Supporting Small Scotland: No. 6 Gist Jewellery

Welcome to the 6th in the series, where we shine a light on our inspiring Scottish artisans who bring you the treasures inside WeeBox.

This month we are proud to bring you award-winning Gist Jewellery, founded in 2015 by Karen, who creates stunning handmade jewellery using her signature Scottish wool balls.  The result is wearable, contemporary jewellery with the real ‘feel’ of Scotland.

We caught up with Karen to discover more about her inspiration and what she loves about Scotland  ….

“Well it’s not the weather for sure, but what I do know is we have the cutest cows in the world! Growing up in the Perthshire area, all the natural things of the countryside inspired me … from the perfect way a thistle forms like an architectural design to the Meikleour Beech Hedge, which was a stones throw from our house. It is the world’s largest hedge and was once classed as one of the seven wonders of the world. I always remember driving past and just looking at it reaching up into the sky.

When I was little, out on my push bike, I would stop and pet the cows.  I would pick the little wool tuffs caught on the fence and play with them. I loved the feeling of the fibre. Maybe that’s why my decision to use wool in my designs was a natural one. 

Why the name “Gist Jewellery”? Well, I am very modest in what I do.  People would ask about my job and I usually reply “I just make jewellery”.  When asked about the inspiration behind incorporating wool, I always explain the gist of my initial idea was that, if I was going to make jewellery, it needed to be unique. Wool would be perfect as it gave the jewellery a different look and it reminded me of tweeds and tartans through the texture.

So the name “Gist Jewellery” stuck, and I love it”

Karen (2nd from left) enjoying VE Day celebrations this year with her own Afternoon Tea!

Gist Jewellery is now based in a barn conversion studio in Fenwick, East Ayrshire and can be found in select independent gift shops across the UK, highlands and islands, as well as all the Visit Scotland Shops …

… not to mention, inside your August WeeBox!

Karen has created an exclusive bracelet just for our WeeBox Clan – look out for this stunning piece to wear while hosting you own Scottish Afternoon Tea experience wherever you are in the world.

Don’t forget to share your #wheresWeeBox photo to win free gifts!

To say ‘thank you’, Karen would also like to offer you a discount 

Use DISCOUNT CODE: WEEBOX20 for 20% off across all products on the Gist Jewellery website (valid until end Sept 2020)

✨You can support Karen by following and liking Gist Jewellery ✨

📣Facebook: @gistjewellery 

📣Instagram: @gist_jewellery_scotland

🛍 Visit their online shop: www.gistjewellery.shop 

Supporting Small Scotland: No.5: Scottish Keepsakes

Welcome to your 5th in the series of ‘Supporting Small Scotland’, where we shine a light on our wonderful Scottish artisans who bring you the treasures inside WeeBox.

This month we are proud to bring you Scottish Keepsakes, founded by Carol who creates beautifully hand-crafted gifts, made with love in Ayrshire situated amongst the finest of Scotland’s scenery and coastline.

Their gift range reflects some of Scotland’s cultural icons ~ thistles, heather, pipers, tartans, tweeds, the St Andrew’s flag, and a few well-loved animals, such as the Scottish Terrier (‘Scottie’), West Highland Terrier (‘Westie’), their new Heilan’ Coo, Clara, and the latest member of the Keepsake Clan – Strath the Stag.

Carol has had a passion for all things Scottish since she was old enough to sing and recite Scottish & Burns songs and poetry, proudly wearing the kilts lovingly hand-sewn by her Aunt. 

Drawing on Scotland’s rich cultural heritage, tradition and folklore, Carol has been inspired to create her own unique range of Scottish-themed products. Based in the land of Robert Burns in rural Ayrshire, she incorporates tartans, tweeds, coins, thistles and heather into her bespoke designs and ranges, and brings her own fun and quirky style of Scots rhymes into the mix too!

