What a great few months it has been for our Scottish Shops at the Highland Games held throughout New England this past year. We really are lucky to have such a great selection of products available at the games for everyone to enjoy. Our vendors were all busy and new friends were made all round.
But have you ever wondered about the logistics that have to be considered by each vendor before going to the games? Shipping products from Scotland to ensure the right stock is available for our customers requires careful planning well in advance. Accommodation needs to be booked and vans often need to be hired and then packed. Tents need to be put up and our wares need to be unpacked and displayed. Should the weather decide to be fickle on the day, tents must quickly be rearranged to protect both the products and our customers. It’s a huge undertaking. So, you may well ask, ‘Why do they do it’?
One common theme from each of our vendors is how do we let you all know that we are here, right in New England? Robert, owner of ‘Rablogan Castle’, will tell you that “attending the games gives us the ability to reach a very large number of interested people. Many people don’t know that we are based in Arlington, VT, we need to go to them to let them know we are here, within easy reach for many”.
Building relationships with our customers is another common theme, very important to all of us. As Patricia, owner of ‘Thistles & Things’ says “we enjoy the people that come to visit our tent, people come back year after year, they are warm and friendly, being at the games gives us the opportunity to catch up with each of them in person” We vendors do look forward to chatting with each of our customers, hearing their stories of visiting Scotland or memories of living in Scotland years ago are always delightful to hear. New friendships are forged, and we look forward to seeing them year after year.
Each of our vendors in New England offers something different for our customers. ‘Rablogan Castle’ focuses on quality kilts, highland wear, food and much more. ‘Thistles and Things’ offer a variety of Scottish items including many items for dancing. ‘Gibson Bagpipes’ design, develop and produce world class handcrafted bagpipe instruments. ‘Scottish Creations’ aim is to bring you Scottish Gifts from independent Scottish Designers, living and working in Scotland. Caledonia’s Best offers a variety of items, insisting that ‘every item we sell is actually made in Scotland’.
If you would like to meet the owners of these great Scottish businesses, come to the games! As Robert from Rablogan Castle says “each of the Scottish Games are slightly different, everyone is there to have fun”. Patricia from ‘Thistles & Things’ says, “the mix of people is eclectic and informal; everyone has a happy smile on their face”. Hilary from Scottish Creations adds “it’s such a great day out, like being back in Scotland for a day”
We all look forward to meeting you next year.