WHO ARE Prickly Thistle? We are not just a business, we are not just a brand, we are not even a group of people who had a vision to do something exciting and pioneering for textiles and all of its applications from the Highland region of Scotland.
WE ARE a community, a gathering of people across the globe partnered with determined and committed makers at our designer mill. Collectively we have become REBELS with a cause, who have shared purpose and values. Values that we want to wear and values that form the fabric of our homes.
Together changing the future and disrupting the past has become our narrative, and we have only just began....
"To all those rebels who never give up, which is only ever made possible by all those rebels who share their support to make it so...."
Prickly Thistle started in 2015 as a bespoke design studio, which was basically the founder Clare in a shed. Clare worked with the relatively small Scottish textiles industry to slowly develop a portfolio of clients, creating bespoke cloth designs and product collections for them all, which incorporated the iconic tartan design principles.
Being very fortunate Clare was able to work with some incredible clients from the very beginning. Where each and everyone of them had a unique story and sense of identity for the future.
After two years Clare realised that if she could weave her own cloth for her clients she could truly push the creative boundaries in every sense. At the same time bring back this iconic artisan industry to her home region. Who would have thought the mainland Highland region had no textiles mills!
#BUILDTHEMILL IS BORN
Having secured the perfect home, a disused agricultural steading on the Black Isle, raising the funds to do the necessary renovation works was going to be more challenging than she could have ever imagined. Undeterred, she rallied a small co-founding team and #BuildTheMill was born. Where we would use 21st century style crowdfunding to not only help us earn the profits we needed to access match funding but evidence the ultimate proof of life for a new future of the fabric of Scotland. The story for textiles and tartan was destined to be much more, but some people needed convincing - and Clare and her team were the ones to make that happen.
With true REBEL spirit, we launched #SEASON1 OF #PLANB only 8 weeks after our first campaign failed. It was in February 2018 we shared with everyone our #PLANB, a plan that would see us split our crowdfunding efforts into smaller targets and in the mean time rent a temporary home which became our pop-up mill. Having then set up the pop-up mill the summer #SEASON2 OF #PLANB was launched in December 2019. With two successful campaigns under our belt, we now present our #FINALE OF #PLANB with a sales target of £120,000.
The profits from the Black House Mill limited edition collection and the necessary match funding is on track for us to deliver the below timeline and goals. Where in 2020 we will celebrate with each and every backer from the three campaigns, in true Highland Rebel style!
It is at the Black House Mill that the future lies for Prickly Thistle, it is where the journey will never end. This building will become the proud home and permanent heart of our founding values, our threads of purpose. Where we will always be undeterred and forever determined to be the voice and the hands that do....
PICTURES OF BW DRAWINGS INSERT COLLAGE - ONE IMAGE
THEIR DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT
We discovered our threads of purpose when we stepped back from all of the design commissions and finished products we had created. It was when we were able to see that it was always about the WHY, it was about purpose over product.
The threads of purpose were first shared in the summer of 2017 and two years later we are very proud to share how committed we have been to each and every purpose, with our achievements.
THE #FABRICOFYOURVALUES IS OUR FUTURE
Most recently during 2019 we became acutely aware of the global impact the textiles industry has. Continually inspired by other great rebel leaders and the work they do, we could not help notice in particular the social, environmental and ethical damage that still persists today. Our biggest learning this year has been recognising that our threads of purpose had an even bigger purpose!
In each and everyone of them we could help share the messages of the current impact and help be part of that much needed positive change. As rebels we will be walking the walk, evidenced by everything we will produce at our mill and how we give back on a global level.
We discovered a #PLANB for #BUILDTHEMILL but we know there is no #PLANETB.
THE REBEL FAMILY IS GLOBAL
During #SEASON1 and #SEASON2 OF #BUILDTHEMILL we gained support from over 1,000 REBELS from around the world with their pledges to purchase items from our limited edition collection of Black House Mill inspired textiles and handcrafted Scottish oak collectables.
What we did not expect, and what continues to be truly inspiring is the continuous messages of encouragement. So much so we keep our sleeves rolled up and we keep moving forwards, where each and every comment, message, email and visit leaves us enthused to do more.
Thank you to all who have joined us thus far and we hope we can reach out to many more over the centuries to come.
This project and everything that Prickly Thistle aspires to be could not work without the commitment and passion of the team, our rebel family of makers who work at the mill!
From Clare in her shed on the Black Isle and beyond our wildest dreams, we have now grown 1000% to a team of ten. Without people like these we would not have come this far in such a short space of time.
