Turning a hobby into a business wasn’t the initial plan for Louise White when she moved from Edinburgh to Carbost in 2012.
But it seems that life, and Harris Tweed, had other plans for the Skye-based designer as her company ‘Lou Lou Designs’ has proved popular with both locals and visitors alike.
An entirely self-taught seamstress, Louise creates a variety of Harris Tweed handbags – each a one- off design – as well as scarves, brooches, key-rings and custom design Tweed skirts.
“I watched a YouTube video on how to make square-bottomed bags and that was the start,” Louise explained. “The business has grown as a result of people liking what I do and I’ve got a really loyal local customer base, which is just lovely.
Finding inspiration every day from her new island home surroundings, Louise is pleased this year to welcome visitors to her pop-up shop in Carbost, situated in the shadow of the Cuillin mountains and on the shores of Loch Harport.
And working with the world-famous Harris Tweed cloth – much of which she sources from the Shawbost Mill on the Isle of Lewis – is a delight for the designer, as she said: “It is such a special thing.
“I knew of Harris Tweed when I was growing up, but it was when I worked in the shop at Dunvegan Castle that I found out more about it, its story,” Louise continued.”
“It’s very easy to work with and very forgiving, but it’s not just a piece of cloth, it’s the person who has weaved it, those who have designed it.”
She added: “The Tweed brings the bags to life and the feedback from people has been lovely; they talk about the bags and use the words I feel inside, so I must be doing something right!”
To find out more about Louise and Lou Lou Designs, why not pop into the Carbost shop, or check out Lou Lou Designs Facebook page.