Even though ScotlandShop’s wares reach all across the globe, the location of their headquarters belies its international standing. However, that sits just fine with the company’s Marketing Manager Emily Redman.
“I currently live in a small town called Duns in the Scottish Borders – this is where our headquarters are based,” shares Redman via email. “Despite being a small town, it has a beautiful castle which is linked to Clan Hay, a museum dedicated to Scottish racing legend Jim Clark, and celebrates an annual festival known as Reiver’s Week, which commemorates the historic tradition of riding on horseback to check on the town’s boundaries.”
ScotlandShop first opened its digital doors in 2002 and remained an exclusive online retailer for many years. Redman joined the company as a shipper/receiver, but her talent for tartans quickly had her climbing the company ladder.
“It is an honour to lead our fantastic team, all of whom are full of enthusiasm and great ideas on how best to celebrate our Scottish roots. My background in woven textile design was a great starting point, and I have since expanded my tartan knowledge.
“Although I was primarily based within our customer service team, I always had additional design projects on the go, the largest of these being the creation of Doddie’5 tartan, created alongside our favourite former Scottish rugby star, Doddie Weir. The tartan features the colours of all the rugby clubs he played for, and a percentage of every sale of Doddie’5 goes to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, supporting Doddie’s quest to raise funds to aid research into Motor Neurone Disease.
“As the business has grown, I have steadily taken on more design and marketing projects and, in the process, set up our own marketing department.”
In something of a reversal of the way many small businesses have grown, ScotlandShop’s online presence has been recently supplemented with the opening of several brick-and-mortar shops.
“We opened our first retail store in the West End of Edinburgh in 2017,” says Redman. “This gave us the opportunity to meet our customers in person for the first time, and to offer clan consultations, as well as measuring appointments which are all now a key part of the service we offer. Our hope is to expand on this by opening an international store within the next few years. As a step towards this, we currently host regular pop-up stores in London, New York, and Chicago and, as well, attending many Highland Games in both Scotland and North America.”
Between these pop-ups, web development, and burning the candles at both ends designing new tartan collections, Redman admits her schedule is often hectic. However, helping people connect with their culture and their lineage through tartans every day more than makes up for the time challenges.
“We always had customers who told us that they were disappointed when they couldn’t find a product in their clan tartan when visiting Edinburgh, so we set out to change that. We are all about celebrating Scottish heritage, so we are thrilled to help our customers do this, whether that be helping them identify a tartan, discovering which clan they are part of, or creating their dream tartan outfit. We want people to join the Tartan clan, and to have fun while wearing quality Scottish products that they can be proud of.”
ScotlandShop is currently deciding on where to open their next storefront, as they need to accommodate a growing consumer base. And while heritage might be a bit of a bull market these days, Redman believes that the best way to keep sales strong for Celtic goods is to continue to promote the work of world-class artisans, including those in her hometown.
“I believe that much more can be done to help support and celebrate local, independent companies who promote quality Scottish products, both in Scotland and overseas. We are dedicated to playing our part in this and are proud to work with local craft experts who make products – such as our tartan brooches – from their home workshops. We are truly spoiled for choice, with all the beautiful fabrics woven right her on our doorstep.”