At home with Samantha Holmes
If you have a passion for visiting Home Interior and Lifestyle shows then you will no doubt be familiar with Samantha Holmes and her exclusive, handcrafted clothing, accessories and home textiles made from luxuriously soft Alpaca.
Helensburgh based Sam set up her company in 2003 whilst living in Blanefield and then moved to her house, Greenpark in Helensburgh in 2007. Working previously in the drinks industry for Glenmorangie, she was frequently on flights to far flung destinations. After one particular trip, she found herself coming home with a collection of pashminas which she then sold to friends and family. After a few more trips and more orders coming in for the popular pashminas, Sam took the brave decision to resign from Glenmorangie and set up her company Samantha Holmes.
Sam travelled to Peru to make contact with small producer groups, most of whom she still works with now and together they have continued to produce exclusive collections of handcrafted luxury gifts, fashion accessories, Alpaca babywear, Alpaca clothing and Alpaca home ware, using only the finest micron baby alpaca wool. Sam designs her collection at home in Helensburgh where she gets inspiration from the colours of the landscapes around her.
She admits it hasn’t always been plain sailing especially managing working relationships with makers in Peru. Language barriers would often get in the way.
“I was wondering why one of our producers was a bit odd with me when visiting her in Lima. Only afterwards did I find out that when giving delivery details regarding our warehouse in Scotland, she interpreted it as my whorehouse. Not a great start to our business dealings!”
She does however love her trips to Peru, especially to meet the knitters, a group of skilled artisans who hand knit the beautiful range of clothing, accessories and home textiles.
Samantha Holmes knitwear is sold directly through their own website www.samanthaholmes.com, online clothing and lifestyle brand websites and wholesale to “bricks and mortar” boutique retailers. Constantly looking at new markets to enter Sam is currently marketing to Southern Hemisphere countries such as Australia and New Zealand. “Its just starting to turn chilly over there and we’ve had a great response from consumers looking for something warm, beautiful and a little bit different to wear”.
Sam, her husband Rob and their two girls love living in Helensburgh and asked what her favourite place was in the town she immediately replied “My house!”
Its no wonder, this house is very special and is of a completely different style to the more traditionally built larger houses in Helensburgh. Built in 1935, the Art Deco house, Greenpark, was designed by architect J S Boyd. The extensive gardens boast two huge Cypress trees which dominate the garden.
Sam says “ The trees can be seen from the street and we often find people in our garden taking photos of the trees and the house”!
Aware that Helensburgh Living loves a beautiful door Sam pointed out her own front door and the lovely Art Deco door handles and fittings.
“We love our house, its simplicity in design, the warm yellow render and the green Crittle windows and especially our kitchen, which is my favourite room in the house. It’s where the girls practise their music, Rob cooks and where our log burning stove is at the heart of the room”.
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