“When Amy, founder of WeeBox, and I first met up a couple of years ago, it was immediately apparent that we both had the same love of Scotland. We quickly realised that there was potential for collaboration between our businesses. Amy is a real gem to work alongside, with an eye for quality and what Scots abroad would treasure.  We produced a couple of unique products for her WeeBox Clan, with more lovely Scottish surprises planned for the future.”

Photograph: Amy, WeeBox Founder and Carol, Scottish Keepsakes Founder

Carol is delighted to be working with WeeBox to help bring Scottish happiness to those distanced from Scotland at this difficult time.  We They have lots of lovely, affordable gifts on their website, so there’s no need to feel isolated from the country you love, or to send a little keepsake from Scotland to an overseas friend or family member to bring you closer.

Carol has a bonnie gift featured inside the July ‘Scottish Clans’ WeeBox winging its way this week – look out for this wee treasure and wear with pride.  Don’t forget to share your #wheresWeeBox photo to win free gifts!

🎉To say ‘thank you’, Carol would also like to offer you a discount 🎉

Use DISCOUNT CODE: WEEBOX20 for 20% off across all products on the Scottish Keepsakes website (valid until August 2020)

✨You can support Carol by following and liking Scottish Keepsakes✨

📣Facebook: @Scottishkeepsakes

📣Twitter: @Scottish_keeps

📣Instagram: @Scottish_keepsakes 

🛍 Visit their online shop: www.scottishkeepsakes.com

We also caught up with Carol to see how Scottish Keepsakes was navigating these unprecedented times:

  1. How has lockdown affected Scottish Keepsakes? We had just moved into our new premises in Dundonald but haven’t been working from the workshop now for 11 weeks due to Covid-19 so all production is being done from home (back to chaos!). We are busy behind the scenes to keep stock levels healthy and also creating new designs, so when we are back into full production we hope to have more Scottish gifts to show you. 
  2. What have your most popular products been during lockdown? Ooooh that’s a good question! Because we ran a few charity promotions we sold lots of our personalised Angel lapel pins and Westie lapel pins, raising money for 3 charities. But because of people isolating, our customers have also been sending our ‘caring’ range of keepsake gifts to friends and family – always a nice touch, but even more special in the current climate. The Scottish range is always popular, and once weddings are back on track, we are expecting a surge in orders for our bridal gifts. 
  3. How do you think small businesses will be affected going forward? Well, things are definitely going to be different! For our retail outlets in the Tourism sector in particular, it’s going to be a slow process returning to full capacity. However, we are very encouraged to recently see the green shoots of our economy re-growing, and we are here, ready to supply whenever they need us. Like many other small businesses, the past weeks and months have given us the opportunity of reaching out digitally to more of our UK and overseas customers. For those who perhaps can’t travel to Scotland right now, or who find that their Highland gatherings and events have been cancelled, we can provide some bonnie wee keepsakes from Scotland until they are able to safely visit our shores again.

Journey to Scotland – summer essential reading

This may be the year of the staycation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t journey to Scotland with a good book! We asked Birlinn, one of our wonderful Scottish book suppliers to share their essential Scottish, summer reading guide exclusively with our WeeBox Clan. Their team of experts relished the challenge and Kristian, Alison, Jamie, Hugh and Kathryn have shared their top picks just for you.

Enjoy and hope you can find your favourite to escape to our glorious land!

“Here at Birlinn, we are proud of our reputation within Scottish publishing, and our determination to champion Scottish writing. Particularly during these unsettling times, we have all sought solace with books, and some of us have written about our favourite Birlinn books. They’re all available from our website, so perhaps you will find a new favourite too!”

Kristian Kerr

A Taste of Scotland’s Islands, Sue Lawrence: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/a-taste-of-scotlands-islands/

This book is a treat, combining my two favourite things: food and travel. It’s a tour of the Hebrides and a trove of excellent (and straightforward) recipes that showcase the world-class produce of these beautiful islands. Sue Lawrence visited artisan bakers, black-pudding makers, scallop-divers, and sheep farmers to tell their stories and share their signature dishes in this handsome book. My top picks are the Jura venison and gin pie and Colonsay Book Festival’s gin and tonic cake. It makes a gorgeous gift, and not just for gin fans (I promise)!

