Woman of Inspiration Award

Woman of Inspiration Award

Women of Inspiration Award.

What can I say…I have been recognised by the Association of Scottish Business Women as a ‘Woman of Inspiration’ 2016.

It is fair to say I was surprised. There are so many brilliant, motivated, successful business women out there and whilst I am delighted to achieve this award I am somewhat humbled.

When I started my Scotsburn Croft journey, you all jamp on-board it with me and most of you know my story. For the few that don’t I will do my best to summarise.

Alongside Scotsburn Croft I work in industry. I have had various roles but my current is as an off shore production chemist. I love my job and the environment I work in. How did I end up off-shore?

I went to university to study Biology but my first job directed my path as a Chemist in Industry. Marriage, kids, house moves, illness, deaths all impacted me and changes to my career path along the way were made. Change is something that I am not afraid of. I am a firm believer in following your gut instinct. I am also a firm believer that whilst it is important to have a direction in mind you must also accept that to get to your end goal it might not be a straight line trajectory.  Life comes with problems, problems have solutions, some are easily solved others are more complex. But most things are possible.

Starting Scotsburn Croft is in a way a solution to a current problem. My industry is changing. I have no idea if I will have a job next week let alone in a years’ time. Something that I was carrying out as a hobby presented itself to have the potential to be something a lot more.

In the beginning I designed and made everything myself on my kitchen table. I have taught myself product design and designing the fabric to understanding product protection and developing a brand. I sourced accounts and raw materials and carried out all admin and social media management. As time has progressed I now employ 3 people and work with 2 others who are self-employed. Scotsburn Croft has developed into a thriving online shop and retail outlet on Invergordon High Street. We have a big social media following.

My ethos for a product of the Scotsburn Croft brand is that it is to be exceptionally well made and made locally. Heritage, craftsmanship and community values. That’s it. It’s simple. Why take a product that is a representation of Scotland out of Scotland? Keep the carbon footprint to its minimum and support all the amazing people you have on your doorstep. If you look hard enough everything and everyone you need to start a business is never far away from you.

In 2015 my goal was to put the people and processes in place to allow me to share my load. During this process I also underwent one of the biggest restructuring exercises my industry had seen for years. It was a very stressful year and hard decisions had to be made but I came through the other side. Unfortunately friends and family members were not so lucky. So what next?

With the people and processes now in place my business plan for 2016 will allow me to assess the potential my business has to grow. I will be offering our product to hand selected shops and boutiques in the UK at trade prices and I will dip my toe in the export market.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for continuing to support us. I fell that my ethos of community values is very apparent with the continuing development of the Scotsburn Croft Brand.  Along this journey I have come to know a lot of you personally through our social media platforms and of course when you came to my house in the early days or the shop currently. Your continued brand support helps us to grow and in recognition of this I have created ‘Customer of the Week’. This is awarded to a person every Sunday, thanking them for their support via social media, in our shop or online. A ‘Customer of the Week’ receives a gift and entry to our VIP Scotsburn Croft family. Our Scotsburn Croft community is growing too.

Claire xxx