Design Caledonia | Design Scottish

Products: Scottish Gifts with a Difference

Caitlin Osborne

Scotland is a proud and distinctive nation, with extraordinary national imagery, mythology and music that is instantly recognised the world over, however when it comes to showcasing the best of our talent in our retail sector this is a area we completely lack in especially on the high street. We see a lot of tacky tartan, whisky flavoured condoms and many products that are not made in Scotland. 

As you may know at Design Caledonia we have set out to showcase and sell the very best of contemporary Scottish manufacturing and design to tourists but also to us Scots. We are the only Scottish retailer to curate a selection of pieces for you to wear, live with and work alongside that offer both honest design and a pleasing aesthetic, all of which are made and designed in Scotland.

We wanted to introduce you to a small selection of some of our favourite products on Design Caledonia and show you that it doesn’t all have to be nessie soft toys, shortbread and harris tweed to be made in Scotland. 

Navigate your way through the year with this fun desktop calendar by Risotto Studios

Navigate your way through the year with this fun desktop calendar by Risotto Studios

Risotto Calendar
These pretty little numbers are by Risotto Studio, Scotland’s leading Risograph specialists. Risotto are known for their bright, bold contemporary designs and this calendar is the perfect partner to guide you through 2018.  A unique print for each month and a handy loop to hang up next to your desk, we have a limited amount of these calendars so make sure to grab one quick! 

Ocelot's delicious bee pollen and mango chocolate bar made in Leith 

Ocelot's delicious bee pollen and mango chocolate bar made in Leith 

Ocelot Bee Pollen and Mango Chocolate Bar
We can’t rave enough about these chocolate bars. They truly will change your chocoholic life once you have tried them. Food products usually associated with Scotland would of course be haggis, tablet and the hotly debated deep friend mars bar however if you would like to try something slightly more refined than a fried chocolate bar we suggest getting your teeth into Ocelots Bee Pollen and Mango. 

Based in Edinburgh, the couple duo behind Ocelot have buckets of experience in the food industry and their pursuit to use the best quality ingredients can most definitely be tasted across all their delicious chocolate bars. 

Nicola Sturgeon wearing one of Mimi Hammill's satin silk scarves in the Scottish Parliament 

Nicola Sturgeon wearing one of Mimi Hammill's satin silk scarves in the Scottish Parliament 

Silk Satin Scarves by Mimi Hammill
Worn by the First Minister herself, Nicola Sturgeon, these beautifully coloured scarves are designed by pattern designer Mimi Hammill. Due to Mimi’s use of colour the scarves can be worn casually day to day or as an outstanding accessory for a special event. The beauty of these scarves is that they can be worn in many ways from a neckerchief or headscarf to a straight up colour pop scarf itself. 


Jump online to www.designcaledonia.com to find many more beautifully designed products and purchase a item that we can all be proud to say was made in this exceptional country. 

Products: Meet the Ocelot Chocolate Bar Family

ProductsCaitlin Osborne

After much consumption of Ocelot Chocolate post Christmas period we thought it was time to get our hands on some of Scotland's tastiest chocolate for you, our fab customers. Ocelot chocolate is based in Leith and run by the lovely couple pairing Ish and Matt. These guys produce craft chocolate from bean to bar as well as designing their very own stunning packaging. We truly couldn't recommend their chocolate enough, as a gift for a friend or as a treat yourself gift for ones self. Each of the Ocelot bars has its very own distinct flavour so we wanted to present these to you as if the chocolate bar was it's very own person ... enjoy! 

Ocelot 88% for dark chocolate lovers

Ocelot 88% for dark chocolate lovers

88% Tanzanian Chocolate Bar
Strong, dark and handsome, 88% Tanzanian isn't for the faint hearted. However he is quite the flirt. He's as strong as it gets from the Ocelot family but he's a smooth talker, whilst he wows you with his extra big cocoa muscles look out for sweet talking tones of toffee and orange. 

Bee Pollen and Mango, one of Ocelot's fruitiest Chocolate Bars 

Bee Pollen and Mango, one of Ocelot's fruitiest Chocolate Bars 

Bee Pollen and Mango
The nomad of the Ocelot family which makes for an exotic and ever changing personality. Bee Pollen and Mango is a dreadlocked chick with style who loves an adventure. With her roots firmly stuck in the African Congo where she grew up she adopts tones of her new fruity friends as she travels such as cherries and apricots. She is exciting to be around and never fails to surprise you with her smooth cocoa vibes one minute and shortly after she's packing a punch with her combinations of mango and sweet sweet bee's pollen. 

