Sylvia & Tracy Ridley - Founders of Created By The Ridleys
The Tweedy Gift Company is the trading name of Created By The Ridleys
Finding an antique Singer sewing machine at a local antiques fair, Tracy was transported back to summer holidays spent with her Gran learning to knit and sew. That memory ignited her creative side and before she knew it, the dining room table was hidden beneath mounds of beautiful fabrics.
Still working full-time, Tracy spent every spare minute shut away designing and perfecting products. When she was 100% happy with her creations, supported by Sylvia her mother-in-law, she spent her weekends exhibiting at local craft fairs and agricultural shows.
“My first show was a disaster and I didn’t sell a single thing, my second show wasn’t much better as I only made one sale and that was to another trader, who I had a sneaking suspicion had only bought as they felt sorry for me.”
Not to be put off, Tracy persevered and could soon be seen doing ‘The Happy Dance’ behind her stand each time she made a sale. It was whilst at a local agricultural show, Tracy was approached by a lady who had a passion for Harris Tweed. She enthused over the quality of Tracy’s products, but made a suggestion that perhaps they would look even better if recreated using Harris Tweed.
“I remember going home and looking online at all the different patterns and colours and falling in love with each and every one of them. I must admit, the price of Harris Tweed was more expensive than the fabrics I was currently using but my lovely (anything for a quiet life) husband told me to go ahead and buy a couple of metres. Apparently, if I’m happy – he’s happy!
Well when it was delivered, I was so scared to cut it that it sat for months tucked away in a drawer. I eventually plucked up the courage to make the first cut and The Tweedy Gift Company was born”
Tracy has since given up the day job and now works full-time in the business. She also has her own fabric which lines all her products depicting water colour paintings from Dunfermline based artist - The Arty Penguin.
The Tweedy Gift Company continues to grow its portfolio of products whilst keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do.
“I still pinch myself and I never take anything for granted. Every single customer is important to me and my team. I still get as much pleasure sewing today as I did as a child with my Gran.”
Sylvia is retired, but is always on hand to help out at busy times and can still be spotted at the odd event with Tracy.