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.
Based in Isle Ornsay, Floraidh is a treasure trove of the unexpected, crammed with quirky garments, traditional Tweeds, luxury cashmere and funky knitwear. Sarah said: "I want this to be a place where people can come in and feel this shop is unique. I want it to be a place full of things they wouldn't find anywhere else." Sarah works carefully to source unusual items, saying: "As well as the iconic Harris Tweed, I like to supply tweed from producers all over the country. I'm always on the look out for a variety of tweed manufacturers so that I can offer customers alternatives."
Every item in the shop has a story behind it - and Sarah loves telling customers the tales behind their purchases. She explains: "I try to stock most of my items from within the British Isles. I know the provenance of each item and I feel this is vital in understanding the manufacturing process and level of workmanship that goes into something and, therefore, if something is expensive you can be confident that your price level reflects the good design and high quality."
Sarah's opening hours from May to October are Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4am.
Sarah's enthusiasm gives her a passion and energy that she pours into her business. She says: "It's really satisfying to meet people and have them walk out with something they will treasure. I love being here and I wake up every day and think: 'It's going to be a great day!' It's just like the feeling I got when I played dressing up as a child - only even better!"