I wasn’t sure what to expect from Smiggle before our visit, but given I’m not one to turn down an opportunity – last Saturday I found myself with Ben and Katie, ready to explore the newest stationary shop to hit Princes Street.
Following our visit, I can thoroughly understand the catchline ‘Smiggle – where a smile meets a giggle!’ Amongst the hustle and bustle that the weekend generates, both kids were immediately drawn to the balloon festooned entrance and the bright colours within.
On entering the shop, I could immediately understand it’s appeal to kids. The colours radiated from the shelves and fun characters adorned the various items of stationary, drinks bottles and gadgetry.
The staff were immediately welcoming focusing on the kids more than me – which made a welcome change. Katie particularly likes to buy her own things but so often has been left ignored at the till. To have the staff talk directly to her, offer to show her things that she might enjoy, and to ask her opinion was really refreshing and fantastic to see.
It wasn’t long at all before Katie was off getting her face painted, which gave Ben and I, time to check out the things on the shelves. Ben’s main phrase seemed to be ‘Cool!’ or ‘Wow. I’d want that!’ There wasn’t much that he didn’t want me to look at – from headphones that looked like the had shoelaces for cables to compartmentalised pencil cases. Although there was a lot that was obviously pink and aimed at girls, he wasn’t by any means put off and argued he thought it was cool for teenagers too! I thought the ‘spy’ pens were particularly cool; complete with little lights to show up secret messages and in a variety of designs to appeal to different preferences
In all honesty, as an adult the idea of scented stationary is not really on my list of desires. However, I can remember that artificial smell wafting from my pencil case at High School and can well understand the appeal. I was impressed that some of the pencils and rubbers really did smell like the intended objects – the cookie scented ones really did smell pretty good!
We were kindly gifted a voucher to spend, so the only problem the kids had was choosing between everything that they wanted. However, along with the goodie bag received as part of the launch – both were so delighted with their purchases that they are talking about the shop a week later. It’s rare to fine something that caters to their age gap (they are four and eleven) so effectively.
Never missing an opportunity to encourage Ben to write, I asked him to jot down what he thought too:
Today we got invited to the opening of Smiggle in Edinburgh. Smiggle is a new stationary toy shop aimed at 3-13 year olds. They sell everything from watches to pencil cases and slap bands that have times tables up to ten. They even sell toys. Some stuff has been scented like pencil cases, pencils and rubbers. The staff were really good at entertaining the kids. They had balloons and face painting. A lot of stuff would be brilliant gifts for toddlers and teenagers. They have a wide variety of good quality products. It is brill!
My Favourite bit was some head phones that were like shoe laces. Katie’s favourite thing was the smelly pencils and the glitter batons. We left with loads of stuff and we are still playing. I rated this at 10/10.
Given that Ben generally struggles with writing, I was hugely impressed that he came up with so much. Just going on the brief – ‘write what you would want people to know about Smiggle;’ it’s obviously made an impression on him. Without a doubt it’s somewhere I will be taking the kids back to fill their pencil cases!
Please note: although we were gifted a voucher all views recorded in this post are my own (or Ben’s!). To visit, head to the Waverly end of Princes Street and be prepared to be bombarded with colour!