, I’m wearing a Comfort Station necklace and
great staff, the girls are all amazing, they’ve accustomed
my rings are an accumulation of Katie Lees and antique
to the place so easily and they’re all so different, in their
ones, I also have my mum’s wedding band on too.
own way they bring creativity and that been great. I think overall there’s only one way for us and that’s up!
Do you have any favourite moments from your time at Curated? Me and Tytti have had so many good times, when we go to London to do our buying we have so much. Another highlight would be each girl who has walked through the door to work for us. My whole time at Curated Stories has been an accumulation of great highlights, I couldn’t even pinpoint, I love my job, it really has all been great!
Dev. Iconic Rain Coat: Petit Bateau, Denim Pop Tabard Dress: Kate Sheridan
Billie. Coat and bags all Kate Sheridan, Iconic Rain Coat: Petit Bateau
Hannah Gibson (Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen )
“I don’t have a prejudice against objects and materials, what I might find in the bin will be given a similar importance to something I’ve had all my life”
Hannah, stumbled upon Curated Stories a few years
quality to them. That’s a reoccurring theme.. I give you
ago and ever since has been an integral part of the
only so much and then I’ll twist it a little bit. My work is
team. Hannah is a remarkably talented painting
also routed in materials and the idea of touch. I work with
student, in her final year at Gray’s School of Art.
objects and found materials, at the moment I am really
You’ll likely see her working her creative mind in
invested in using textiles. It normally starts with just a
the shop at weekends. On a sunny Friday morning
reaction, that could be an emotion reaction, or it really
we met at her studio to discuss her art, inspirations
does come back to touch again and tactical memory.
and her time with the shop.
I’m really interested in tactical memory, so that’s when you feel something that awakens something in you that
To begin with, do you have a favourite quote
you didn’t realise, or a memory… For example, I used
to have this blanket and it was woven and had this silky outer rim, so if I find that touch in anything, I’ll probably
I’ve been thinking about this.. well, when I was
want to use it. In general, I don’t have a prejudice against
researching my dissertation, I was invested in the idea
objects and materials, what I might find in the bin will be
of the “seriousness of play”, so maybe that could be my
given a similar importance to something I’ve had all my
quote; it basically is to not undermine that child like
life if you know what I mean.. in terms of putting it into
quality people have because when you are playing you
are able to retrieve information that you normally aren’t consciously aware of. It offers a lot to my art practice.
Can you tell me a bit about your work and your process? It started off maybe a couple of years ago when I started to become really interested in the ‘Theory of The Uncanny’. I don’t know what the word ‘uncanny’ means to you but it’s essentially something that is familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. I was really enjoying making objects and the twisting them slightly so they make you feel uneasy. I tend to be attracted to things that have this disturbing
I spot a beautiful object in one of your
When it comes to your art is there anyone
paintings, can you tell me what that is?
in particular that influences you?
Basically, I’m interested in a series of objects. It’s more
Theres so many! I would maybe say this year especially,
of a collaboration, it’s a little project that I was doing..
Laure Prouvost, she’s a french artist and really
I would get clay and I would get four people involved
encourages the use of imagination I think I found that a
and give them each five bits of clay I would get them
big influence. Other artists.. I don’t look at very many
respond to it through the clay, I would say something
painters at all, almost none, which I always worried
like.. ‘sucking on a boiled sweet?’. I’m asking you to
about but actually it sometimes works better because
respond to a feeling and put that into form and I’m
you don’t have that direct influence, so me looking at
trying to esstentially emotionally charge a piece of clay. I
installation artists, which Laure Prouvost is, I’m able
got loads of people to do it and it had various outcomes,
to take things that are really different and put my own
I would ask ‘what is the feeling of embarrassment?’ put
twist on it.
that into clay, it was really interesting and everyone really enjoyed it. Maybe we should do it one day!
Do you have any main inspirations in general?
