Saturday, 30 January 2010

New website - online shopping coming soon

We are very busy working at getting on-line shopping facilities onto the Anna Macneil website. Because of this, we have had to take off most of what was there and it is currently only a limited site with a home page and a catalogue page. The catalogue is in the form of a pdf file that you can view within your browser (unless you are using a Mac - sorry, this seems to cause problems, but you can still download it and open it in Adobe Reader or Preview). And before Mac users get up in arms about discrimination - I am a Mac user!

If you look through previous postings you will find all sorts of links to different pages of the wbesite - these will no longer work, sorry! However, we hope it won't be too long before the new site is up and running.

You will soon be able to choose between products that we already have in stock or order something in the colour of your choice, all at the click of a button.

I will be keeping you posted through this blog and on the home page of the website.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Award Winning Scarf

I have just returned from Glasgow where I was exhibiting at Scotland's Trade Fair (Spring) at the SECC. At the show there was a panel of judges choosing the "Best Product" in each of four different categories. In the Clothing and Textiles section, we were awarded "Highly Commended" for our Bog Cotton fleece lined scarf. We have always been proud of this design, but it is very rewarding to have it recognised by experts.

This scarf was made by my daughter Mary and you can see her here pictured wearing the winning scarf and holding the bottle of wine that came along with the certificate. The scarf is lined with polar fleece which has a decorative fringe detail - more details on the website.

Another winner (at least in terms of orders from shops - we hadn't entered it for the competition) was our new style of hat - Callum - which over the next few months will be making its way into several shops. First up will be "Canongate Jerseys and Crafts" in Edinburgh's Royal Mile and they should have them in stock by mid February. This shop sells many of our products - hats and scarves, bags and purses, wallhangings, wraps etc. and is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Edinburgh. One of the samples I had with me at the show was bought by a keen angler. On the first day he asked if he could buy it at the end of the show and every so often throughout the three days he would come and try it on again. His verdict - "the best hat ever"!!!!!

We took orders for all our various products, some of them from shops we have not dealt with before. As we get the orders made and out to these customers we will put details of them on the website.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sneak Preview

From Sunday 24th to Tuesday 26th January I will be exhibiting at Scotland's Trade Fair at the SECC in Glasgow. It is not open to the public - just to buyers, managers and shop owners from bona fide retail businesses. If you want further details about the show visit their website at

I will have our full range of products there including our new style of hat. This new design is a man's hat (though no reason what so ever why women shouldn't wear it!) - named "Callum" and like all the other hats in our range, it is designed to keep out the Scottish weather. It is made with Harris Tweed and fully lined with anti-pill polar fleece. Here you see it modelled by my son Simon.

It comes down over the ears, but is shaped at the back so that it doesn't interfere with the collar of a jacket or a scarf, making it extremely comfortable to wear as well as warm.

We will of course have all our other hats on view at the show and hope to have them heading out to retail outlets fairly quickly after the show. Full details of all our hats can be seen on the website at

All our other products will be on display at the show - bags and purses, scarves & wraps, belts, cushions, wallhangings ---- and even Christmas decorations! I know, we have only just had Christmas, but the retail trade need to plan ahead to ensure that they have everything you will want in their shops by the time you start thinking about next Christmas.

Another product on display will be our Mairi hat - a traditional bonnet style of hat in Harris Tweed. It has proved very popular this winter and this year we will be offering it with the addition of embroidered detail such as this one with a small Celtic knot stitched with gold embroidery thread.

Full details of these will go onto the website soon.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

On holiday

I am enjoying a very welcome break at Port Appin on the west coast of Scotland. While the rest of the country seems to be covered in snow, here there is lost of green around. It is cold - lots of ice on the ground and the seaweed on the beaches crunches underfoot because it is frozen. There is snow above about 500ft but at sea level it is lovely.

This afternoon I enjoyed a pleasant walk on the island of Lismore while my husband stayed at the hotel working on the new Anna Macneil website. The big change is that I am going to have an online shop. You will still be able to commission things in the colour of your choice but there will be things ready for purchase and "add to basket" buttons with a Paypal checkout. It will probably be a few more weeks before it is polished up enough to put it online, but we have got the basis set up. In the meantime, you can still visit the current website and use the online order form. I will be back home tomorrow and able to make things and post them out.

I will need to come back here in the summer months and take the car across to Lismore as there is much to see. This afternoon I only managed a short walk around the northern tip of the island where the passenger ferry comes in. It gets dark quite early and by 3.15 the sun was already below the hill and it was bitingly cold. There is a good website for the island and it looks as though there is lots to justify a longer visit.

Tomorrow we head back up the road to Inverness to find out just how much snow there is. It is certainly unusual for us to have such a prolonged spell of cold weather, but more pleasant than wet and windy weather.