July 7 2020 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: 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. 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. 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.