Were there a real variety in shapes? I guess, I have to say my mum. She’s been so encouraging With the clay there was but sometimes you’d find people
and is really interested in what I do which I think is
made similar shapes; like when I asked people what
important. Sometimes she can cross the line and be a bit
touching rabbit fur felt like and they all seemed to do
of a ‘momager’ but the fact that she’s so interested and
this really flat or quite similar shape but when I asked to
she wants to be a part of it is great. I don’t think thats
some other questions, everyone knew right away which
one was their own. I also blindfolded them when they were making them, I think it shoes how everyone had such a unique touch.. So thats what they are and I was trying to incorporate them into work.
What do you think the future holds after you graduate? This year has been filled with writing applications for opportunities, residences things like that.. so I feel
I know that you’re maybe planning to live in Japan next year, can you tell me about that? I’m definitely thinking about it but it’s a bit up in the
like we always get asked that question and its a really
air just now. Japanese culture has been a big influence
difficult one to pinpoint until you’re finished. You don’t
on my work, their textiles and their craft as well, they
really know what’s going to come from the degree show,
still pay a lot of attention to small details even the ‘How
maybe nothing will come from the degree show, but until then you’re just aiming to get things done. There’s also the temptation to stay in Aberdeen. I’m more tempted to stay now than I was a year ago, or when I first
to Wrap Five Eggs’ book, a little Curated Stories plug there.. that book shows in particular how they give such importance to something that seems really mundane.
came here.. I thought I was even going to transfer and
It lets you appreciate what’s there rather than churning
go somewhere else but I think I got sucked in. There’s
loads and loads of things out all of the time. Yeah, that
things about Aberdeen that I do really like and I think it is just about to change and it is worth staying here. I think it’s about getting artists and emerging artists to stay put in Aberdeen, just so that there can be a cycle of influence.
What do you think makes Aberdeen unique? The art school definitely does, especially this course in terms of painting. I’m obviously going to be bias but it probably is the best course for painting in Scotland because they really do have a focus on drawing and building up your craft in the beginning, in the first couple of years they are super focused on life drawing or really drawing from observation. You might go somewhere else and they may say, ‘just go crazy’, but I think that basic training has been really beneficial, it’s allowed me to remove myself but still be really informed of simple things like how a shadow will fall.
book has been a massive influence to me in the past little while, so thanks to the shop!
How did you come to work at Curated Stories? I was on my own and I literally stumbled across it, as people always say! Then I messaged Tytti and asked if she had any jobs and it just so happened that she was looking for people. It was just so lucky that I found it, loved it and decided to message her.
What do you think makes Curated Stories unique?
Is there anything at the shop that’s your weakness when it comes to shopping?
Everything! I don’t think I don’t want to work in a shop
Jewellery! It has to be jewellery, I’m definitely drawn to
that’s not Curated Stories. That’s a really tough question
that table up the back, also books.. I love picture books
because there are so many things. In terms of style.. the
obviously, well any book really.. but id say jewellery first.
consideration that goes into the brands that we choose, nothing is chosen flippantly, it’s really considered. The people too, sometime you have jobs where you have certain people that you get own with.. but it just isn’t like
I know that you’re really into fashion, could you tell me a bit about what you’re wearing today?
that at the shop. That’s a well done for Tytti because she really does seek out these people that are on a similar
This what I’m wearing right now is not my normal attire!
wave length and who have similar qualities so everyone
I think, what I tend to do, take something really boyish,
really gets on.. that’s the most important thing about the
then pair it up with something super feminine like baggy
pinstripe trousers paired with a really delicate top.. I really love Charles Jeffrey and his deigns and Vivienne Westwood too, they’re are probably my influences when it comes to clothes.
breathe Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeen
Top Petit Bateu, Watch Triwa
Yellow & Navy Raincoat Both Petit Bateu
etics Torr y Batter y, Aberdeen
Binchotan Facial Cleansing Mask
Filmore Face Wash
Prosperity Spr ay M i s t
Filmore Face Wash,
Binchotan Facial Soap
Binchotan Facial Puff
Michelle Ferguson (Duthie Park, Aberdeen)
â€œI like to take a style and turn it into my own. â€?
