Apart from marrying Tom, the other highlight of 2015 for me was the Seven Skeins Club, and the feedback we’ve since had from many members suggest that they really enjoyed it too. Through the club, I was able to launch our newly-developed yarn (a completely new venture for me), create a new book, and have an awful lot of fun in the process. I was really happy with the success of the Seven Skeins Club, and particularly with the convivial and supportive atmosphere it generated. This atmosphere was sustained, among knitters in 36 different countries, entirely by social media.

bracklinnfalls2-copy

I keep my eye on Business Women Scotland, have attended a few of their events, and am generally a big fan of what BWS do, encouraging women’s enterprise and creativity in a wide range of contexts all over the country. A few months ago, I saw that they were seeking nominations for an award for the best use of social media, so, under the aegis of the Seven Skeins Club, I decided to (ahem) nominate myself. The shortlist was announced in September, and I was very happy indeed to see I’d made it! I was also really impressed with the many innovative uses of social media among the other shortlisted businesses, which included a customer vote on favourite cups used in vending machines, and a crowdfunding campaign to acquire plying and twisting equipment for for a producer of Harris tweed yarns.

bracklinnfalls6

Last night Mel and I attended the incredibly stylish and highly inspirational award ceremony in Glasgow as the guests of my friends at the FSB. I love running my own small business, but it can be a rather atomised affair, and what I like most about these events is the opportunity to find out about companies that are quite different from mine, and what their owners are doing. The category winners were terrifically impressive and very varied, ranging from from an intriguing energy efficient alternative to double glazing from a company in Perth to the Edinburgh developer of scheduling software which enables seamless appointment bookings across timezones. Then I found out I’d won my category, and was completely blown away!

(You can read more about the other businesses and winners here.)

bracklinnfalls1-copy

Last night I was asked if I’d ever used a business mentor. Officially I haven’t – in the sense that I’ve never appointed, or spoken to anyone with that title – but it occurred to me just how many excellent women have fulfilled that role for me in different ways. I have been blessed, for example, by working with accountants – Caroline Bond and Susan Gee – who are so much more than the term “accountant” could ever sugggest. At key moments in the development of my business, Caroline and Susan’s advice has been invaluable, from the time they quietly encouraged me me to acquire a franking machine (when they found out I was hoiking hundreds of parcels around the streets of Edinburgh in a shopping trolley) to helping me prepare very carefully and well in advance for the introduction of VAT MOSS (though I was their only client at that time to be affected by the new rules on digital sales). Then there are the women I work with every day. Anyone who has met or dealt with Mel is sure to be aware how completely indispensable she is. While I wildly articulate a series of unfeasible design ideas, Mel writes them all down on the back of a napkin, and calmly tells me she suspects I won’t be able to produce them all. Jen, Nic, and Felix have all encouraged me to turn corners and take new directions, and my mum (who runs her own small business) provided an inspiring example which suggested it might be possible for me to do so too.

bracklinnfalls4-copy

Finally, there are all of you excellent women (and you are mostly women) without whom I would not have a context, a rich source of daily inspiration, or have won any sort of award.

Thankyou.

bracklinnfalls5-copy

Photos courtesy of excellent man Tom, from today’s walk at Bracklinn Falls.

93 thoughts on “excellent women

  1. Kate, Congratulations! It has been such fun observing your blossoming from a blogger to an entrepreneur. Thanks for including us on your journey! Well deserved recognition.

    Like

  2. Congratulations on your award – well deserved. The Seven Skeins club was the most fun I’ve ever had with knitting. Well, until the Book of Haps came out. Really looking forward to your Inspired by Islay book too – having a pattern released every week will certainly see us through the winter months. There is such a great community on ravelry around your patterns and books too and I’ve made made friendships with the women I’ve encountered there. Even met some of them in “real life” too.

    Like

  3. Congratulations and well done to all who have been involved in your enterprise. Tom’s photos are incredible and I look forward to seeing what wonderful sites I will see each day. All the best to you both, plus Bruce!

