This Spring, take a trip around Skye with Skyeskyns
Discover places to stay and visit, some established, some brand new.
Take a look around their beautiful interiors, all featuring Skyeskyns sheepskins.
Find out more about the people behind each business.
Get some inspiration for your next trip to Skye or your home décor.
Skye is a fascinating island: stunning to behold with its ever-changing light and weather and its rugged and fantastical landscape. It is home to an interesting mix of people: islanders, born and bred, whose families have lived here for generations and newer residents attracted to Skye’s beauty and lifestyle.
This mix of old and new is also apparent in the new generation taking over established or creating new businesses around Skye.
So we decided to share some stunning places to stay and visit on Skye and to introduce you to the lovely people behind them.
We're starting this Skye journey at our own base of Skyeskyns with our second-generation director Jess Hartwell.
If you are travelling to Skye, a trip to the Waternish peninsula is well worth the journey: fantastic seaviews, lovely tranquil setting, great walks in undisturbed areas and excellent food in the local pub and restaurant. And of course, there's Skyeskyns tannery and showroom, where you can explore the story of leather and indulge in some stunning sheepskins and accessories. Just outside is our pop-up 'YURTea&Coffee' tent with priceless views out to the Minch Strait and the Outer Hebrides. What a place to live and work!
Jess Hartwell would agree. Her parents, Clive and Lydia, set up Skyeskyns 35 years ago this year and Jess is passionate about injecting creativity and style into everything we do.
Jess and her partner Ben defied the Skye elements and built an inviting home here in Waternish which is now full of giggling children and muddy welly boots! On her days off from motherhood, she follows in her Dad's footsteps as a company director and heads up the marketing team.
One of her most recent design projects has been the YURTea&Coffee seasonal pop up, which is in its second year of operation and provides a wonderfully quirky and cosy environment for visitors to sample artisan coffee, Scottish produce and local home-baking. Its interior is slick and contemporary, yet paired-back, letting the architecture of the yurt, the soft lighting and the luxurious feel of the sheepskins speak for themselves.
Jess knows a thing or two about glamping up a tent, as was also apparent when she put together an outdoor shoot last year to show how Skyeskyns products can be used to inject style, texture and comfort wherever you are.
To get the low-down on what makes Jess tick, we asked her a few quirky questions about her likes and dislikes and favourite things on Skye and beyond:
-Creatively messy or professionally pristine?
Mostly messy but always aspiring to be pristine!
-What was the last picture you took on your phone?
A family selfie on the way to explore an abandoned village near Ramasaig. Only two of us are actually smiling and looking at the camera but in this house that's a photographic win!
-What would you do with an afternoon to yourself?
I'd go to one of the many Skye quiet spots; maybe hot-foot it up a Cuillin (it's been too long!) or visit the brochs on the way to lighthouse at Waternish point.
-What’s your most loved and loathed food?
We are spoilt for choice here. Local produce is always delicious. I'm partial to a venison burger but somewhat controversially, given where we live, oysters are not my cup of tea!
-When did you last shed a tear at a movie?
Most movies make me cry but I watched The Silent Child the other night which is a beautifully shot, powerful short film and definitely worth taking 20 minutes out of your day to see.
-Who inspires you?
My wonderful Mum. She is strong, patient, smart and the kindest person I know. If I can be half as good a Mum to my three as she is to me, I'll be one happy lady!
NEXT WEEK: FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BEALACH UIGE BOTHY IN STAFFIN