Michelle is a charismatic Swede who made her way to Scotland at the age of nineteen. Michelle was studying Fashion Management in Aberdeen when she first started work at Curated Stories as a placement student. Now with a Supply Chain Management Masters degree (almost) under her belt, Michelle
Next is another question related to
focuses her time maintaining Curated Stories website
Sweden.. after interviewing Tytti she
and working in the shop part time. Michelle and I
spoke about some Skandinavian values
explore Duthie Park Winter Gardens to talk about her
she holds close from Finland, do you have
time with the store.
any values you take from Sweden?
So you’re from Sweden originally, what
I mean, I tend to not think of things as Swedish
brought you to Scotland?
because I think that people are different wherever you go.. The longer I have lived away from home, the
I moved here when I was nineteen, I always knew that
more I’ve learned about cultural differences. I think
I wanted to move abroad but I didn’t know where.
potentially my outlook on things, especially my family
Then one of my best friends moved to Aberdeen for
values.. I don’t know if it’s a typically Swedish thing
university and she started seeing this guy. He was in
but my mum and dad have always had a very good
the same college class as my, now, husband Cairn. One
work ethic. They always told me that you need to try
day she phoned me up and said “I’ve met the perfect
your hardest and do your best. I do think I have quite
guy for you” then she flew me into Aberdeen and I
a good work ethic because of that but they’ve also
met Cairn. We started dating and I ended up moving
encouraged having time off at home, making the most
to Edinburgh and he moved down with me.. it wasn’t
of every moment and enjoying yourself. The Danish
planed, it felt right and we just went with it. Then after
call it Hygge… but I think its more of a lifestyle, I
that, I got into uni in Aberdeen and moved here.
think that’s probably what I take from Sweden.
Right now you are studying a masters here
online and we’re still just learning. I’m only in part time;
in Aberdeen, what’s that like?
updating prices, putting in new stock and making sure the correct items are put into sale, it’s a lot of work.. it
Yeah, my masters is in Purchasing and Supply Chain
definitely keeps us busy. It’s exciting because most of
Management. I had a module in fourth year that I
our customers would rather come into the shop and see
really enjoyed and that was Supply Chain. I applied
us than shop online but obviously we need a website
on a whim and got in! It’s quite complicated to explain
and the online shop is my baby. We’re still finding our
but it basically includes stock management, inventory
balance a bit with it, but it’s all fun.
planning, logistics and purchasing. I love it, it’s really interesting because it’s quite complicated, it is a guessing
What do you think makes Curated Stories
game at best which keeps it interesting. I love it but
maybe not at the moment because its hand in time.. Ollie and Tytti both have such a good eye for brands
Changing topic slightly, can you tell me
and stock. I think the rotation of brands and individual
about how you started at Curated Stories?
products make it unique. We would never compromise the quality. We have something for everyone at Curated
It was actually my third year university placement. I’d
Stories; different ages, genders and different price points.
never heard of the shop before and I remember applying
I think it’s a really good mix, it makes us so happy to see
through my placement lady and Tytti phoning me to ask
new people come in for the first time and get excited.
me to come in for an interview the next day and got it! I
The shop is something that Aberdeen doesn’t have.
loved it so much I stayed.
During that time you were responsible for starting the website, was this a really difficult task? I think Tytti likes to give me difficult tasks (laughs). I also did the till system and all of the stock.. Then one day Tytti just came to me and said ‘we’re going to start a website can you help me populate it?’ I said ‘yeah ok!’ It’s been hard, we do have a lot of stock, not all of it
What do you think makes Aberdeen as a city
piece I own. In the 90’s my mum and her best friends had
fringed leather jackets and I loved it, I’ve always been obsessed with them but I could never find one I liked but
I use to live in Edinburgh and before that I’m from a tiny
my husband got me this for Christmas. It makes me really
beach town, so it’s definitely different. I think on a grey
excited. My mum is also famous in my home town for
day it is very... grey but on a nice day the beach is stunning,
wearing flares, so I love wearing flares too. I like to take a
there are lots of parks. I try to go running and theres lots
style and turn it into my own.
of great places for that. There’s so much nature around Aberdeen, it’s nice to hike just outside, you can drive out
There’s also a story behind most of your
to wooded ares and there are munros.. that I like.
jewellery that you’re wearing right now isn’t there?