    Like

  4. Congratulations! I loved the Seven Skeins Club and I love your blog–just the thing to brighten my days. I am also very impressed that you nominated yourself–I guess I should say “you go girl!!” Thanks for all you do.

    Like

  5. Congratulations, Kate! =)
    You are such an inspiration for (other) women and I really admire you since you never (seem to) give up and show what women can achieve if they want to. There are so many women outside that behave as if we were still living in patriarchalism and I sometimes think “so this is what women have been fighting for all the time?”.
    So thanks for being such a good role model for strong and independent women! =)
    (and good that you nominated yourself, you deserve this so much! =) )

    Like

  6. Hearty Congrats from Canada!! You so deserve the honour. Whatever you have received or will receive in recognition of your wonderful business is only half of what you have given us all in your reflective, educational and inspiring writings. I am so proud to “know” you and to have followed you from the time of your stroke on….You are truly a wonder…and that fellow you call husband, ain’t bad either…and of course there is Bruce…smiling the entire time…much love from Edmonton…

    Like

  7. Congratulations Kate, Tom and the many good people that work with you or inspire you along the way. Well deserved for sure. And thank you for the stunning photography! I must admit, as I excited as I was to read your blog, I kept getting sidetracked by the incredible photos this time. Hopefully next year I will be visiting Scotland in the fall, and pics like these keep me assured it will be spectacular. Thank you for all you do for us.

    Like

  8. Congratulations! You’re so inspiring and deserve all the success you’ve garnered. I loved reading about all the women who helped make this possible. I think the value of such community is underrated or ignored. Cheers!

    Like

  9. Congratulations Kate! I’ve been reading your blog from across the pond for years. And you’ve accomplished so much! I am truly impressed and so glad that you nominated yourself! That you won is only due to your aspirations and genius. Well done!

    Like

  10. Bruce looks even happier than you do! :-) Congratulations many times over! Considering where you began post stroke, you are such an inspiration, and the award is well-deserved!

    Like

  11. Well done Kate. And Tom and Mel and Bruce. And let’s not forget Jesus (the cat) who I am sure does sterling work behind the scenes. I’m so pleased it’s all happened for you.

    Looking forward to the new books – for Christmas?

    Like

  12. Congratulations! Your post actually made me a bit misty. I’ve followed your blog for years and seen your business develop over time and it’s so lovely to see your success.

    Like

  13. So well deserved, Kate, huge congratulations! I’ve been lucky enough to have been following your progress almost from the start and you’ve been an enormous positive influence on my life as you’ve overcome so many things that a lesser woman might have given up on. Whenever my condition gets worse I do actually think “how would Kate deal with this?” and so you are always the epitome of an Excellent Woman for me. Now, back to Nut-Hap, it’s getting chilly down here in the Lakes!

    Like

  14. Well done and congratulations to all of you! Your work and products have given me many hours of inspiration and enjoyment.
    Your writing is brilliant.
    Thank you so much for what you all do.

    Like

  15. Congratulations on your award and for being brave enough to nominate yourself! That willingness to put yourself out there is part of what makes you successful! That and, of course, Tom and Bruce. Tom with his excellent photography and everything else he does and Bruce for keeping you grounded and on the move. I love seeing women succeed. You give hope to so many. Over here in the US I am celebrating one more powerful woman. Congratulations and much more success to you (and Tom) as well as the other women who have helped you along with way.

    Like

  16. Hi Kate,
    Congratulations on your latest award. Personally I haven’t seen any other online newsletter/blog that is so interesting to read and that combines such high visual aesthetics. Photography, knitwear designs, imaginative and well researched articles. I love it all..We discovered at Barrowstow House during Shetland Wool Week that we both love Don Camillo’s Little World. Now I am thinking the title of this email: Excellent Women is a salute to Barbara Pym. Could it be?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Huge congratulations to you on receiving this recognition …and may I also say how much I appreciated your extending your own thanks and gratitude to others who have been supportive of your efforts in many ways.

    Kate, visiting here and reading your posts and seeing your many creative aspects is a perfect example of how truly grand the internet can be.

