Continuing our series of profiles of the amazing spectrum of businesses that Create Business Properties is home to, we are featuring another small, creative business: Catelize, run by Catriona Atkin, which sells a stunning range of handcrafted textile products through its online Etsy store.

The name Catelize is a combination of the names of Catriona’s two Grandmas, Catherine and Elizabeth and reflects ‘Catalyst’, the dictionary definition of which is ‘an event or person causing a change’ which fits with the brand’s focus on up-cycling.

 Catriona has always had an interest in working with textiles, she learned to sew at a very early age on her mum’s 1950s Singer sewing machine and as a child, was constantly making toys, clothes for her dolls and gifts for friends. 

As a stay-at-home mum following the birth of her daughter, she put her skills to use and started selling a few handbags and cushions which were up-cycled from old jumpers and kilts. 

Following several years as lead trainer and designer for a social enterprise, Freedom Unlimited Enterprises (initially based in Castlebrae Business Centre), Catriona took her own suite here at Castlebrae and started to build her own business while continuing to work two days a week for Freedom Unlimited. Unfortunately, they ceased trading just before the start of the first Covid lockdown, giving Catriona the push she needed to set up an Etsy shop and start concentrating on selling her own products online. 

The beginning of lockdown was spent volunteering to make 60 sets of hospital scrubs, then she started producing face masks in a range of colourful fabrics, and since then the business has grown and Catelize now sells a wide range of gorgeous products including handbags, tote bags, vintage cushion covers, brooches, and these lovely new fabric pots which have a variety of uses.

With a plastic bottle or milk carton inside it makes a handy spare vase. Use it to store cotton wool or make-up brushes. They make a great thank you present for a teacher which could be used as a storage pot for pens and pencils on her desk

We asked Catriona what her typical day looked like:

“There’s no such thing as a typical day for me. A very small part of my week is spent actually sewing – although I’d happily have my foot on the sewing machine pedal all day every day. As anyone running a creative business will tell you, you have to be a marketeer, photographer and content writer too. Running an Etsy shop takes a fair bit of time. 

“Some days are spent photographing items. On other days I’m at home on the computer writing descriptions of products for Etsy or thinking up keywords to go with them. Then there are trips to the post office to send items that have been sold. Then there are days you’ll find me scouring the charity shops for that piece of clothing or duvet cover that’s calling out for a new life. I’ve recently joined ‘Support the Makers’ community, so I’ll soon be stocking my products in its shop on Easter Road and attending some of its craft fairs. Online selling is great but I much prefer meeting and chatting with customers face to face”

You only need to read some of the reviews from customers on the Catelize Etsy shop to tell that the products they sell are not only beautiful but created to the highest quality. It’s the perfect place to look for that little something special for your home or for a touching gift for a loved one. And it’s a fantastic way to support our small, homegrown businesses at this difficult time.

We wanted to know what Catriona thinks of her studio here with Create Business Properties, she says:

“I love my little studio in Castlebrae Business Centre. My window has an enviable view looking across to Arthur’s Seat. There are many different businesses in the building, and it’s great to meet up with other tenants at the breakfast networking events organised by Create. I find it a very supportive community and sometimes there’s an opportunity to work together with other tenants.”

While she will continue to sew and create beautiful items, Catriona would also love to do more teaching in the future – perhaps running workshops so that young people who may never have tried sewing might be inspired to work in the creative industries. Having previously worked with people who have additional support needs, painting fabric and making it into cushions and tote bags, she’s also passionate about working in this area again. 

We’re very proud to support Catriona in running Catelize from Castlebrae Business Centre and that she is a valued member of our tenant community – have a browse on her website and see if you can find the perfect item for you.