Alison Rae

The Unmaking of Ellie Rook, Sandra Ireland: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/the-unmaking-of-ellie-rook/

Ellie Rook has had enough of being the grubby wee kid from the junkyard. She’s wild, always getting into fights, and her dad is a bully. She runs away to make a life for herself abroad, but then a phone call comes . . .

Her mum has been reported missing, presumed drowned, at the site of an ancient waterfall where a Pictish warrior queen jumped to her death, and everyone’s telling Ellie different stories.

Ellie must confront the reality of her childhood, try to make sense of her mother’s disappearance, and, finally, stand up to her father on equal terms.

The Unmaking of Ellie Rook is a gripping and original tale of power and coercion, set against the backdrop of an ancient Scottish folktale, with strong female characters and twists aplenty.

Jamie Harris

Hue and Cry, Shirley McKay: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/hue-cry/

Hue & Cry is an exquisitely written historical mystery set in 16th Century St Andrews, on the campus of the town’s world-famous university. It is a gripping tale of intrigue and deception within the cloistered academic world, enriched on every page with immaculately researched historical detail. Both a fascinating portrait of 16th Century Scotland and a thrilling mystery, it is a book that will appeal to fans of both history and crime.

Hugh Andrew

A Drop in the Ocean, Polly Pullar: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/a-drop-in-the-ocean/

It’s never entirely fair to pick out one book on a list to talk about but Polly Pullar’s A Drop in the Ocean seems to me to speak to the time. It is a sort of biography of an extraordinary man. His name is Laurence MacEwen and he is the Laird of Muck. I say ‘sort of biography’ as it is also the story of an island – an extraordinarily beautiful and little visited island which is one of the Small Isles off Mallaig.

Over the years – in the face of extraordinary odds – Laurence and his family and here we must pay tribute to the many MacEwens for whom Muck is more than simply a geographical expression have built a resilient and self sustaining community, working with nature and beside it. A visit to Muck is a window onto how our lives could be led, and how much richer and fulfilling they could be. Polly has written a wonderful book about a man and a place whose story should inspire us all.

Kathryn Haldane

The Unremembered Places, Patrick Baker: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/the-unremembered-places/

It’s not unusual to stumble across areas of incredible beauty when exploring the remote reaches of Scotland, but rarer to come across are the relics, memorials, ancient structures, and natural phenomena described in this book. In The Unremembered Places, Patrick Baker takes the reader on a unique journey to Scotland’s most hidden places, tucked away out of the view of the average rambler.

From Neolithic settlements, fairy-tale caves, Second World War relics and sacred wells, Baker delves into the extraordinary history of these places, discovering the legends and literature that define them. His passion for exploration comes across in the beautifully captivating writing, and it taps into the primal joy of discovery that we all experience. The Unremembered Places has such incredibly tangible writing, where the reader feels transported to these landscapes and infected with Baker’s boundless enthusiasm. 

Scotland at Home

Longing to visit Scotland, experience the music, food, people & scenery? WeeBox is here for you!

Your June ‘Create Scotland at Home’ WeeBox not only brings 6 bonnie gifts but also ways to immerse yourself with a virtual experience PLUS an exclusive chance for subscribers to win 2 personalised Johnston’s of Elgin scarves!

So if you or a loved one has had your visit cancelled, honeymoon postponed, family gathering put on hold – immerse yourself in Scotland and bring your kin closer together!

To unlock your virtual trip, click on the ‘Discover Scotland at Home’ link below and enter your password*.

*your password is found on your WeeBox June card insert and is case sensitive. This content is for subscribers of the June WeeBox only

Discover ‘Scotland at Home

Supporting Small Scotland: No. 4: We are Brave

May the 4th be with you! And welcome to the 4th edition of ‘Support Small Scotland’ where we shine a light on our wonderful Scottish artisans in these unprecedented times.

