Angela Carrington and Jeanette Doherty run the Bigger Picture media agency in Newcastle and also share a deep passion for the outdoors.
That has prompted them to open a new venture at a former newsagents premises at 10 Canongate.
Elevation North Ltd (known as el.North) sells the pair’s own range of outdoor apparel, emblazoned with the el.North branding.
Their signature design is called ‘Three Hills’, based on the 350 million year old Eildon Hills and their three peak outline, which will be used on a variety of clothing and fashion accessories, including T-shirts and beanies.
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Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Jeanette’s childhood was full of adventure and
exploration, injecting a passion that has seen her mountaineering and mountain biking all her life.
Angela, a keen kayaker and walker, has explored the Himalayas and climbed
many of the UK’s major peaks.
“We couldn’t think of a better location for our new business," said Angela.
She added: “As well as us both having family connections nearby, the countryside around the Borders has everything from big open spaces, forestry trails and hills to climb to cycle routes for all abilities. It’s a haven for the outdoor lover and we want Elevation North to represent the area and the lifestyle associated with it.”
Jeanette added: “We’re definitely not just another outdoor shop selling technical clothing, we’re here to promote a lifestyle aimed at anyone who loves the great outdoors. People who enjoy feeling at one with nature will really get our ethos and what we’re doing here. It’s about engaging with the beautiful countryside right here on our doorstep and building up a community of people who enjoy being outside, whether that’s walking, hiking, mountaineering, canoeing, wild swimming or cycling”.
The shop itself is ingrained in history and was built in the early 1700s.
Starting life as the Black Bull public house, it was the scene of an infamous murder which brought notoriety to the town. In later years, it served the community as a newsagent, a toy shop and a general store before being completely sympathetically restored and redesigned by the Elevation North team.
Many of the building’s original features, including a walled-up fireplace and bar accessories, have been found and preserved bringing new life and interest to the shop.
As well as the retail part of the store, el.North has a take-out coffee bar with a “graffiti
wall” where visitors are encouraged to video their own personal stories of the great
outdoors to educate and motivate others.
Angela said: “Everyone has a tale to tell, and we want our customers to share their ‘Après Adventure’ stories so that they can relive their experiences through our brand and social media channels. Our tag line is ‘#go higher #go further’ and we believe that everyone has the ability and right to elevate themselves physically, spiritually and mentally by encompassing our beautiful countryside into their own lifestyle.”