I'm proud to call these guys friends (and family!) - a hugely talented bunch of individuals, working hard to establish their businesses and brands...click on the links to read about some of the fantastically talented people I know!
I've been privileged to know Wendy for many years - we used to work together for a clothing design company which supplied M&S! From those early days, we have both travelled interesting paths, including stints living abroad (for Wendy!). For several years now, Wendy has been building a fantastic business designing and producing absolutely beautiful bespoke and rugs, and now supplies John Lewis with her rugs, as part of their Designer Collective programme as well as producing bespoke commission works for private clients around the UK and Europe.
Many, many years ago, Deborah and I became best of friends whilst studying at The Scottish College of Textiles (as it was known then!). Deborah worked as a designer for many years for U.K companies, but set up her own business designing and producing kidswear and personalised kids accessories, several years ago. Now she splits her time between painting, her first love, and the kidswear design. Commissions are welcomed, and I thoroughly recommend them as gifts - my twin nephews have been happy recipients of little customised hoodie sweats - very cute!
Nepotism? Me? Er, yes, this is my brother. He runs an absolutely enormous music shop in Ayr, and does a fantastic job. Everything from pianos, harps, drum-kits to tin whistles, as well as sheet music, advice, repairs - anything and everything music related can be found under this roof! Simon is an accomplished musician himself and ran a smaller shop in Kircaldy for many years before relocating to this fantastic corer site in the heart of Ayr town centre. Pop in if you're in the town and say hello.
Um, and Meredith is his wife! Yes, my awesomely talented and innovative sister-in-law is Scotland's premier harpist. A professional harpist since 1999, Meredith plays at weddings, private events, corporate dinners and much more. A wide ranging clientele includes one of Scotland's most prestigious Golf Clubs (resident harpist) as well as being resident harpist at Dumfries House. Not only does Meredith play and record amazing music, she also founded and established TamFest as one of Ayr's premier festivals!
Michelle's been saving my sanity for quite a while now. Long term shoulder and back problems from moving paintings around, mean that I book in on a regular basis! A highly qualified massage therapist, Michelle also offers reiki, pregnancy massage and indian head massage. Working from her own peaceful therapy room in her Polwarth flat, each session begins with tea, fresh fruit, and a consultation to establish preference of treatment, and any areas of focus etc. Michelle has many long term and regular clients, but is available for new clients to book in and just enjoy a single session or commence on a series of treatments to address a specific problem.
I've known Louise for a long time, and she has moved back to Edinburgh after having lived in London for several years. Whilst there she underwent extensive training in the practice of Ayurvedic treatments. She says of this development:
"I had tried different holistic treatments in the past, to varying degrees of success, but it was on a trip to Bali that I discovered Ayurveda for the first time. It was somehow different to all the previous treatments I’d tried, and I instantly felt there was something special about it. I realised it was exactly what I had been looking for, and subsequently decided to train at the Ayurveda Pura Academy in London, both to learn as much as I could about it, and also to help others who were struggling to find true health and that mind/body balance in their lives, guiding them on their way to healing and to a new beginning. The results I have seen in myself and others have left me in no doubt that Ayurveda is an incredibly effective method of healing the body and the mind.
Louise has created her company, My Ayurveda Scotland, and is based in Mulberry House. She is available for new clients to book in and just enjoy a single session or commence on a series of treatments to address a specific problem.
MY AYURVEDA SCOTLAND
And this is my cousin, James, who is an award-winning cider maker! Based in the glorious Forest of Dean, James creates his hand pressed, small-batch cider using apples from his own orchard (pollinated by bees from his own hives!). Thus taste and quality can be controlled in a unique way, and his ciders are now in demand all over the UK. Here's what one cider-lover said about his creation on the 'All About Cider' website...
"I am just going to come out right away and say it – I bloody love this cider! The 2010 McCrindle's Vintage is made using traditional methods in the Forest of Dean, Blakeney in Gloucestershire by James McCrindle. It’s only produced in very small batches from the best cider of a single vintage, and I must say I am damn lucky I have been able to try it. Oh my giddy aunt this cider is the real deal, the real McCoy..."