Tartan Twist was conceived
one windswept October in the Highlands by Lyndsey Bowditch, a successful
design entrepreneur, and Gillian Crawford, a national newspaper journalist.
Inspired by their love of Scotland and its history and heritage, their
vision was to create a range of luxurious, affordable and authentic Scottish
gifts. Over a blazing fire and a glass of single malt, the first Tartan
Twist collection started to take shape.
What we do
Tartan Twist products are
designed and made in Scotland. They are innovative, high-quality and
designled. We love tartan – the colours, the inventiveness of the designs,
the fact that tartan is ageless and appeals across the board, as well as
what it symbolises in terms of our culture. Taking tartan as our starting
point, we designed the initial ranges which comprise jewellery collections
for adults and children, featuring sterling silver, cultured pearls and clan
tartan ribbons. These sell under the Tartan Twist and Teeny tartan Twist
brands. Our adult sterling silver pieces are hallmarked by the Edinburgh
Assay Office using the special Tartan Twist hallmark.
Tartan Twist products are
inspired by Scottish history and many have an unusual twist or hidden
secret. Tartan Twist weaves the best of contemporary Scottish design with
the rich inventory of traditional tartans to create high-quality gifts for
the tourist and home markets. We provide beautiful products, attractively
packaged, at competitive prices, which give a flavour of the new, upbeat
21st century Scotland.
Our ethos and objectives
Our philosophy is to bring a
modern twist to traditional tartans, fusing Scotland’s heritage with
contemporary design, and delighting and enticing visitors from home and
abroad. We aim to deliver quality, sophisticated Scottish products with a
high level of customer service. Our emphasis is on craftsmanship and
attention to detail.
Lyndsey Bowditch has an MA (Hons)
in Art History from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters in Business
Administration, also from Edinburgh University. She co-founded the highly
successful design company Studioarc and has written a number of books on
aspects of Scottish history. Lyndsey runs the Tartan Twist team at the head
office in Edinburgh.
Gillian Crawford has an MA (Hons)
in Archaeology from Edinburgh University and a Diploma in Journalism from
City University London. Before co-founding Tartan Twist, Gillian wrote
extensively for the Times and Sunday Times in London and Scotland. Gillian
overseas the team at Tartan Twist’s Stirling-based studio and workshop.
Winning ‘Best New Scottish
Product’ at our launch in 2008 at Scotland’s International Trade Fair – the
leading showcase for Scottish companies - was a huge boost, as was being
selected as ‘The Next Bestseller’ by Alice Delmar-Morgan, buyer of the
Conran Shop, Paris, six months later. Tartan Twist was commissioned to
design the official pendant for The Gathering 2009, part of Scotland’s
highly successful Year of Homecoming. The limited edition piece was an
enormous success and sold out.
We were particularly
delighted to be nominated as Jewellery and Accessory Designer of the Year at
the Scottish Fashion Awards 2010 in Association with VOGUE.Com. This is
Scotland’s most prestigious fashion event. Fellow nominees included
Christopher Kane and Jonathon Saunders. The judges included: Nathalie Colin,
Creative Director Swarovski Group, Brian Duffy Group President of Ralph
Lauren Europe, Brigitte Stepputtis, Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood and
Dolly Jones, editor of VOGUE.com
Tartan Twist has been
identified as a Scottish company with high growth potential and has been
selected for Growth Pipeline support by Scottish Enterprise, the national
enterprise agency. We have received invaluable support from Stewart Roxburgh
and the National Textiles team. Scottish Development International has been
instrumental in Tartan Twist’s overseas expansion and has provided support
for our entry into the Japanese market.
We have worked intensively
with Brilliant Red Consulting, to develop our marketing and growth strategy,
including the development of our sister brand LILY BLANCHE EDINBURGH.
Professor John Lennon of Caledonia University’s Department of Tourism acted
as a consultant in the early stages of setting up the business. Lorraine
Ferguson (formerly senior manager at M&S Scotland) has mentored the business
and given invaluable advice. Edinburgh design company Studioarc has given
important help and support with the packaging and marketing concepts and the
new Tartan Twist website. The Edinburgh Assay Office has helped the company
to develop its own hallmark.
When we trialled our first
collection in 2008, it was an instant hit and we were delighted with the
early take-up, positive feedback and healthy repeat orders. The company,
currently a partnership, is self-financing, cash rich and debt free. Tartan
Twist is now available in over 120 outlets in the UK and Japan.
Key Clients include:
• The National Trust for
• National Museums of Scotland
• The Scottish Parliament
• Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries
• VisitScotland – the National Tourism Agency
• Cameron House Hotel Loch Lomond
• Johnstons of Elgin
• The Gretna Green Group
• York Tartan Shops, Japan
The Next Steps
• To expand further
• To continue to develop bespoke products for blue chip clients
• To develop a series of new product ranges for Tartan Twist
• To continue to build on our niche markets
• To launch and develop our sister brand LILY BLANCHE EDINBURGH
• To build strategic alliances with other organisations which share our
philosophy and approach to
For more information contact
Gillian Crawford or Lyndsey Bowditch on 0131 467 6534 or 07770 382033 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit our web site at
You can download a pdf of their story
Note: This information was
provided on 31st May 2011.