Edinburgh-based Araminta Campbell (28), a talented embroidery fine artist and one of the UK’s few traditional hand weavers, is celebrating after expanding her business two years earlier than anticipated due to an increase in sales of her 100% British alpaca handwoven accessories and tweed bags, and commissions for her bespoke tweed design service.
Araminta, who graduated in embroidery in 2011, and specialises in woven textile design, set up the business in 2014, initially designing and producing one-off alpaca scarfs and shawls from her original handmade 1960’s looms.
With her team of three, Araminta, who was a runner-up for Business Growth at the Buchanan Awards 2016, recently upsized into an impressive studio and workshop space, spanning over 135 sq ft at The Biscuit Factory in Leith in order to meet demand across all areas of her business, resulting in the creation of two jobs, including at least one apprenticeship over the next 12 months.
Her range of made-to-order exclusive tweed bags, which include shoulder bags, handbags and sheepskin-lined tablet cases, are a favourite of many clients including a member of the Royal family.
Using either one of her own five exclusive tweed designs or a client’s own, the bags are handmade in Edinburgh in a range of eight styles, all inspired by the Royal Deeside countryside in which she grew up.
The bespoke tweed design arm of the business, includes everything from reproducing an ancient family tweed and adapting a pattern that has a special historical significance to creating a completely new design. Clients range from hoteliers to estate owners, including the Glen Tanar Estate, who she worked closely with to redesign their family tweed.
Araminta said: “The growth of my business was always the plan, especially designing and producing my one-off alpaca scarfs and shawls, which I’m delighted has come sooner than expected.
“Being in a position to move into bigger premises and grow the team to be able to take on extra work, particularly designing bespoke tweeds not only for private clients but also commercially, including the hospitality sector, has been a great achievement.”
Araminta works closely with clients at every stage of the tweed production process and uses small, carefully selected Scottish mills for the weaving, working directly with the yarn suppliers and finishers to ensure a high standard of quality in production and design.
Claire Bruce of Glen Tanar Estate said: “From the very first meeting, working with Araminta, who is incredibly talented, professional and highly skilled, was an enjoyable and creative process. She listened carefully and understood exactly what we were looking for, taking time to understand our heritage, and took inspiration from the landscape around us to show us many different examples of existing tweeds.
“To our amazement, her final design was incredibly close to the estate’s original 1940’s tweed, which was unearthed some months after she was commissioned to design the new one, which we immediately fell in love with.
“Her sensitivity to a place, attention to detail, unbridled passion for history and heritage and her own Deeside roots have resulted in a beautiful new tweed, which we are very proud of.”