From film to handbags to books - how did that happen?
How it all started... I was busy with a full career in the Scottish film & tv industry, producing television and feature dramas, as well as developing and editing scripts for new projects. My business partner and I were about to go off to Cannes Film Festival to try and sell our projects and I decided, out of the blue, to make bags for us to promote the projects.
The process was so enjoyable, and people were so taken by the bags that rather than come back with a fully funded film, I came back with orders. As many of you may know, it's not the easiest of things to get a film off the ground and I could see that this could be a way to have an income while in development - and that's how the Catherine Aitken brand got started.
For a good few years, things worked in tandem until I reached a point where I had to make a choice and I chose making and designing my accessories collection and left the film industry. I've created collections for the British Museum, National Galleries of Scotland and Judy Murray, to name just a few. I exhibited in the US and Europe as well as London and of course various places throughout the UK. I have completely lost count of the bags and accessories that have been produced from my small studio in Leith. Motor on 5 or 6 years and I was drawn back into part-time working in film with a training programme for new entrants where I could use my experience to encourage newcomers into the film industry.
In 2019 I was commissioned by The History Press to write Artisan Edinburgh, a beautiful book featuring some of the incredibly talented artisans in Edinburgh. It's available on the website and also on Amazon - here. I enjoyed the process of writing Artisan Edinburgh so much it spurred me on to try different things and a short film script and book idea followed. My first novel The Liberation of Bella McCaa is now looking for a publisher and I already have a first draft of my second book - The Weekend.
I love combining all the different creative elements of my working life. I still love working with handwoven materials like Harris Tweed, making sustainable accessories and being part of the slow fashion movement. There's the new The Isles Leather Collection - I hope you like that too - leather that's created sustainably in Glasgow.
Look our for collections in various materials; from the stalwart Harris Tweed, to leather, to Japanese vintage kimono cloths, to recycled...anything!
In the meantime, thanks for visiting the online boutique and I hope I can continue to offer you beautiful and practical accessories for your daily life.