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Pauline Lothian Designs, luxury Harris Tweed bags, accessories and gifts

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Pauline's Blog

Work in Progress

June 12, 2017

I haven't posted a blog in AGES!  Time seems to fly by at an ever more alarming rate, and the older I get (I know, I know, it's a cliche) it's getting worse! So, resolution time.  I must focus some energy on this blog.  I'm coming at it like you would a quick sketch.  By giving myself a time limit of 10 minutes I know I can get it done.  It'll be short and hopefully sweet and have a few pics of whatever takes my fancy on the day.  Could be anything really, not necessarily Harris Tweed related, so lets see what happens!

An Ambition Fulfilled

August 10, 2015

 


Last week I fulfilled an ambition I have had for a long time - to visit the Outer Hebrides and in particular, Harris.  Whilst the journey was a long one (12 hours), it was worth it to see with my own eyes the most beautiful pale sandy beaches and the water, a vivid green blue with white crashing waves.  Totally spectacular and practically deserted, there are many beaches along the west coast of Harris, the road aptly named The Golden Road.  The most well known of these beaches is Luskentyre which seems to stretch for miles at low tide, and this is where I met one of my hero's.  Donald John Mackay is a local weaver who famously took a phone call from Nike around 10 years ago requesting 20,000 metres of Harris Tweed for their new line of trainers.  He was kind enough to show is his loom shed (and it is a shed!) where he works away most days, although never on a Sunday which is still respected as a day of complete rest.  This for me was magical, seeing where the tweed I buy starts its life before it's sent to the mill for finishing and inspection and stamped with the all important Orb mark.  He has a little shop at the front of the shed where he sells his tweed from, and when I asked if he has a website he told me, "No, I don't have anything like that.  I don't even have a sign outside, but people still find me!"  I must admit there was a degree of detective work involved finding his house and sure enough there wasn't a sign to be seen, but I was determined to find him myself and so must others be too.  He told me that he's currently working on tweed for Chanel, so I guess I'm in good company!

I will never forget my trip to Harris.  It's truely a remarkable place with remarkable people, producing a world renound product in really the most remote place I've ever been. 

It made me somewhat sad last night when on Dragon's Den, the 2 chaps who had a chocolate company based in the north of Scotland were berated for choosing lifestyle in a fairly remote location over commercial opportunity and pushing ever forward.  They only have to look over the water to the Outer Hebrides to see that you can maintain a traditional life with traditional values and still produce a world leading product.

 

New Product Launch

January 28, 2015

I am delighted to have launched some exciting new products this month, which have had a great reception already.  Firstly, I've intoduced a new Satchel Bag into the range.  It's a brilliant work bag with plenty of space for a laptop, paperwork and anything else you might need to carry.  With adjustable leather strap and leather buckles, it's a very smart bag.

There have also been new additions for men in the form of Cufflinks and Hip Flasks, both of which make great gifts and are available in lots of lovely colour ways.

Lastly, we have Wine Charms.  This set of 6 charms easily attach onto your wine glasses helping everyone identify which glass is theirs. (assuming they remember what colour they had to begin with!)

 

Happy Christmas!

November 9, 2014

With the festive season now upon us, I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my customers and stockists a very merry Christmas and say a great big thank you all for making 2014 such a great year for Pauline Lothian Designs. It has been a busy but fulfilling year and I am delighted with the enthusiastic response that we have seen to our Harris Tweed gift range in particular.

I am also delighted to see public support growing for independent retailers across the country. I have nothing against the High Street giants, many are very good at what they do, I just think that town centres benefit from the presence of small shops and boutiques. These businesses add to the soul of a community, with their uniqueness, character, and a level of service that larger chain stores often struggle to match. It also doesn't seem right that every High Street in the land should start to look the same, as is sadly often becoming the case. With this in mind, I hope, like me, you will keep your local independent retailers in mind for your Christmas shopping, and support "Small Business Saturday" when it comes on 6th December.  Full details about this commendable project can be found here.

Thanks again for all your support and custom in 2o14 and I hope that you and your loved ones have a fabulous Christmas when it comes!