Delicious Island Sea Salt Chocolate Bar 

Delicious Island Sea Salt Chocolate Bar 

Island Sea Salt Chocolate Bar
The wise old owl of the group. Island Sea Salt is our oldest member of the family and man, has he had a life. Dating morello cherries then moving onto blackcurrants in his older years these fruity numbers have shaped his personality. You'd never know this until you sit down and smoke a pipe with the old boy and the tobacco notes kick in. Although he's had a exotic life his roots are still deeply ingrained with the salty Scottish shores of his original home. 

Salted Almond, for those who are big lovers of nuts in their chocolate

Salted Almond, for those who are big lovers of nuts in their chocolate

75% Porcelana with Salted Almonds Chocolate Bar
The guy all the girls want to date and the men want to be. Funny and charming Porcelana with Salted Almonds is a hit at any party. His creamy cocoa vibes mixed with his daring outer shell topped off with big old nuts makes him a firm favourite. 

Delicious Raspberry and Vanilla, the perfect combination of tart and sweet 

Delicious Raspberry and Vanilla, the perfect combination of tart and sweet 

Raspberry & Vanilla Chocolate Bar
Sassy on the outside but sweet on the inside. Raspberry and Vanilla is a lady on a mission and she likes to stand her ground. Underneath it all though her sharp raspberry tones are cooled down perfectly with her cool vanilla vibes making her a perfect social butterfly.  

Events: Sunshine on Leith Market

Caitlin Osborne

For the first time last Saturday we took part in the Leith Market. The market itself takes place every Saturday from 10-5pm and is located very centrally in Leith just beside Teuchters Landing (perfect for a pint post market). 

The market is a hot bed for local businesses from fruit and veg growers, craft beer enthusiasts and the must have tattie scone breakfast wrap by the team at Scoff. A lot of planning is put into each market which means that there is never too many businesses selling similar goods. 

All set up for the day ahead at Leith Market on Dock place

All set up for the day ahead at Leith Market on Dock place

The guys that run Leith Market also run both the Grassmarket and Stockbridge markets. Although the markets are run by the same group each market feels very different and always has a different atmosphere. Due to its location the Grassmarket is always very popular with tourists and therefore sells more crafts and gifts than Stockbridge and Leith. Stockbridge takes place on a Sunday and often attracts lots of local foodies looking to stock up before the end of the weekend. Leith seemed to be a good balance of the two and it was great to see so many locals popping down and coming back week after week according to many of the traders. 

Leith market has a very chilled out vibe and is a perfect place to spend time with friends for a few hours on a Saturday. There was a constant steady stream of people nipping through and picking up groceries or hanging out and making use of the seating dotted around. 

Design Caledonia's wee stall at Leith Market all set up and ready to rumble

Design Caledonia's wee stall at Leith Market all set up and ready to rumble

A few notable businesses that are definitely worth visiting at the market would be  'That's Jammy' a small Edinburgh based business selling jams and preserves, I had the chance to sample many of their yummy products of which i'd highly recommend the balsamic's and marmalade. We also got the chance to chat with the lovely lady at Teenietingsterrariums, who sells beautifully unusual Air Plants that have the ability to live without soil. Perfect for those like myself that aren't so good at keeping their plants alive. 

This summer we'll be hoping to make many more appearances at Leith Market so we'll keep you guys up to date. In the meantime don't forget to shop local and support our wonderful small Scottish businesses. 

Events: NEC Wedding Show

Caitlin Osborne

Last week we attended the Wedding Show at Birmingham's NEC exhibition centre. Over the past few months we had received many requests for bespoke candles for weddings, birthdays and baby showers. We thought this would be a great chance to break into the wedding market so we took our soy wax candle wares down South. 

The aim of the game was to find out more about the market and meet new customers whilst promoting Design Caledonia and the candles. Over the weekend we were offering personalised luxury candles made from the finest fragrance and soy wax. All candles are hand-poured in Fife and made bespoke for our customers special day. We launched the complete personalised candle range in which the customer can choose their your own jar colour and size, fragrance and label with names and dates. These can be used as beautiful table decorations or as a perfect keepsake wedding favour for guests. 

Wearing floral to match our display

We met some fantastic exhibitors who we are looking to partner with in the future from card makers, prosecco van hire, photographers and cheese wedding cakes! The show truly did teach us a lot about the wedding sector and our customer segment. 

