Five Minutes with the Founder | Araminta Campbell
Our Founder this week is Araminta Campbell, who’s eponymous brand creates exceptional textiles that express Scotland’s natural beauty and weaving heritage. From handweaving one-of-a-kind shawls on the looms in our Edinburgh workshop to designing custom tweeds and tartans for luxury British brands, they create woven items with artistry and enduring appeal.
TELL US THE STORY OF HOW YOU BUILT YOUR BRAND
In the very beginning it was just me weaving in a disused school building behind my parents’ house in Aberdeenshire. As I began receiving more interest and commissions I moved my studio to Edinburgh and began building a small team of people who share my passion for textiles. The brand has grown very organically from there, and I think this steady growth has made us what we are today. It has meant relationships have stayed at the heart of what we do; within the team, suppliers and our customers, I want us to never lose that personal touch. Provenance is also vital, starting small has allowed us to develop sustainable sources from the beginning and remain deeply connected to every stage in the weaving process.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SET UP YOUR BUSINESS IN THE LUXURY SECTOR?
I have always recognised the value in owning carefully chosen items that you really love. Fast fashion has never appealed, and it was natural for me to create a business that allowed me to produce the kind of pieces I would aspire to own. Every design is approached with care and the space to be creative. We keep things local and use the finest materials to make quality items that last. This all takes more time and resources but our customers all see the importance of doing things well.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love the variety and challenge – every week is different. I might be driving through the countryside visiting clients, or in the studio creating a new weaving pattern for one of our looms. Design days are definitely my favourite though, it is always wonderful bringing an idea to life.
WHAT AND/OR WHO IS YOUR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION?
Much of my motivation for starting the business came from my passion for Scottish textiles. The industry has suffered decline in the past, and I’m determined that the skills and knowledge we have here should not die out. I’m committed to creating handweaving employment opportunities in-house, as well as sustaining the rural suppliers and mills that we work with across Scotland. My family have always inspired me and I could not have done anything without their support.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY OTHER JOB IN THE WORLD WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I love what I do now, but if I had to do something else I think it would be something in teaching. I really enjoy helping others see their own potential, helping them be inspired to aim high and believe that they can do it.
IF YOU COULD DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY IN YOUR CAREER WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Everything I have done in my career has lead me to where I am now, so it is hard to identify anything I would change. However now leading my own team, I would have liked to learn what it was like to be lead by others and been part of team myself.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY IN 10 YEARS’ TIME?
I see us being recognised internationally for creating unique pieces here in Scotland that are enjoyed around the globe. Still a close knit team producing Scottish textiles, remaining personal, connected to our craft and the quality of our products.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Growing the business and team into a successful global brand. I’ll always be leading the vision for the Araminta Campbell, but I’ll be delighted when I am able to spend less of my time on the day to day running of the business and more on creativity and design.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANY YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Never be afraid to ask questions. Every time you meet with someone is an opportunity to learn something new, and most people are more than happy to help.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST LUXURY UNDER £10?
A drive to the countryside. The Scottish landscape is where I get all of my inspiration, but it is also the place I enjoy the most. Heading out of the city with my husband, our baby and two dogs is one of life’s greatest pleasures.