Hello, my name is Hilary and I am the founder of Scottish Creations, a family company, a Scottish family through and through. Most of us, were born and raised in Glasgow, except my children who were born and raised in Linlithgow. We have got about a bit though and moved from country to country as us Scots do, but our family always took Scotland with it. As my Mum will tell you… “the Scots become more Scottish when they move away from home, and the longer they are away, the more Scottish they become”. It certainly seems that way, certainly for our family.
My Family emigrated to Canada when I was six and we spent 11 happy years living in Fredericton NB, Stephenville NFLD and a short spell in Ontario before moving back to Scotland. During this time, my Mum and Dad refused to let Scotland stay in Scotland and they quickly became involved in all things Scottish, if they were not already there… they started them up. My father was involved with the team that set up the Highland Games in New Brunswick, back then it was in Oromocto. He and his good friend Mike Burt chopped down the tree that was used to hold the ‘tossing the caber’ competition! Now-a -days these wonderful Highland Games take place in Fredericton itself and are a fabulous affair. While we lived in Newfoundland, my mother started Scottish Country dancing classes and our basement was quickly converted into a dance studio. Adults and children all attended complete with kilts, sashes, and dance shoes.
30 years later, after a beautiful wedding in Inchmahome Priory on the Lake on Menteith in Scotland, I find myself back in North America. This time in the United States living in New England and married to a lovely Scot who is also deeply immersed in the Scottish community in the US. Among his many voluntary activities, Bob is the voice of the New York Tartan Day Parade and past President of the New Hampshire Highland Games. Keeping it all in the family, Bob is Scottish Creations favorite business consultant and you will find him happily chatting away at the Highland Games to everyone who visits our tent!
After meeting some of the wonderful people involved in the various events and joining in the fun they have, I was once again reminded of my mother saying that the ‘Scots become more Scottish than the Scots when they live abroad’. Fantastic Scottish events and Highland Games are being organized right across the US and Canada. It is lovely to see kilts and Highland Dress, and all the traditional items for sale.
However, what I didn’t see was the wonderful creative talent that has emerged in Scotland in recent years. I am intensely proud of Scotland, our rich innovative culture and the people with their sense of humor. There are so many talented creative individuals, often based in some of the most remote parts of Scotland and the Islands, setting themselves up as small independent companies producing wonderful quality Scottish products.
One of Scotland’s fabulous products is Harris Tweed. We know it as the ’Big Cloth’ as it will last forever. The best bit is that it is only made in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, the Isle of Harris & the Isle of Uist. Having a government order protecting it, it can’t be made anywhere else in the world! What a wonderful heritage! Many Scottish designers use Harris Tweed to create some amazing items that we Scots now incorporate into our daily lives. It bothered me that I didn’t see any of these superb products here in the US or in Canada. It felt like a part of Scotland was missing.
Knowing it would be difficult for a small independent to break into the North American market, as they would be up against the huge more established companies, we decided to start an online business with the main aim of supporting these individual and small family businesses, to offer them a chance to showcase their products in North America. At the same time, offering a chance for Americans and Canadians to connect directly with their Scottish Heritage in a more contemporary way ultimately often supporting the small towns and villages that their ancestors originated from.
Scottish Creations was born. There is certainly plenty to do and luckily, we have 5 daughters and one son between us. Whether they are being models for some of our lovely shawls, cowls and scarves, giving business and marketing advice, or helping at the Highland Games we make sure they are all involved. We even have our Scottish Grandmother always on the lookout for new products and she regularly goes to the Scottish trade fair in Glasgow to make sure we haven’t missed anything.
Being intensely proud of our Scottish heritage we are continuing what my parents did all those years ago, making sure that Scotland doesn’t stay in Scotland! And as my Mum says, we are very definitely, Scots becoming even more Scottish once they leave Scotland!