And so, the September rush has started.
The final days of summer often brings with it a mix of feelings; dread for those 8am alarm bells are balanced with the hope of fresh starts, new beginnings and a focus on the ‘school year’ ahead.
At Essence of Harris, September has started off with a celebration of our young people. As we waved our Graphic Design intern Molly off on the ferry across the Minch, we reflected on the 3 months she had spent working on the island and the invaluable work she completed on her Scotgrad summer placement at Essence of Harris. The 12-week programme was so beneficial that Jamie and Deenie decided to ask Molly to stay on, and work freelance for Essence of Harris whilst she completes her Product Design degree at Glasgow University; it’s a fantastic opportunity for the company to grow, and a unique chance for Molly to further her skills and knowledge of the working world, whilst continuing her studies.
This week also marks the end of Beth’s Scotgrad placement, exactly a year since she made the move from Belfast to our magical island home with the aim of promoting the candle factory to UK and international followers alike. Arriving into the Essence of Harris team in 2017, Beth had never studied business before and was eased into the role with courses and development programmes organised by people such as Scotgrad, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Business Gateway. With a rebrand, a move into a new factory on the island, the beginning of the company’s international exporting journey and a launch of the new Auras collection- the 12 months has been hugely busy and has allowed Beth to develop her skills in a tight-knit, fast-paced environment. Even though her placement is coming to an end, we aren’t saying goodbye to Beth just yet. She is staying on with Essence of Harris for another year on the Isle of Harris, continuing her development and promoting our candle journey to anyone who will listen!
As Beth and Molly’s placement both come to an end, we mark new beginnings at the factory. Rebekah, another one of our wonderful employees at Essence of Harris, has been working hard behind the scenes to get scent sachets, bubble bath and liquid hand soaps out to you all as soon as possible. However, this week Rebekah started her apprenticeship in Business Management at the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI), a step which the whole team are delighted about. When she started with the company, Jamie and Deenie worked with Dolina Smith at the local council (CNES) to organise for Rebekah to gain a degree in a subject of her choice, whilst making a living and learning new skills at the candle factory- the ‘best of both worlds’ for both Rebekah, and us all here at Essence of Harris.
Both the Scotgrad scheme and our work to secure apprenticeships for staff members has allowed Essence of Harris to flourish in a business landscape which often ignores the needs and ideas of our younger generation of workers. We have been able to tap into the rich talent rife within the country’s young people and have given students and graduates alike the opportunity for independence and freedom in a growing Scottish business. Everything we do is focussed on our island home, and we want to show the younger generation that you can build a future and a career right here in the beautiful Outer Hebrides.