Step into Guillemot, the new boutique on Wentworth Street, and you are stepping into a shop that has long been the dream of owner, Liza Hawthorne.
Liza, who owns the Isle of Skye Baking Company along with her husband Barry, says: "I have always wanted a little boutique. I wanted it to have a quirky name, and I had seen pictures of Black Guillemots with their red legs. I thought Guillemot was a perfect name - evocative of Skye and Scotland."
The dream lingered for years in the back of Liza's mind until she was offered the opportunity to set up the boutique in what had been the butcher's shop on Wentworth Street. "We were given 24 hours to decide whether or not we wanted the shop," explains Liza. "I said: 'Let's do the fantasy!'"
November 2016 saw the boutique open its doors for the first time. Visitors discovered a shop that was full of the unexpected. Where else on Skye can you expect to find a kit for beard-maintenance? Or even chainmail jewellery and cosy tights?
Guillemot is mainly a clothes boutique, aiming to supply local women with glamorous and unusual clothing. Says Liza: "There are so many women who live here and like to dress well. They want to feel and try on their clothes before they buy them. At the moment, I have around eight different brands - all chosen mindfully and all from different price ranges so there really is something for everyone. I don't usually buy more than four of a particular garment because people want to be individual. I'd like this to be the place where women on Skye who love clothes will find something to wear." Liza is currently running a special discount of 30% off her range of clothes.
Liza says: "During the year, the boutique may feed into supplying visitors with locally made gifts and items in Harris Tweed. When on holiday, people buy things as mementos. I want people to open their suitcases when they get home and look at the jewellery or the Scottish wool they have bought and think: 'I bought that on holiday on Skye,' and have lovely memories to look back on whenever they wear their jewellery or the jersey they knitted."
The boutique will be open on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of February. Starting in March, Liza expects to be open seven days a week from 9am until the evening.
Guillemot promises to be a shop that will take its visitors on a journey into the unexpected, supplying quirky and eclectic items. Why not visit and let Guillemot surprise you?