Is there anyone in particular who influences you in life?
My necklaces.. a beetle I got for valentines day, I have a thing for beetle necklaces.. Do you know the film “The
I’m not one of those people who obsesses over celebrities,
Mummy”? Its a noughties action film, me and my brother
my friends and family really inspire me. I am very lucky,
used to love it when we were little, we used to watch it
I have the most amazing friends and they’re also really
all the time. My husband loves it too and we sometimes
beautiful! So I pick up my favourite parts from them.. I’m
watch it together. It’s about Egypt and there’s a gold
also a very nostalgic person, my mum has all these photos
beetle, I have always said I’d love a one, so my husband
from when I was little and I just love her style, in the 90’s,
got me it for valentines day which is really nice.. then I
because she was really cool. I tend to be influenced by that
got the bumblebee for my graduation. I just had this ring
quite a lot. She was very androgynous but very natural
made it’s emerald, my birth stone, with yellow gold. The
and I want to be like that as well.
shape is inspired by molten lava and it’s all recycled and sustainably made by Emma Aitchison. Then I’ve got my
Can you tell me about your outfit, you
Tessa Metcalfe, the pigeon claw I got for my anniversary
mentioned that your mum is a big style
two years ago. Then there’s my grandmas silver ring then
inspiration to you?
another Tessa and then my wedding rings. Last, is my bracelet I got for my 25th birthday, a Georg Jensen.
Yeah, I think so. I actually spoke to her about this last night. The leather jacket I’m wearing is brand new, I got it for Christmas but its also probably the most nostalgic
Do you have a favourite item from Curated Stories?
I am obsessed with cosmetics, it has to be natural! I actually make my own but the Savon Stories Moroccan Black Soap.. is my all time favourite it is the best face mask. It clears everything out and gives your face that soft glow, it is lovely. I always recommend it to customers.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Just what you want to be, you will be in the end” it’s from my first dance song at my wedding but I loved it before then. The song is called “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues. It gives you that feeling of reinventing yourself which is quite exciting.
style table for two breakfast curious objects
table for two Kennovara, Argyll
Kali Thorp “I went in to the shop and honestly felt better about Aberdeen. It made me feel like there was more here than what I’d seen”
Kali is the travelled Austrialian with a talent in
Tanzania wasn’t really dangerous, it was dangerous if you
fashion design and an eye for beauty on the shop
were dangerous but all in all it was really good. My dad
floor, you might spot her in the window creating
was living two minutes down the street with my two little
the brilliant and original displays you can see
brothers and my step mum, so I got to hang out with them
outside the store.
a lot which was really nice.
I know that you’ve lived all over the world, can you tell me a little bit about that? My dad is in oil and gas so he was always living over seas. We moved around a lot within Australia, I went to seven different schools because we moved so much! Then when I was older I moved for four months to live with my dad, during a uni holiday. Then after that I basically live in Australia until I moved to Africa with my husband. I met him in Africa when I was visiting my dad, I was going back and forth to Africa for a year and then I moved there… six months later or so, we were transferred to Aberdeen and we’ve lived here for three years.
Did you like living in Africa? We lived in a pretty safe area, it was basically just expats who lived there but there was so much to do. You could go to islands for the day and just hang around the beach. Everything is so close like Zanzibar and Mount Kilimanjaro. Although, it was frustrating getting things done.. like getting your air conditioner fixed or something like that, you’d need a driver.. you’d have someone with you generally all the time and you lived in a gated community.
