A GIFT shop entrepreneur will write her own greetings card next Friday when she celebrates a quarter of a century on Peebles High Street.

Stephanie Morrison was 26 in 1999 when she took the plunge, moved into Elizabeth Ballantyne’s former premises, now Higgins Opticians, and opened ‘The Gift Box’, which later moved across the street.

The Galashiels Textiles College graduate plans to mark the special occasion with cake, a free prize draw, and a 20 per cent discount off everything sale.

A newspaper cutting which Stephanie has kept, from 25 years ago, shows former Scotland rugby star Duncan Hodge cutting the ribbon.

Stephanie said: “There was a sign in the window saying Elizabeth Ballantyne was retiring and I approached her.

“I had also worked at Jenners, in Edinburgh, on their graduate scheme, when I left college and went to different departments and that’s when I became more interested in gifts and cards.

“Living in Edinburgh, near Morningside, there were loads of lovely shops which were an inspiration.”

Stephanie said: “Originally it was me and my mum helped out on a Saturday.

“I have three part-time staff and I have had countless people working here over the years including young people working on Saturdays.”

Stephanie ran 29 High Street, a single-fronted shop for 10 years, before moving across the street to the ‘Sunnyside’ at number six – a double fronted premises, where she has traded for 15 years.

Border Telegraph: A clipping from the Peeblesshire News in April 1999 celebrating the opening of The Gift BoxA clipping from the Peeblesshire News in April 1999 celebrating the opening of The Gift Box (Image: Newsquest)

Stephanie said: “I opened two shops, effectively, ‘Gift Box’ and this was ‘The Gift Box Two’ before I closed the first one.

“I have a lot of regulars and I can remember them coming pushing a pram and now their children are grown up.”

Stephanie was married when she started out and during her years in business, her two children were born, have grown up and are now 19 and 22.

There have also been changes in the stock and Stephanie said: “I used to sell a lot more house gifts and interior things, more jewellery, it has kind of flipped and I sell a lot more cards than before.

“I have focused on greetings cards and since COVID have added items such as jigsaws.

“Everyone calls me the card shop.”

The shopkeeper said she has noticed changes in cards that they were quite minimalist and many more cards were hand finished.

Stephanie said: “All my cards were also cello wrapped now a lot are moving away from that.

“I support local artists, with five represented in the shop and independent suppliers.”

“I plan to keep going as long as I can but I am not sure if that will be for another 25 years”, joked Stephanie.