Meet the Team
Here at Skyeskyns the team has grown over the years to the eclectic crew that we have here today taking care of all sheepskin, leather, wool and coffee wishes, wants, and desires! As our online store grows with us, we bring to you the people behind Skyeskyns. Between the lot of us we can pass on our advice, stories, and general good craic here on Skye in person, over the telephone, via email, or social. Get in touch – no question too ‘out there’.
Lydia Hartwell (Founding Director)
Lydia founded Skyeskyns with her late husband Clive in 1983 and together they grew it over three decades from a fledgling local enterprise into the 5-star visitor attraction that it is today. Prior to returning to Skye permanently, Lydia and Clive had careers in teaching. As well as continuing to lead Skyeskyns today, she enjoys a part-time role as chief babysitter to her energetic grandchildren!
Jessica Hartwell (Marketing Director)
The only daughter of Lydia and Clive. Jess moved back to Skye to build a home with her partner Ben and work with her parents, developing the business. During this time Jessica also achieved her tanning qualification at Northampton University. Now a Mum to three children she follows in her father’s footsteps as a director of Skyeskyns. Often found ‘shooing’ Hebridean sheep along the single-track road here in Waternish.
Dave Till (General Manager)
Dave joined Skyeskyns as the first general manager in 2011 after moving to Skye from the Lake District, bringing with him business experience to allow our founders to semi-retire. As well as all the ‘usual’ business management activity you would expect a general manager to be up to Dave is also often found in overalls in the tannery, erecting our coffee yurt, or being instructed (by the shop team) to carry out all manner of DIY tasks!
Gemma Gordon (Assistant Manager)
Gem has been with Skyeskyns for several years now having travelled far and wide to sell copious fluffy sheepskin with colleagues Dave Owen and Amy at various shows – including one in Paris! She has plenty of production knowledge after doing a leather course with tanner Becky and has been involved in marketing over the years. Now Gemma takes care of our Portree store with Meg, Cleodi and Jane.
Becky joined the team in May 2014. She is often found in the tannery at ungodly hours of the morning doing the dusty jobs before visitors come in to watch her at work. As a seriously hardy chick transferring skins and sorting through raw hides does not phase her, in fact she loves it! Her skills do not just lie in the tannery, she can also sew and often helps the sewing team during busy periods – and she is part of the sales crew too!
Janice (Stock Control)
Janice is the longest standing member of staff at Skyeskyns starting in 2004. She is often found racing around the Skyeskyns distribution centre making sure we have enough woolly and fluffy gorgeousness for all your sheepskin needs. Over the years Janice has become a great friend of our small bank of suppliers who often call up the office to catch up with her!
Amy came to work for Skyeskyns in 2011; a seamstress and avid craft maker Amy enjoys working with wool as a job, as well as a hobby. Working from home creating some of Skyeskyns accessories such as teddy bears, cushions, and snuggles. Amy has her own business too, The Selkie Collective is an eco-shop who we have hosted in a pop-up manner in our Portree store – coffee, eco product, fashion, and interiors…why not?
Dave O (Sales)
Dave has worked for Skyeskyns since 2013. The heart and soul of the welcome here on site, the man with a plan for specific orders of unusual interior design and clothing request, not to mention his phenomenal knowledge of the world since he used to be a roadie for an international band…” ahh yes that’s just close to Timbuktu – I know it well”.
Isabelle joined Skyeskyns in March 2018 to look after our digital and print marketing, website and general getting the word out about Skyeskyns. Interior design and fashion are something that our Isabelle has a keen eye on – I am sure you will agree! Isabelle is often found directing the lovely Cleodi to sit, walk, stand, jump, and Adage with a camera in hand or a photographer close by.
Carmen is the smilliest person we know! Always happy with life, maybe it is just the effect of our beautiful ever-changing view from the office, she is often found at lunch time enjoying said view with a much-loved cup of fancy tea.
Meg has been part of the original Portree shop team since it opened its doors in 2019. As a native Sgiathanach Meg is often relaying stories of growing up, and just about knows everyone in Portree! She often “has to” sample the bakes that arrive through the door, so it is a good job herself and Jane are avid hill walkers….
As an excellent storyteller Grace really brings ‘the story of leather’ to life during her Tannery tour. Like many of our team Grace enjoys a good sing song as part of the local Gaelic Choir she is often found humming a wee tune while she packs orders.