Do you like living in Aberdeen?
big, it ran for three years on the sides of busses and stadiums. They were meant to look like superheroes in
I didn’t like it when we first moved here, it was just a bit
the pictures, so you had to use their colours, it was really
cold and small.. I didn’t realise how small it was but once
great fun actually.
you learn where things are and get your bearings it gets better. The main thing that’s made Aberdeen great is that we’ve made a really good friendship group, so we have a
What makes Curated Stories unique to you ?
really good bunch of friends who are all locals which is nice, you do a lot more local things and you appreciate
I guess it’s the people that work there, I don’t think I would
Aberdeen a little bit more. It’s a nice place to live it really
be as happy as I am if I didn’t work there. I’ve made some
is, and Scotland is a beautiful country. Especially the
good friends and you feel good being in the shop, you feel
buildings, we don’t have anything this old in Australia, it’s
good going into work and going home. The customers are
really special seeing really old castles like Dunnottar, we
also really nice that shop Curated Stories too, you have a
don’t have that.
really good relationship with them and that gives a nice community vibe.
In Australia you studied fashion design, what was that like? I was working in fashion, in a boutique in Brisbane and I was always into art at school. They have a really good fashion school in Melbourne, so I applied there, it took me a year to get my portfolio up because I hadn’t done anything like that at school so I did a lot of shoots with my own clothes that I had styled and sewn.. I was really surprised I got in! So then I moved to Melbourne and did my honours. I did sportswear design, I designed for the Melbourne Vixens (a netball team), it was for a campaign they were doing to get people more involved. I designed what they were wearing for the campaign pictures, they didn’t wear it on the court but it was cool seeing it really
Do you have any particular highlights from working at Curated Stories? I use to work at a cheese shop and then Tytti came in one day and she looked awesome and we got to talking about things and then she was like “you have to work for me!” and then she was like “come and see my shop”, the first time I went in there was pretty special. I felt like I was back in Melbourne almost, it was like Aladdin’s Cave, you can’t believe how much stuff is in there. You need a good long time or you need to keep coming back with fresh eyes to see everything. A highlight for for me is the first time I went in to the shop and honestly felt better about Aberdeen. It made me feel like there was more here than what I’d seen.. because obviously I’d missed this place, so what else had I missed?
Do you have a favourite item at Curated? I buy most of my things from there! I really like the hair products the 72 hair, also the Cire Trudon candles and the Parco hand wash. There are so many things in the shop that I’ve bought and probably shouldn’t have.. but my life has been better and substantially happier for buying them!
breakfast Benderloch, Argyll
“everything I do that goes well, I’ve been scared to do it but it ends up working really great.”
Katie McCracken is the endearing creative force behind Curated Stories’ distinctive photography. From Instagram, Facebook and Curated’s website, Katie is responsible for styling and shooting almost every fantastic image, her un-disputable passion for her work is nothing short of infectious. On a sunny April afternoon, Katie and I take a stroll along Stonehaven beach.. fresh fish and chips in hand Katie earnestly discusses creativity, unexpectedly finding her photographic calling and her future conquests with me.
Do you have a favourite quote Katie? “A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing grows
I know you’re a very creative person and that you did a creative degree at university, can you tell me a bit about that?
there”. I don’t know who wrote it but I found it maybe a year ago. It seems like everything I do that goes well, I’ve
I did communication design at Greys School of Art (in
been scared to do it but it ends up working really great.
Aberdeen). All the way through school, art was always my favourite subject. I was never a straight A student at
Do you have anyone inspires you?
in particular who
school but I always did quite well. I didn’t know what else to do and going to art school just seemed like the sensible choice. First year, I loved art school because you got to
My mum and dad, that’s a nice one. They’ve taught me to be
do a mix of everything; drawing, painting and design, so
hard working, a willing learner and a loving person. Also,
much stuff ! Second year I loved as well, we were doing
non-family related is Ken Robinson. He’s a good speaker; on education, creativity and finding your passion. His
design but still experimenting so that was really good.
TED talks are amazing! I have two of his books at home. He is one of my main inspirations, I remember listening to one of his TED Talks and after that, I decided I wanted to definitely work with kids.