As a founding team we know we can grow, grow within ourselves and with many more around us in years to come. Where we can pass on the legacy that will become #BuildTheMill, the idea were one tartan design in its namesake changes an iconic Scottish industry forever.
Our future vision for rebel designed tartan textiles and products is all about rule breaking and going in the direction that does not quite have a clear path yet. All the while holding onto our threads of purpose.
Both rule breaking and undiscovered paths we know you would expect from some rebel designers. But to let you into a couple of little secrets, the rules you think that exist don't actually exist and to clear a path it only requires you to walk in that direction.
THE REBEL STYLE WEAVES ARE REVEALED....
With that, over the last 6 months we have been working in the background at the pop-up mill to create the first of our iconic weave styles, weave styles that showcase tartan design with rebel style. These are also weave styles we are sharing for the first time as part of the limited edition Black House Mill collection for #BUILDTHEMILL.
#WEARWITHCARE - from the above pictures you will see that some of our new weaves have many floating warp and weft threads and will require a little wear with care to avoid snagging.
THE FINALE REWARD COLLECTION
REWARD OPTION 1 - THE REBEL PLEDGE - FROM £1
With a heartfelt special thanks from Clare and the team all Rebel pledges for no reward will be secretly recorded in our archives, as the anonymous Rebels who pledged their support for no reward other than quietly and secretly knowing they were part of it.
REWARD OPTION 2 - BELTS AND BRACES XOX - £45
You could say at Prickly Thistle we are most certainly 'belts and braces' in our approach to most things. So much so we thought we needed to wear creatively designed accessories that are symbolic of this. These life accessories will see you through every day and any event.
X Marks The Rebel always when you clip on these super stylish braces. Worn like a Rebel, these braces mark the rebel with an eye-catching X feature at the back. Each set of braces are 3.5cm wide and 1m in length made with our finale season colourway of densely woven worsted cloth with super fine yarns we give you X Marks The Rebel.
O Says The Rebel with our versatile wool woven belts that will make everyone say 'Ooooooo'. Where each cut of cloth means that every belt will be as unique as you. Made from our super chunky merino wool cloth in our Season 1 colourway of the Black House Mill tartan, this has to be the belt you can wear with anything any season.
Available in 3 sizes (each being 5cm wide, lengths from 1.2m to 1.5m) with a choice of 3 options on your preferred O ring pairing (matt black, stainless steel or one of each), which you can specify at the end of campaign survey.
REWARD OPTION 3 - DAY OR NIGHT SCARF - £95
Back again is our very popular everyday scarf sizing of 2m long and 35cm wide. This time we have this essential available in all three of edgy new weave styles, thistle, rebel and WD1250. All scarves have been woven with superfine merino yarns, either as a worsted spun yarn or woollen spun yarn. Each scarf features our limited edition label and signature raw edges.
We will ask you to confirm your choice of scarf at the end of campaign survey.
REWARD OPTION 4 - REBEL VOUCHER - FROM £200
Featured in both the Season1 and Season2 Kickstarter campaigns, the rebel voucher has been listed for those who wish to create their own bundle of rewards. This will allow you to purchase multiples of the same reward and/or your preferred combination of rewards.
Simply add the value of all of the rewards you wish to reserve and enter this value against the reward entry as your pledge. There is a minimum charge for postage applied as standard and we will confirm if this remains adequate based on the rewards items you have selected. Confirmation of your selection will be done via the end of campaign survey.
REWARD OPTION 5 - SERIOUSLY OVERSIZED SCARF - £275
One of Clare's favourites is still the seriously oversized scarf, why? because it seriously has infinite uses and style options - making it a wardrobe item for not only your lifetime but whoever you bestow it upon for the next.
Available in the 4 new weave styles the scarf is 3m long and is 75cm wide. Each scarf features our limited edition label and signature raw edges.
Your choice of weave style will be asked via the end of campaign survey.
REWARD OPTION 6 - REBEL #WEARYOURVALUES BUNDLE - £500
For the finale campaign only, we have created a special Rebel Style bundle of 5 essentials. Included are the following items;
- X Marks The Rebel Braces £45
- O Says The Rebel Belt £45
- A Day and a Night Scarf £190 (£95 each)
- Oversized Scarf £275
- Presented in a Gift Black Box and protected with our branded dust bag
- With this exclusive bundle we share with you a rebel saving of £55
Please refer to the rewards above to read more about the individual reward products. Upon selecting this bundle we will confirm all of your choices via survey at the end of the campaign.
