In the heart of Georgian Edinburgh, within sight of the castle, you will find The Treasure Trove.
It is a shop unlike any other, with a history that dates back to 1882.
Everything The Treasure Trove sells is handmade and of high quality. The makers are Members of a unique charitable organisation that gives them 90% of the proceeds of every sale. The remaining 10% funds the running of the store. A simple idea that works.
The full name of the charity is The Royal Edinburgh Repository and Self Aid Society. But now, it takes its name from the shop – The Treasure Trove.
Its original purpose was to promote the handiwork of ‘Gentlewomen’ – many of whom had been widowed after the Crimean and Boer Wars and were of limited means – or who were housebound because of a disability or old age.
In those days, all women were taught how to knit and sew. For many these were essential skills, providing warm clothes for their family, and making repairs to ensure clothes lasted longer.
Women would crochet shawls, create smocked dresses and nightwear, embroider linen, make rugs and blankets and produce beautiful patchwork quilts.
In the early years, goods were sold from the home of two sisters and in local sales in and around Dundee, St Andrews and North Berwick.
Today we have The Treasure Trove in the heart of Edinburgh, and our Members are as creative as ever. Many still use traditional skills for dressmaking and special knitwear.
We value the talent of all our Members, and they value the income. We also run a Benevolent Fund to help support them in later years.
The Treasure Trove is the only remaining Membership Organisation of its kind in the UK, and there have been Royal connections since the time of Queen Victoria.
We are proud of our history and excited about the future.