To be honest, when it came to third and fourth year I became a bit unmotivated. Looking back, it was probably the regime and the deadlines. I find deadlines difficult to work to, I would never want to finish a project. I always loved coming up with ideas and researching projects but I was always very scared to finish something.. which is strange. I think that the things that I did outside of art school, little side projects that I did in a day always seemed to work out better than projects that I had to think about. I think about things far too much, it’s the
Do you feel like the photographs you take for Curated Stories are different to your usual images?
same taking pictures for Curated Stories really, when things are just in the moment it seems to work best.
No, I wouldn’t say so. The photos are a bit nostalgic
When I finished my degree I thought I didn’t want to do
looking and quite sympathetically taken light and
anything with it but now I can be creative in anything I
colour wise, so thats simmilar to my normnal style of
do. It’s like working with kids too, it’s so important to be
photography. I mean, you go in one day and some things
creative, teaching them things in different ways so they
just work.. my favourite pictures are when there is a lot
can learn. Just like with anything. That’s why I always
of natural light and just a simple image of a book and
like to have things on the side like hobbies wise that I
maybe a piece of jewellery, that itself just looks amazing.
I’ve definitely learned on the job at Curated Stories, I had no previous experience of taking photographs apart
What first peaked interest in photography?
from research. I’m so lucky that the products do my
hard work for me, the books and magazines are Growing up, family photos, I’d honestly spend a day just
filled with stunning paragraphs so I’m really just
looking at them. My mum and dad were always so good
showing them off in their best light. Being able to
at videoing me and my brother. I think anything with a
pair products together sympathetically in terms of
nostalgic feel to it or just family photograph type things
colour, theme, mood and shape is something I’m
I love.. but that’s very different to the photographs I take
always getting better at.
for Curated Stories, because it’s product photography. I don’t know really what sparked my interest, I’ve always liked photography but I don’t know where it came from. I think it’s photographs with a story behind them, I remember there was an exhibition I visited and the photos were badly taken, well they weren’t really, but they all had such a story behind them that it was so nice.
How did you first start at working Curated stories?
What do you think makes Curated Stories unique?
It was at the point when I was really unsure of what
It’s like no other shop in Aberdeen, Tytti and
to do between leaving uni and getting a job. I’d heard
Ollie have done so well in getting products that
the name Curated Stories but I had never visited. It
nowhere else sells. Also, I think when you come
was my mums friend, Debbie, a customer at Curated
into the shop, that’s where big business are
who said they were looking for people and that I
failing a little bit.. you come to Curated Stories
should apply. I think I was late in applying but I had
and we chat away to you and we can tell you all
put a hand written note with my CV and within a
about our products, so many of our products
few days Tytti was on the phone to me asking me
have such a great story behind them; where
to come in for an interview, so we met at The Long
they’re made, or whats inspired them to be
Dog Cafe and then she showed me around the shop.
created. That’s why it’s so great to have someone
It was amazing. This is what I meant when I was
like Ollie, she knows the stories behind them,
talking about the good things about the shop, you
what they’re made from. I think Curated Stories
think “how have I not been here before there are so
is also unique because of the niceness of taking
many nice things!”.
the time to gift wrap everything. I think it’s more of an experience rather than just going in and grabbing a few things, you come in and feel glad you have. It’s great that you can just stumble upon it. It’s nice its almost hidden away because when people come in they get such a surprise and feel so glad that they have found it and then they keep coming back!
How did you first start taking the photographs for Curated Stories?
Do you have favourite product from Curated Stories?