 

Jam and Other Things

August 17, 2014

Homemade strawberry jam.  I've decided that this week I will buy several punnets of strawberries, a pack of sugar and make a stash of strawberry jam.  Too long have the "Kilner" jars sat empty in the larder.  A couple of years in fact, now that I think about it.  I used to be quite a dab hand at preserves, filling the house with the sweet aroma of gently bubbling fruit.  But of course that was in the few years I had at home after giving up work to be a full time mum to the children, and before I entered the world of self-employment.

I was inspired today when I took a precious half hour to myself and went for a walk along the river.  It's beautiful, with huge weeping willows bowing over the water, and the steep sides of the gorge rising above you.  There was a big patch of brambles along the path, and a good number of them were ripe and juicy and ready for picking.  I thought, no it can't be that time of year already.  Surely it's September before this, the best of the foraged fruits are ready?  But nature doesn't lie and Autumn will be upon us before we know it.  And so it is, that I am determined to bottle summer in the shape of strawberry jam, so that I might have it on my toast or maybe a scone in the deep, dark afternoons of winter, and be reminded of the warm, sunny days of summer when I could sit outside early in the morning, drinking my coffee with the new sun's rays on my face before the busy day ahead.

With our incredibly busy lives, it's so important to take a step back, look around and just enjoy what nature has to offer, season by season.  The change is gentle and subtle and you'll miss it if you keep your head down.  So sometime this week, give yourself half an hour just to be.

Online Fashion & Gift Directories

August 12, 2014

The British fashion e-commerce scene is evolving and we are delighted to be part of it. I have had great fun over the past month or so looking through various online fashion and gift directories and have been very impressed with the quality and range of sites that are out there, many of which are well worth a look. For some time now we have been big fans of "Shop Scotland" and would still thoroughly recommend a visit. In addition, we are also now listed on the "From Britain with Love" and "Still Made in Britain" sites. One of my favourites however is "Style with Heart". This is a fabulous online magazine, blog and directory with a commendable focus on sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical fashion. Having just completed the screening process I was thrilled that we (partly through our use of the traditionally produced Harris Tweed cloth) met the required ethical criteria. A "human" review process was also involved at FashionListings.org, which evaluates e-retailers based on factors such as returns policies and the accessibility of full contact details. Thankfully we again passed with flying colours. I would thoroughly endorse taking some time to look through these sites in your own time. A full list of our preferred directories and their website addresses can be found in our links page. Enjoy!   

New Clutch Bags for 2014

July 14, 2014

Delighted to announce the launch of a new product - the "Straight Frame" Clutch Bag. This elegant little bag is available in a variety of Harris Tweed cloths and is perfect for a night out at the Edinburgh festival! Full details in our online shop.

Scottish Summer of Sport

July 2, 2014

With the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup fast approaching, it is gearing up to be a fantastic summer of sport and the eyes of the world will undoubtedly soon be on Scotland. This, together with traditional annual events such as the Edinburgh Festival, means that it should hopefully be a very busy time for Scottish tourist attractions and gift shops. With this in mind, I just wanted to wish all of our current (and indeed future) stockists "all the best" for the months ahead. Exciting times!

It's our birthday, celebrate with us!

June 1, 2014

Woo-hoo, it's our first birthday! To celebrate, and for a limited period only, I would like to offer all blog readers 10% off all purchases in our online store. Enter the discount code "PLD13EC10" at the checkout to claim your discount.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers and stockists for making it such a great year. As you know, we live and breathe "the cloth" but I have been genuinely delighted at the number of people I have met through Pauline Lothian Designs that have a similar passion for high quality, hand-made products. Similarly, over the past year I have crossed paths with a number of artists and craftspeople and never fail to be impressed by the talent that is out there. When I look at the love, effort and time that go into their respective skills and products, it reinforces my view that the gifts that mean the most don't roll off the production line in their thousands... Thanks again to all.

Winter Sale 2013/14

December 28, 2013

 Great news, our Winter Sale has now started! Many lines reduced. 

Better be quick though, stock is limited! 

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