This June 2017, Emergents awarded a Go and See travel bursary to Scottish designer/maker Tina MacLeod to attend the creative industries festival, XpoNorth in Inverness. Read Tina’s report on her time at the event below:
I was really looking forward to attending XpoNorth again this year, as every theme in the craft, fashion and textiles portion seemed to tick every box for me and my business. It started in style with a panel discussion “It’s All About Making” where a selection of successful Scottish textile brands talked about their production, branding and marketing.
The biggest draw was “The Power of Provenance” with two very different global brands, The Harris Tweed Authority and Alessi, both driven by similar core values. Alessi, a family business with a lot of history in producing functional art pieces in an industrial way, value their workforce and strive to push boundaries in design.
The Harris Tweed Authority is a heritage brand where telling the authentic story of their location and it’s Island people are key. Both brands talked about keeping the importance of tradition at the fore but continually pushing their brands forward.
Provenance was the key theme throughout the two days, highlighting the importance of telling the story of our culture, land and heritage through the products we make here in the Highlands and Islands.
A panel discussion “Shift: Scottish Icelandic maker collaborations” talked about a project in its early stages between some of the makers involved sharing techniques, materials and ideas. I am interested to see where it goes as I certainly feel a strong connection between Northern Scotland and Iceland.
I also attended talks about crowdfunding and two excellent workshops about the importance of colour to a creative business and an insiders guide to Instagram which was the perfect end. I learned a lot from these workshops and am already applying techniques to my business.
XpoNorth is an excellent creative industries festival and it is great to be able to access a major event like this in the Highlands. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Tina MacLeod, June 2017
You can view more photos from XpoNorth 2017 by visiting: https://xponorth.co.uk/gallery/photos/xponorth-2017-in-pictures