By Roz Macaskill
When your great-grandfather was a window dresser, maybe it's not so surprising that you excel at creating a welcoming shop display.
Such is the case for Andrea Matheson, owner of Portree and Balmacara shops Home In The Highlands.
"I love doing the displays in the shop and arranging everything," Andrea says. "I only recently discovered my great-grandfather worked as a window dresser. It was quite a profession in the early 1900's and it's really weird that I enjoy that part of shop-keeping so much!"
Andrea's carefully-chosen items appeal to locals and tourists. She says: "There is a lovely selection of tartan throws and cushions in beautiful, muted colours, thistles, stags and Highland cows, and a few local and Scottish-made items - perfect as a souvenir and reminder of your holiday in the Highlands."
By Roz Macaskill
The lovingly-crafted products from the Isle of Skye Candle Company means you can take a little scented piece of Skye with you, wherever you go.
The company, founded by James Robertson, create all their products from start to finish on Skye, with the heart of their business based in Broadford. Over the last five years popular demand has led to the opening of four other stores on the mainland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Inverness.
Their popular Scottish Collection conjures up nostalgic aromas that were created with the island in mind and promise to leave you thinking of Skye long after your holiday has ended.
James says: "Alongside the Scottish Collection sits our classic range of 19 unique fragrances so that, whatever your taste, there's a Skye Candle for you!"
By Roz Skinner
Looking back, Sarah Macdonald was always going to have a career that involved clothes.
Sarah, the owner of clothes shop Floraidh Skye, says: "I was one of those kids who played dressing up in my mother's outfits and was always thinking of how garments looked."
Sarah's early interest led her to Edinburgh College of Art to study fashion and then on to work as a designer for a cashmere knitwear company for 20 years. The experience gave Sarah a skill for determining which colours work together, an appreciation for the value and production of clothes and a deep-rooted love of garments.
Circumstances soon prompted her and her family to move, from just outside Edinburgh, back to her old home on the Isle of Skye. In 2015, Sarah bought the existing business, Floraidh Skye, and unleashed her love of clothes once again.
By Roz Skinner
Creating warm relationships with the customer is the main aim of the insurance agencies of NFU Mutual in Skye, Lochalsh and the Western Isles.
Senior Agent, Jake Sayles, says: “We care about people in the areas that we live and work. If someone phones or visits the office, they are made to feel welcome. We want to take the time to explain the options to people and help them understand the risks, rather than just take their money.
“It's great when we can form personal relationships with customers. I get people who pop in the office just to tell us a joke! It's lovely.”
NFU's two Hebridean offices are based in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis and Portree, Isle of Skye. Currently run by Duncan MacIntyre and Jake Sayles respectively, the offices have been a familiar sight to locals in Stornoway for around 40 years and to Portree residents for around 50 years.