My name is Yvonne MacRae and I started my company Creations back in November 1999, from my kitchen table at my house in Golspie. I was determined to put the skills I had learnt at college into fruition, and with being a single mum, working from home allowed me to save on childcare and the other costs of setting up a business from scratch. Originally offering an alteration service the business soon grew to dress making, including bridal party dresses. In 2006 I started working with tartan to make bodices and full outfits which is when the company Creations evolved into Tartan Creations.
Tartan Creations first attended the Royal Highland Show in 2008 where we offered made to measure Tartan and Tweed bodices. After this first show the business grew exponentially and in 2010 I expanded to working with silks and lace. A few years later I added velvet to my catalogue of materials and started creating accessories which was soon to become the way forward for the business. In 2013 we relocated to Fearn where I got a fabulous summerhouse/studio to work from, having my own workspace for the first time! I have always solely made all of the accessories myself, and continue to do so, however we now use a wide range of Tartans and Tweeds that are designed exclusively for Tartan Creations. It wouldn’t be right to tell you the story of how Tartan Creations became what it is today without mentioning the incredible help and support I have received from my husband James. I’m very fortunate to love and enjoy what I do and being my own boss is an added bonus!
A lot of our business was based on attending shows and events across Scotland and overnight that was all put on hold when Covid hit. With face masks becoming mandatory I saw a way that I could diversify Tartan Creations and started designing and creating cotton cloth face coverings. The demand for these was staggering and definitely kept me busy. In August 2020 an opportunity arose for James and I to take on a shop lease in the lovely town of Dornoch which provided a place for us to showcase our offerings in a safe space that didn’t rely so heavily on the events sector. We opened in December and can’t believe that our lovely shop is nearly one already! As well as all of our designs, the shop also stocks a variety of items that are handmade in Scotland including throws, ponchos, scarves, mugs, coasters, clocks, candles, award winning Ishga skin products, wax melts and more. To celebrate our relocation, we decided to design our 5th tartan calling it Pride of Dornoch. It only felt right to add a new tartan to our collection to reflect our new home.
Over the next 12 months we simply hope to sustain the business the shop has generated over the past year. If we can match what we sold in 2021 in 2022 I will be very happy and we cannot expect anymore than this whilst recovering from a pandemic. We are very lucky that not only did our business manage to survive, but we were also given the opportunity for a new way forward. So far our shop has been a success and we are looking forward to tourism picking up again. We are constantly looking at ways to recycle more and keep our waste to a minimal, and this will be at the forefront of our minds moving forward.
We only joined the chamber in the last couple of years after it coming highly recommended to us. During lockdown we received many emails of support with valuable information, and it is a comfort to know that if we need the Chamber they are there to do their very best and support us in any way they can. We wanted to be Member of the Week to have the chance to promote our new Boutique and Scottish gift shop in Dornoch. Our top tip for getting the most out of your Chamber membership is not to be afraid to ask for help!