Our personalised 'Jack and Olivia' soy wax wedding candles

Our personalised 'Jack and Olivia' soy wax wedding candles

If you have a wedding coming up and would like discuss your special day with us don't hesitate to get in touch on email or over the the phone we'd love to hear more about your exciting day. 

People: Q&A with Caitlin Osborne

Caitlin Osborne

Caitlin Osborne maker of CKO Candles and owner of Design Caledonia tells us more about her hand poured candles, inspirations and favourite places in Scotland.

Caitlin Osborne of CKO Candles enjoying a bru ice cream

Caitlin Osborne of CKO Candles enjoying a bru ice cream

Can you tell us a bit about CKO Candles and where you like to work? 

CKO Candles started out last year in my kitchen. Each candle is made from the finest soy wax and is hand poured in Scotland. The candle market recently has become very over saturated and for quality candles I often found them to be quite expensive. I was looking for something a bit different in terms of packaging and scents but also more affordable. 
This led me one Sunday to researching candle making as well as looking at packaging options. I wanted to produce bespoke candles with scents that reminded me of specific people and places in my life. The first candles in the collection are Christabel, Carolyn and Kirsty, named after my Grandmother, mother and sister. 
My favourite place to work is in the kitchen with music full blast. Candle making is a very messy job so I can usually find myself spending a whole day from morning till night in there. We’re lucky enough to have a lovely garden that I look out onto as well as two very handsome potato named dogs; Chip and Mash. 

How did you get into making and designing candles? 
I have always been quite creative and I get great enjoyment out of making items and learning the skill set that goes along with them. I would love to have been good at illustration however hands on making is more my forte. 

What has been the most important lesson you have learned through work? 
Oh there are so many! I think if you are passionate about your work you will always do well, I’ve had my fair share of boring jobs and working for myself has definitely been a very positive decision for me. 

CKO Candles are hand poured by Caitlin in her kitchen. The inspiration for the candles comes from family members and places from her childhood

CKO Candles are hand poured by Caitlin in her kitchen. The inspiration for the candles comes from family members and places from her childhood

Who are your design inspirations? 
I get huge amounts of my design inspiration from the world of instagram, one of my favourite candle brands is Wary Meyers. Their attention to detail and packaging is so simple but also super fun, they produce wonderful soaps as well which eventually I would like to start making. 
I’m as pale as they come in terms of skin tone so for holidays I tend to do city breaks. I love spending time at foreign markets but also in boutique and niche shops. I was recently lucky enough to travel to Japan and South Korea, the beautiful minimal design and quality of their products out there is outstanding. 

What is your most treasured possession? 
Before everything turning digital it would have been my CD collection. Now I would say it is my bike I was gifted this year for my Birthday, the perfect companion everywhere I go. 

What is your favourite album to listen to whilst working? 
There are so many! I’m a huge Kanye West fan so I will often find myself going back to his College Drop Out album and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m a massive hip hop fan so anything with Nas, Biggie Smalls and Dr Dre is always a winner. Saying that though Prince, Bombay Bicycle Club and Frank Ocean and many others i’d happily listen to all day long. 

Cramond Brig in Edinburgh, one of Caitlin's favourite spots

Cramond Brig in Edinburgh, one of Caitlin's favourite spots

Where is your favourite place in Scotland? 
Edinburgh, I truly believe it is the best city in the world. 

Irn Bru or Coke? 
No competition, Bru all day every day! 

People: Q&A with Paul McGinness from McGinness Handmade

Caitlin Osborne

We caught up with Paul McGinness from McGinness handmade to find out more about his lovely wallets, designed and hand sewn in Glasgow. Find out Paul's design inspirations and is favourite place in Scotland. 

Paul McGinness is a leather goods designer based in Glasgow. Each of his products are handmade by Paul with the best quality leather

Paul McGinness is a leather goods designer based in Glasgow. Each of his products are handmade by Paul with the best quality leather

Can you tell us a bit about McGinness Handmade and where you like to work?

McGinness Handmade is a project I started around a year ago when I had time off from my day job working in television production. My job is quite hands-on when I’m on a shoot, but I spend most of my time working at a computer. I wanted to start a project working purely with my hands, where I would be responsible for the product from conception to creation. 

I work from the front room of my flat in the west end of Glasgow. I’m right on Dumbarton Road in Partick, it’s a fantastic view.

How did you get into making leather goods?

I needed a new wallet, but couldn’t find a design I liked in shops so I decided to buy some leather, learn the basics and make one myself. It’s been trial and error ever since.

What has been the most important lesson you have learned through work? 

Measure twice, cut once. Leather isn’t cheap.

Who are your design inspirations? 

