Arts and crafts are of significant economic value to the Scottish Borders, which is one of the most distinctive and diverse cultural regions in the country.
Our town, at the heart of the Scottish Borders, is a hub for inspired creatives and bespoke products which celebrate its rich heritage.
The town – which is home to The Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design, one of the oldest textiles teaching schools in the world – boasts a variety of craft and artisan businesses including Unwind Yarns, which stocks craft supplies and yarn and offers workshops, advice and a platform for independent dyers, spinners and makers to sell their items or teach from; The Colourful Edit, which offers styling, locally designed and hand-made accessories, branding and photography; Waverley Studios, which specialises in professional and photographic services and equipment; Harry’s Jewellers, an independent shop specialising in pre-owned, high-end pieces as well as repairs and remodelling work guaranteed by the family master goldsmith; and Fox & Plooms, which promotes and sells the work of regional art, craft and designer-maker business owners, as well as their own locally designed and hand-made leather bags and accessories.
Galashiels provides a perfect platform for highly creative individuals to promote and sell unique, bespoke products designed and made locally, and through Love Galashiels, Love Local – a new campaign launched by Energise Galashiels Trust – people are being encouraged to think local first while taking care and following public health advice.
Michelle Houghton, Partner, Fox & Plooms said: “We know how difficult it is for a young small business to make the jump from their kitchen table to retail sales, due to high commissions or rent and rates, so we wanted to help other local artists and makers.
“Everything we sell in our shop in Galashiels is either designed or made in the Scottish Borders. We think of our shop as a ‘gathering of creativity and originality.’
“We take a small commission to cover administrative costs and help with our rent. We aren’t trying to make money from other people’s talent and hard work; we want to shine a light on the fabulous creativity in the Borders and support people like ourselves, allowing them to get their amazing products out there.”
Douglas Watt, Community Enterprise Manager, Energise Galashiels Trust, said: “We’re incredibly fortunate to have so many creative individuals and businesses designing and showcasing their wares in Galashiels, enabling us to purchase beautifully made, locally-sourced products right on our doorstep.
“By shopping local we’re not only supporting them, we’re also supporting the supply chain and those who provide the materials they use to create those products.
The Love Galashiels, Love Local campaign, which is funded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Scottish Government, runs from September to December and includes free giveaways and competitions.