The Skye Magazine is an exciting insight into Skye and Raasay, as well as providing information on new up-and-coming businesses, and new ventures on the island. The Skye Magazine in its printed form, appears once a year from May, and thousands are distributed throughout the islands.

And the on-line edition - below - is updated throughout the year with new reports, photographs and information from all across the Islands.

So, just click download, enjoy learning about the beautiful isles of Skye and Raasay, and, if you aren’t here already, make sure to plan a visit sometime soon!

Enthusiasm unbound…Sarah’s love of clothes 

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.

Read more: Enthusiasm unbound…Sarah’s love of clothes 

NFU Mutual…friendly faces for those seeking Isles insurance

 

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.  

Read more: NFU Mutual…friendly faces for those seeking Isles insurance

Making a business out of artist's setback  

By Roz Skinner  

What does a Harris Tweed business on the Isle of Skye and the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi have in common?   At first glance, nothing at all. 

But a deeper look shows that the philosophy behind the Japanese art, which means "golden repair" and consists of mending broken pottery with powdered gold, embraces the breakages.  The belief is that the object becomes more beautiful after the repair. 

The knowledge that a setback can be turned into something valuable is the inspiration behind Louise White's business, Lou Lou Designs. 

Louise explains how she came to form her business, saying: "I was unwell with fibromyalgia.  I didn't want to go down the route of benefits, but I wanted to pay my way with a job that didn't soak up all my energy.  So, I started making handbags out of Harris Tweed. I still get spells of being really unwell, but I don't have to sit at home and feel sorry for myself.  Sometimes, I'm actually grateful – because that illness was the catalyst to doing something amazing and creative that I love.  I always try and turn anything negative into a positive." 

Read more: Making a business out of artist's setback  

International and local...Ragamuffin's world 

With their signature colourful knitwear and relaxed, natural clothing, Ragamuffin have been delighting locals and visitors to their store in Armadale, on Sleat, for nearly 40 years.  

Whilst owner Lesley Robertson once used to make everything herself on Skye, these days you are just as likely to find a hand-pintucked Japanese shirt or a beautiful Indian Kantha-work jacket amongst the Scottish Fair Isle and Icelandic style knits.  

"We pride ourselves on looking forward and evolving the collection year on year," explains Lesley, "I'm interested in textiles and influenced by design techniques from all over the world and the shop reflects that." 

Alongside Scottish and Irish knitwear and accessories, Ragamuffin stocks clothes from all over Europe, America, Japan and India. "We try to buy what other countries do best, Californians do effortless casual separates so well, we have chic timeless coats from Paris, hand-appliquéd dresses from Łódź - the textile capital of Poland - and intricate textiles from India's Jaipur region.  

Read more: International and local...Ragamuffin's world 

Festival brings 30 shows together 

Skye’s award-winning Gaelic singer Anne Martin opens this year’s Fèis an Eilein, the Skye Festival, on Wednesday 5 July. 

Anne presents Ceumannan —her innovative international song collaboration with vocal sculptor Jason Singh — which comes fresh from its launch in Hull's City of Culture programme, on its way to London's South Bank. 

The festival, organised by SEALL (Skye Events for All), takes place between 4 July and 28 August and will showcase over 30 events in music, dance, theatre, circus and film, alongside a community-led Fringe programme. 

Events include performances from Let's Circus, Alastair Fraser's Fiddle night, NYOS Jazz Orchestra, Eduardo Niebla, Charlie McKerron, Adam 
Sutherland, Mairearad Green, Christine Primrose, Margaret Stewart and many other singers, pipers and musicians, along with a variety of Fringe events, ceilidhs, cafés and house concerts. 

For further information and to book tickets contact 01471 844207 or visit www.skyefestival.scot 

Based in Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sleat, SEALL also produces a year-round programme of high quality performing arts events for all ages and tastes. 

Jazz and string quartet, New Focus, bring their “highly organic and lyrical collaboration” to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in south Skye on 20 May.  The Kelvin Ensemble Orchestra celebrates a decade of being one of Scotland’s leading non-professional chamber orchestras with a concert on 1 June. 

Britain’s popular alternative stand-up comedian, Jeremy Hardy, brings an evening of hilarity to An Crùbh, Sleat’s newest venue near Isleornsay, on 15 June, and dance takes centre stage with performances from SkyeDance on 17 June and Lorayne McLucas Dance on 30 June and 1 July. 

After a highly-acclaimed concert at Celtic Connections this year, Ailie Robertson and friends stop off in the south of Skye to perform their exciting song project, The Secret North, on 21 June. 

For tickets, programme and information visit www.seall.co.uk or pick up a brochure from one of many outlets across Skye.