    I send you and yours my very best wishes…all the way across the Atlantic from New York City.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Congratulations on this award, a well-deserved win! Not to mention the great things you are doing for the profile of knitting & yarn production, through recognition of your excellent business!

    Like

  19. Congratulations, Kate! Soon your van will be covered with mentions of all the awards you have won & Tom will need to lean out the window to see to drive.

    Like

  20. Many congratulations and very well deserved. I am thrilled you nominated yourself and why not? You deserve to feel extremely proud of your brilliant business and your fellow helpmates. Enjoy your success!

    Like

  21. Congratulations!!! That’s just awesome! I enjoyed the Seven Skeins Club immensely…the communication, the product support, and feeling of community with so many…and of course the yarn and patterns! Kudos!

    Like

  22. Congratulations, this is so well deserved, I love everything you do, from your blog, to the patterns and the yarn. Toms photography which is very special and the musings from Bruce, Thank You

    Like

  23. Well done, you and your wonderful team deserve the award. I’m glad Mel enjoyed the event with you, she must work hard too. Seven Skeins was a delight as are your patterns, yarn and books.
    Excellent Women is a very good book, highly recommended to all your excellent women.

    Like

  24. Very happy for your well-deserved award, Kate! I just finished two Buachaille projects this week… really enjoy the sterns and yarn.

    Like

  25. Congratulations on a very well deserved award, and also to all of the women (and men) who have helped and encouraged you over the years. Plus Bruce as well.

    Like

  26. Congratulations on such a well deserved prize! I really do learn so much from you, not only enjoying the great knitting, but all the background history and context give me great joy. Now I’m hoping that some day Norwegian knitting would interest you, it would be smashing to see your take on it. Tom’s photos are breathtaking, I enjoy them so much. Your landscape is similar to ours in many ways, yet different. Thanks for enriching my days all of you.

    Like

  27. I am sooo very happy for you! You and your team certainly deserve the praise and positive feedback. You provide very high quality knitting patterns (and I soon will find…) and yarn. Congratulations to all!

    Like

  28. Kate, this is superb news, and I am very happy for you. Massive congratulations to you, all your excellent women, your excellent man, and your excellent dog. Tom, that top picture on the blog quite took me aback — the impression of rushing water was so strong I could almost hear the water!

    Like Carol earlier, your post title reminded me of Barbara Pym and her novel of the same name. Any connection?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Oh yea!! Good on you for suggesting yourself…….why NOT? You are certainly deserving and bring such joy to us all.
    and you do take us on some spectacular walkies :)

    Like

  30. Congratulations!
    Your blog posts are becoming my favorite eye candy. And Mr. Bruce certainly steals the show in the last photo. If your goal is to make your readers extremely jealous, speaking for myself, fait accompli!

    Like

  31. Congratulations on a much deserved award. Every post, every word and story and the magnificent photos bring delight to me with each receipt of your blog. Next time you do any work with the seven skeins club and consider adding new participants, I would be over the moon to do that. Thank you so much for all you bring to the world of working with yarn, and the appreciation of the landscapes that hold the projects togeter so beautifully.
    Kristin

    Like

  32. Good news! Congratulations!
    To read your news among the incredibly beautiful photos made this
    lovely blog post all the more satisfying.

    Like

  33. Congratulations, Kate! I hope you know what an inspiring example you are to all of us, as well–both as a businesswoman and a scholar. You’ve taken the discourse around knitting and women’s work up more than just a notch, and changed my understanding about the historical relationship between women and textiles. (And proven that that relationship can evolve and flourish now, to boot!) Thank you back!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. This is just wonderful. Congratulations to someone who is so deserving of this award and to all your Women Mentors too!! Tom’s photos are just amazing. I wish I could visit sometime….

    Like

  35. Congratulations! A well-earned award.
    Is your post title a reference to Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women, in addition, of course, to how excellent your co-workers are?
    Your blog posts, yarns, and books always add a good note of cheer every day. Thank you!

    Like

  36. Congratulations- and I love that you are passing on the inspiration, insight and learning you’ve gained over the years to others.

    Like

leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.