This week we are proud to feature Thomas and Brave Scottish Gifts!  We approached Thomas back in 2016 to be part of our New York launch showcased at the St. Andrew’s Society 260th Banquet to salute St. Andrew’s Day. 

The rest is history and Thomas continues to be a braw part of the WeeBox family of artisans to this day.

“I’m delighted to have been asked to be there at the very beginning and still as happy being asked to design and make bespoke products to this day for WeeBox. 

Brave Scottish Gifts make original, unique and funny Scottish gifts and t-shirts.  Since I was a bairn, I have been obsessed with our wee country – inspired by pop culture, our scenery, history and wildlife and aim to bring you modern Scottish gifts.  

To celebrate our 10th birthday we are proud to announce our support of CHAS, a very special Scottish charity that cares for children with life-shortening conditions.  In these times, more than ever they need our support. 

That is why we are donating £5 from every t-shirt sale and 20% from all other products in our GALAXY range for the full month of May.

Take a peek here at our Galaxy range :

https://bravescottishgifts.com/search?q=galaxy

We hope everyone is staying safe and thank you for supporting us and all the WeeBox artisans at this time”

Thomas, owner and Founder of Brave Scottish Gifts.

Ewan McGregor, proud Scot, CHAS Ambassador and Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenob wearing Brave’s Galaxy t-shirt

✨Thank you for supporting Thomas by liking and following his pages✨

📣Facebook: @BraveScottishGifts

📣Twitter: @BraveScotGifts

📣 Instagram: @BraveScottishGifts

🛍Shop at www.bravescottishgifts.com

Love Letter to Scotland

If you have found yourself caught in the mystical and spell-binding Outlander saga and wish to be swept away to Claire and Jamie’s world, come and experience the land that inspired the writer Diana Gabaldon with WeeBox.  Embark on an inspiring journey with stunning gifts to wear, read, taste and smell – this month, WeeBox brings the essence of Scotland straight to you at home.  

Outlander begins around the time of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. We follow the plight of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a nurse who is mysteriously swept back in time from 1946 to 1743. Seemingly stuck in the past, she meets the handsome Highlander Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan). He is a brave soldier and Scottish landowner with Jacobite sympathies, educated in France and handy with a sword.

But who were the Jacobites?

Jacobite simply means, in Latin, ‘supporter of James’. The James this refers to is James the VII of Scotland, the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. Invaded by his Protestant son-in-law in 1688 and subsequently overthrown, James was forced into exile in France.  Over the next sixty years James’ supporters would stage a series of rebellions with aim of restoring James and his heirs to the throne.

Sometimes romanticised, during the 1st half of the 18th century, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his diehard supporters, the Jacobites, almost changed the course of history.  Their attempts to drive out the House of Hanover and restore the Stuarts to the British throne is one of the great epics of the past.  

Have we whet your appetite to discover more?! Your WeeBox this month brings you the ‘The White Cockade – Historical Tales of the Jacobites’ book where acclaimed storyteller Stuart McHardy retells over 40 Jacobites stories which date back to the time of the Prince himself and his bitter defeat at the Battle of Culloden.  Based on real people and events and including tales of love, loyalty, bravery and treachery, The White Cockade opens a window into this remarkable world and features a huge cast of colourful characters.  With many of us spending a lot more time indoors at the moment, this is the perfect way to travel back in time to where it all began in Outlander.

This plus so many more enchanting gifts were curated to bring the Scotland of Outlander a wee bit closer.  We hope you can treasure them especially on World Outlander Day, the 1st June which marks the date Gabaldon published her 1st novel way back in 1991! Each year fans the world over pay tribute to the epic love story between Jamie and Claire on social media – and we hope you will join them and us too #WorldOutlanderDay 

Supporting Small Scotland: No. 3: Kevin Hunter, Scottish Artist


Welcome to the 3rd in the “Support Small Scotland” Series where we salute our local, Scottish suppliers and support in these challenging times. 