REWARD OPTION 7 - REBEL #FABRICOFHOMEVALUES BUNDLE - £1,250
For the finale campaign only, we have also created a special fabric of the home bundle. This could be for your own home or shared with the homes of the people you hold dear. Each bundle contains an incredible 10 items, enough to split between multiple rooms and homes or an indulgent one room rebel takeover. Included are the following items;
- Three Rebel Weave 14" Square Pebble Cushions £270 (£90 each)
- Three Thistle Weave 14" Square Pebble Cushions £270 (£90 each)
- Two 20" Square Boulder Cushions £270 (£135 each)
- Rebel Weave Blanket £295
- Thistle Weave Blanket £295
- Each item presented and protected in our branded dust bags
- With this exclusive bundle we share with you a rebel saving of £150
Each of our rebel interior accessories are made from our luxurious merino cloth woven in the distinctive and exclusive Black House Mill tartan design, now with a weave style twist. Each cushion comes with a plump hand filled feather pad that has been made in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Both blankets are 2.4m in length and approx. 1.4m wide. Upon selecting this bundle we will confirm all of your choices via survey at the end of the campaign.
REWARD OPTION 8 - THE ULTIMATE REBEL COMMISSION - £8,000
One of our most exciting packages to date takes bespoke identity to a new level. Whereby not only do we create with you your officially registered personal tartan design we can also personalise the weave style. Similar to our new thistle and rebel weave styles you can select up to 6 letters or numbers to be woven throughout your cloths, the questions is what will that be?
Included within the package is the following;
- A personal tartan design consultation with Clare to create your bespoke tartan and its official registration.
- Your official registration certificate presented in a stunning handmade Highland Slate frame with oak stand.
- Two 20m bales of your cloth woven at the mill, quality options include worsted, lambswool, merino and hybrids of all. Clare will discuss with you the range options you will have with the yarn quality mixes.
- Personalised coffee table book of your design experience, curated images of behind the scenes moments from design to finished cloth.
- A place on the Shuttle Wall.
- Private tour of the closed door mill for 4 including lunch with Clare.
You will be contacted to arrange the details of your full experience when the campaign ends and we will work to your personal timetable throughout.
!!!! THE FINALE SPECIAL REWARDS - ADDED 21ST JULY 2019 !!!!
KILTED YOGA - MEDITATION SCARF - £275
We are soooo excited to reveal that we will be working with Finlay once again, to create the first product in his tartan collection. We had so much fun creating this design with him in 2017, and since then even marched down 6th Avenue in NYC in April of this year.
Woven to our WD1250 weave style, the Kilted Yoga tartan will be a lightweight super silky pure wool delight. Each meditation scarf will be 3m long and 0.75m wide, the same as our seriously oversized scarf, at £275 each will feature a celebration label and come in a love me forever dust bag.
BE A TARTAN REBEL FOR A DAY AT THE MILL BUNDLE - FROM £2,000
This is a personal invite to become a rebel for a day with me and the team at the mill. This bundle reward can be pledged for 1 person and with options to make a rebel rally of 6. Where you can get behind the scenes on everything we do, and possibly hear a few secrets.... and we guarantee lots of FUN!
The day will start with a 'get ready breakfast' and we will show you every aspect of what we do throughout the morning. Followed by a 'fuel me lunch' we will then work with you to make something rebellious to take home. Throughout the day we will take lots of polaroid snaps and place in an album for you to take home also, rebel memories. This bundle also includes a product value of £500 from the Black House Mill tartan collection, you get to pick anything. The bundle starts at £2,000 (which includes the £500 of product), and for every friend or family member you want to take with you its only another £500 per person which also gives them £500 of product
If you have any questions at all about the project and this campaign then please do check our FAQ page. If you still cannot find the answer you are looking for then please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
We have now been operating at our 'pop-up' mill manufacturing operations for over 12 months, this is our temporary home in Evanton. Evanton is approximately 15 miles away from where our steading building and design studio are based on the Black Isle.
Temporary manufacturing can be carried out for up to 5 years at this site, which commenced in March 2018. We are aiming to secure the full funding required to build the Black House Mill during the next 3-6 months so that we can commence the renovation work before the end of 2019, allowing us to relocate in 2020 to the Black Isle.
Our key challenge is raising the required funds through crowdfunding, sales and grant support during these next 6 months that enable us to build the Black House Mill.
All tartan products listed in this campaign are guaranteed to be manufactured in the pop-up mill. Since the first campaign for #PlanB in March 2018, we have fully tested our lead times for all manufacturing. Some rewards in the first #PlanB campaign were delayed due to unforeseen additional restoration work required on all 4 looms. We are now confident to ensure all tartan products in this campaign will be delivered on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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