I read a book called ‘Wabi-sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers’ by Leonard Koren and it really resonated with me. It’s a Japanese aesthetic philosophy about finding beauty in imperfection. 

In terms of brands, I love Albam. I’d say 85% of my wardrobe is Albam. Their clothes are timeless, beautifully minimal and very well made.

Paul uses the finest vegetable-tanned leather for each wallet

Paul uses the finest vegetable-tanned leather for each wallet

What is your most treasured possession?

My signed ‘The Thick of It’ script book. I’m a massive Armando Iannucci fan, so when I heard that him and Peter Capaldi were coming into my work I brought my script book in to get signed. They were very nice. Peter Capaldi wrote a thing called ‘Tucker’s Law’ on the inside, it’s very sweary.   

What is your favourite album to listen to whilst working? 

While I was making the last batch of wallets I listened to two Tom Waits bootlegs from the gigs he did in Edinburgh in 2008. I was at both nights and they were by far the greatest shows I’ve ever been to. 

I also listened to a 10 hour podcast about the life of Alfred Hitchcock.

Where is your favourite place in Scotland?

There’s a little coffee shop on Great Western Road called Papercup, I go there every week. 

Finally Irn Bru or Coke? 

Coke, with rum. 

Videos: Assemble

Caitlin Osborne

It's been months in the making for the launch of Design Caledonia. We have met some fantastic designers and makers along the way and we hope to continue to grow our Scottish troop into a force to be reckoned with.  Here's a sneak peak of what we've been up to behind the scenes. 

 

Events: Craft Scotland Summer Show 2016

Caitlin Osborne

With another year of the Edinburgh festivals coming to a close, its always nice during the madness to check out Craft Scotland’s Summer Show. Hosted on the upper floor of White Stuff on George Street it’s always a treasure trove of goodies that I love going to visit annually.  If you are a fan of handmade, quality, beautiful and bespoke objects Craft Scotland is bound to have something to tickle your fancy. 

This years show had a fantastic collection of jewellery, textiles, ceramics wearables, stationery and interiors. In comparison to previous years there was more ceramics on display however the quality was higher than ever before. We came across some exciting new designers and also some of the old gems which keep shining. Below we have picked out our top six designers from this years show.

 

Pink tone ceramics by Natalie J Wood. These stunning pieces are produced using new technologies such as laser cutting and 3D printing

Textile designer Niki Fulton featured in Craft Scotland sumer show with her lovely array of textile designs. From scarves ties and pocket squares Niki has produced some intricate pattern work

Showing off her exquisite ceramic skills of all shapes and sizes, Jode Pankhurst range of pieces shun through with her beautiful use of shape and gold plating

Grainne Morton has a eye for interesting and beautiful objects, her favourite pieces become her materials and this was very much prevalent in her collection at the summer show most notably her bespoke brooches

Ceramics specialist Gavin Burnett was one of this years most colourful makers featured in the summer show. His collection of functional ceramics handmade from porcelain are available in multiple colours and sizes  

East End Press is a screen printing and design studio based in  Glasgow. Owner Ellie made sure to showcase her bright and beautifully illustrated pieces from prints, cards, mugs and even poufees 

East End Press is a screen printing and design studio based in  Glasgow. Owner Ellie made sure to showcase her bright and beautifully illustrated pieces from prints, cards, mugs and even poufees 

Places: Home is where the heart ... lives

Caitlin Osborne

Born and raised in Kirkcaldy a harbor town on the East coast of Fife, although perhaps not obvious to me at the time of starting up Design Caledonia, much of my inspiration came from Kirkcaldy and the people that surrounded me there. 

 

 

Kirkcaldy was at one time a industrial town producing coal and salt although the towns most successful industry came in the 1870s. Floorcloth, better known as linoleum or lino was Kirkcaldy’s biggest industry making the town a world producer of flooring until the 1960’s. My father would tell me “The linoleum factory made Kirkcaldy the town it was. Everyone worked there, you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling the stuff” or seeing it, many of Kirkcaldy’s main buildings including the train station, art gallery and museum still to this day have lino floors. 

 

I have found in my career and hobbies I get most enjoyment from designing, producing or physically pushing myself to achieve or make a product. To be able to have a product at the end of a project I find exciting and more rewarding than sitting behind a computer screen all day with little to show for my efforts. I therefore hold a romantic notion of industrial Britain, but more specifically my manufacturing hometown of Kirkcaldy. I am both proud and inspired that a whole town could come together to produce one high quality product for the world to enjoy.

 

Caitlin Osborne