This week we are proud to feature acclaimed Scottish artist, Kevin Hunter who is featured in our May ‘Outlander-inspired’ WeeBox and recently auctioned his work to raise £1,500 for the NHS! 

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with WeeBox since the beginning and it’s been a real delight. Not only to see my artworks travel all around the world as part of the Clan but Amy and the team are just a joy to work with. Like most Scots, I am very proud of our country and its beautiful scenery so to know my painted versions of the landscapes are landing in many homes around the globe along with many other great Scottish artisans is just amazing.” Kevin 

Kevin is currently working on many commission requests and also is launching a new square format of artwork, perfect for overseas shipping!

✨Thank you for supporting Kevin by liking and following his pages✨

📣Facebook: @kevinhunterScottishArtist 

📣Twitter: @kevinhunterART 

📣Instagram: @kevinhunterartist 

🛍 Sign up for Kevin’s newsletter www.kevinhunterartgallery.com 

Supporting Small Scotland – No.2: Shearer Candles

Welcome to the 2nd in our “Support Small Scotland” Series!  We are proud to bring you Shearer Candles, Scotland’s oldest purveyors of artisan candles, lighting up lives for generations and featured in May’s “Outlander-inspired” WeeBox.

“Shearer Candles has been working with WeeBox since the very beginning and it’s been a joy to connect with the global WeeBox Clan, to see the happiness that WeeBox and our candles bring.  

Our scents are carefully created to connect you with Scotland, evoking a journey and transporting you through the powerful sense of smell.  We’ve worked in partnership with Amy to create bespoke candles to fit perfectly with that month’s theme and are really proud of our brand new ‘Sassenach’ candle, inspired by the love letter to Scotland that is Outlander.  

We hope you love it as much as we do and thank you for supporting us and all of the other Scottish artisan suppliers that get inside WeeBox, especially in these very challenging times” Stephanie Barnett, Head of Product Development

Featured in the lead photograph is Victoria (Retail Manager), Rosie (Scent Specialist) & Stephanie (Head of Product Development)

🎉To say ‘thank you’, the team at Shearer Candles would also like to offer you a wee discount 🎉

Use DISCOUNT CODE: WEEBOX15 for 15% any order (including international)

Use DISCOUNT CODE: SHIP4FREE for FREE UK shipping on orders over £15!

✨Please support Stephanie and the team by following and liking Shearer Candles✨

📣Facebook: @ShearerCandles

📣Twitter: @ShearerCandles

📣Instagram: @ShearerCandles 

🛍 Sign up for their newsletter www.shearer-candles.com

Scotland Forever!

We are proud to bring you the APRIL ‘Alba gu bràth’ or ‘Scotland Forever’ WeeBox!

This WeeBox salutes all that makes Scotland glorious – unicorns, tartan, Scottie dogs, shortbread and not to mention the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath! We hope you love it as much as we do!

“As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.” From The Declaration of Arbroath 1320.

The 6th April 2020, marks the 700th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most important historical artefacts.  But what was the Declaration of Arbroath? Who wrote it and why?  For Freedom Alone” The Declaration of Arbroath, curated as part of your April WeeBox, is a fascinating book perfect for exploring the history and significance which the US Senate have claimed the US Declaration of Independence was modelled on.  

The Declaration of Arbroath was a letter from the Barons of Scotland to the Pope, demanding freedom for their nation and recognition for King Robert the Bruce.  The letter was worded skilfully, forcefully and with some elaboration. But its message was straightforward: we must be recognised as an independent country with its own legitimate king.

April this year also sees the 1st ever ‘Virtual Tartan Week’ and as part of the celebrations WeeBox Founder, Amy McCusker, was asked to be part of the braw ScotWeek broadcast line up!  A day long series of podcasts where the ScotWeek team salutes glorious Scotland with an array of inspirational speakers, performers and interviews – in case you missed the excitement, you can take a peek here:  https://scotweek.org/news/virtual-tartan-day-2020-a-resounding-success/ 

Alba gu bràth WeeBox Clan!

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