It’s strange I suppose.. because I was working there
Ah this is hard, give me the whole book shelf, I’d
full time I really wasn’t taking any pictures. Then
take all the books home! Any outdoorsy book..
the sale shop came around and Tytti wanted a few
Also, Skandinavisk are fab, their Skog candle, the
photos. She was taking three from the shop and
branding is so nice. I can’t wait for their perfume
then she asked me to send her some. It’s so funny
oils too, I really want those. Also Lunch Lady
looking back at the ones I took at the start, they’re
magazine, I love!
so bad! It’s weird how you get better at doing it, you get use to it I suppose. I sent Tytti a few of them and she thought they were really good, from then on
Can you tell me a little bit about what you’re wearing today?
she was trying to get a set of three and it just carried on from there. It’s funny because I never really
I’m wearing Levi Wedgie Jeans, Vans and these
upload anything on my own Instagram, I forget I
socks.. hmm I don’t even know where I got them
have this other Instagram account that’s almost all
from a charity shop I think. My Petit Bateau t-shirt,
my photographs, its great. It’s so nice when brands
my necklace is Pernille Corydon (both from
too acknowledge that we post, it makes such a
Curated Stories), simple understated pieces I love.
difference! It gives you reassurance that you’re
This Barbour jacket is actually my grandads, he
doing a good job, but of course Tytti is always very
had a huge clear out of the loft and said that he was
good at saying that too. She gives you such good
never going to wear this again.. so a little vintage
creative license to go off and do whatever.
piece from grandad there. He bought it in Liberty in London, I think at the time it was a huge expense to him! Last is my ring, it is my grannies ruby ring.
To finish up with, it only seems right that we speak about your upcoming trip? I’m going to England to teach summer camps for kids, so bushcraft wilderness skills like fire making and shelter building. Now I’ve realised that I want to work with kids this is a nice combination of being outdoors, which I love and being able to teach kids in a non-school setting. I’m also going to be in a tent for six months which is going to be a bit crazy. I’m really excited, and hopefully I will meet lots of like minded people and get away from technology for a bit to properly enjoy being out doors. I’m so thankful for having the experience at Curated Stories, having learned to take such good photos and videos, I’m really looking forward to being able to take some photographs of my whole experience there over the summer.
curious objects Steptoeâ€™s Yard, Montrose
Neither Here Nor There, Oliver Jeffers
Katie Leeâ€™s Ring
Stolen Form Brick
Stolen Form Brick Dish
Stolen Form Tiles
A Poor Collectorâ€™s Guide to Buying Great Art by Erling Kagge
Brand Index 174
Small Dora Maar Earrings in Silver A Sacred Hand Earstuds in Oxidised Silver
Timantti Tablecloth Palttina Napkin
Broste Copenhagen Tvis Cutlery Set - 16 Piece Dinner Plate Small Plate Small Dish
Bloomingville Glass set Salad Server
Cleansing Facial Mask Facial Soap Facial Puff
Bordallo Pinheiro Holly Fruit Plate
Comfort Station Necklace Necklace
Lapaun Kankurit La Soufflerie Glass Candle Glass Vase Glass Cup
Navy/ Check Cross Jacket Denim Pop Tabard Blue Check Dress Chocolate Base Bag Putty Tab Bag Rosa Tab Bag Halo Bag in Forest
Prosperity Spray Mist
Aalto Serving Plate Alvar Aalto Collection bowl Wine Glasses
K Katie Lees RIng
Walter Lansen Chrono Watch
The School of Life
Therapy Tea Towel Orange
Books The Monocle Better Guide to Better Living by Monocle A Poor Collectors Guide to Buying Art by Erling Kagge
Stay for breakfast: Recipes for every occasion by Simone Hawlisch
Sydney Sweater Indigo
F Face Wash
Warm Cappuccino Cups Ivory
Simple Fare (Fall/ Winter): A guide to everyday cooking and eating by Karen Mordechai
Les 100 Ciels
C1 Urban Coffee C1 Cold Brew Coffee Chocolate with hazelnut S1 Caramel Coffee Syrup
Insectum Corkscrew Gold
The Vegetable: Recipes that celebrate nature by Caroline Griffith and Vicki Valsamis
Iconic Raincoat Perse Blue Normal Blue Raincoat in Smoking Blue Yellow Raincoat in Jaune Yellow Man’s Striped T-shirt
Skultuna 1607 Napkin Rings
Brick Vase in Yellow Brick Dish in Grey Manhole Coasters, set of 3 in Grey
Skandinavisk Lempi Candle
C re ate d and St y l e d by Ella MacDonald