A kickstarter campaign looking to raise £500,000 for a new tartan weaving enterprise is taking shape on the Black Isle, just north of Inverness.
‘Build the Mill’ is the Kickstarter crowd funding campaign that will enable Scottish luxury design house Prickly Thistle Ltd to bring tartan weaving back to its home in the Scottish Highlands.
Founder Clare Campbell gave up a career as a chartered accountant to launch the Prickly Thistle brand two years ago and Clare (39), said: “Our company gives its clients the opportunity to weave their own piece of history through bespoke tartan designs and products.
“Scotland has had more than 200 years in the making of this wonderful story, of this cloth that empowers and unites people. What it means to a sense of identity and legacy has become part of my interpretation of tartan.
“Over the past few years, I also came to see that in many ways we’ve undervalued the quality and the luxury that is a personally designed textile hence the bespoke nature of our design service.”
Struggling to find suitable manufacturing partners in Scotland in what is already a busy sector for the country’s economy, Clare took the step to build her own mill on the Black Isle. She has already purchased a farm steading that was suitable for conversion and has received pre-planning approval for the project.
She continued: “Given Scotland is the traditional home of tartan, many people find it amazing that there are no tartan weaving mills in the Highland area. Furthermore, by bringing the latest textile weaving technology in-house to complement the brand’s design function, we can ensure that we can meet customer demand while at the same time producing cloth of the highest quality.”
The campaign, which hopes to raise £500,000 to convert and fit out the mill building runs from October 14 for two months. It will offer luxury reward gift items ranging from £15 to £8000, all of which are unique to the campaign or are numbered limited edition products.
The company’s clients to date vary from high net worth individuals around the world to Scottish companies such as Skyscanner, Tomatin Distillery and Belladrum Estate.
As a trustee of the Scottish Tartans Authority, Clare also ensures that each tartan design is included on the official register.
Scottish Tartans Authority chairman John McLeish said: “Scotland is blessed with a good number of quality tartan designers and weavers of our iconic national fabric.
“Clare brings a new dimension, and a huge amount of energy, to a traditional industry and it is particularly pleasing to support her ambition of bringing tartan back to its spiritual home. From our perspective, the creation of a new tartan weaving facility in the Highlands is very welcome indeed.”
Jackie Waring, CEO of business investment group Investing Women added: “What Clare and her team are doing is taking an old established industry and through disruption creating a 21 st century manufacturing facility here in Scotland that allows a global brand to be built from the Highlands.
“If the country is to prosper, it is young business leaders like Clare who will lead the way.”
Visit https://pricklythistlescotland.com/ for full details.