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Mhairi Mclean

Copywriting Services

MAKING RURAL BUSINESS WORK: Handcrafted Originals by Eilean MacDonald

This interview series shares rural business owners’ observations on running a rural business! Read on to find out what makes us extra special.

Eilean MacDonald, based in Portknockie, owns ‘Handcrafted Originals by Eilean MacDonald’ and has been most seriously in business over the last year since her relocation to the idyllic Morayshire coast.

Eilean designs and creates 3D textures using a wide range of beautiful fabrics; and her finished products range from cushion covers, stunning wall-hangings and practical – but oh so stylish – bags.

EILEEN MACDONALD 042016

Hi Eilean, thank you for letting us into your studio and your business life. How do you think being in a rural environment has influenced your work?

I have the luxury of space and thinking time up here, especially when walking the dogs. During these walks, I might have a special moment observing flowers which will inspire my work directly, like my garden-themed cushion covers. I have also started to bring a seaside theme into some of my work; including cushion covers with 3D beach huts and lighthouses which is a direct result of living here.

Running a rural business is also a lot less stressful for me – I have the peace to truly lose myself in my work which I never could in the city surrounded by people and traffic and other distractions.

EILEEN GARDEN CUSHION 042016

What are the challenges of running a rural business?

With today’s modern communications – including Skype, emails and the internet – I don’t see there being any negatives at all. We’re not cut off in any way.

What four objects do you think symbolise your daily work?

My overlocker (big grin), my sewing machine, my cutting mat with tools and my fabric stash (even bigger grin):

EILEEN FOUR OBJECTS 042016

And any future plans?

Well, I am looking to create that fine balance between expanding my customer base and keeping the sense of fun I currently have in my work. I am lucky enough to have word-of-mouth recommendations and am looking to set up a web shop to add to that. I have a strong creative sense and am keen to keep control of the objects I design and make.

Eilean, we wish you every success for the future.
Eilean MacDonald can be contacted on eileanmacd@gmail.com

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