Meet the Team
Here at Skyeskyns we strive to supply high quality customer service whether it be face-to-face, on the telephone, online, or at one of our shows. The Skyeskyns team have a wide variation of skills, and knowledge in sheepskin production and the local area. This page will not only give our customers the opportunity to put faces to names it will also provide an insight into what everyone is involved with here at the 5 star Skyeskyns tannery.
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)
Jessica is the only daughter of Lydia and Clive. After studing French and Management at the University of St Andrews, Jessica worked in London and took time to travel. She 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.
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 knowledge and experience to allow our founders to semi-retire. Working as a business consultant and operations manager for most of his working life allowed him to take over management of the small team. During his time at the tannery his sheepskin and tanning knowledge has grown as well as the volume of staff he now manages.
Gemma Gordon (Assistant Manager)
Gemma originally joined the team as a seasonal sales person in 2013, she then left to find graduate work in Glasgow. In April 2014 Gemma came back to do a graduate placement through ScotGrad, then on to become Business Development Executive working with interior designers and tour companies. Currently Assistant Manager Gemma is from Skye, is involved in crofting, and enjoys horse riding.
Pete Winterbourne (Tannery Manager)
Pete has worked as the tannery manager since 2009 learning his skills from Clive, also completing his tanning qualification at Northampton University. Pete is a deer stalker during the season bringing his own skins in to tan, and sell. As an ex Royal Marine Pete is used to the hard work and physical labour involved in leather production.
Becky Hanley (Tanners Assistant)
Becky joined the team in May 2014 as our second assistant tanner. Taking on responsibilities such as; transferring skins, buffing, combing, and ironing. A keen crofter and owner of rare breed sheep such as; Jacobs, Shetlands, and Soay’s. Becky also enjoys weaving in her spare time so working with wool as a job is ideal for her. Becky originates from Gloucestershire.
Denise Gracie (Sales & Seamstress)
Denise is a long standing member of the Skyeskyns team starting in 2004. She works with bespoke orders, and is the creator of our sheepskin Snuggles and Haggis. With a good eye for merchandise she keeps Skyeskyns clean, and tidy. Denise is originally from Falkirk and spent most of her working life in the newspaper industry. She is a keen gardener and very much enjoys growing her own vegetables.
Janice Seller (Stock Control)
Janice is the longest standing member of staff at Skyeskyns starting in 2004, she grew up in Glasgow and has lived on Skye much of her adult life. As stock controller Janice is in charge of ordering wares and lines to sell in our showroom, as well as managing current stock levels. You may find Janice exploring Skye from a different perspective on the water in her sea kayak.
Amy Bentall (Seamstress)
Amy came to work for Skyeskyns in 2011 after moving to Skye from Hampshire. As a seamstress and avid craft maker Amy enjoys working with wool as a job, as well as a hobby. Amy works from home creating some of Skyeskyns accessories such as; cushions, and snuggles.
Dave Owen (Sales)
Dave has worked for Skyeskyns since 2013, as well as sales Dave is involved in public show attendance. An ex roady for an internationally renowned rock band. Travelling the UK is not a problem for Dave who drives stock to and from every show. Dave endeavours to keep the team happy by upgrading the showroom music collection regularly. After moving to Skye from Shropshire Dave and his wife have opened a B&B which is becoming very popular.
Sonia Brennan (Sales and YURTea&coffee Manager)
Sonia joined us in April 2016 as a full-time member of the sales team. She grew up on Skye working on the croft and in her parent’s pony trekking business. After school Sonia studied art in Edinburgh then returned to Skye with husband David to bring up their two girls. Here at Skyeskyns Sonia manages our pop-up seasonal tea tent YURTea&coffee baking is her forte! During the winter, she is involved in sewing and creating with our other seamstresses as well as sales. She is also the local girl guide leader and is highly involved in community projects.