Duns-made tartan on parade

The ScotlandShop team with their mascot Tam the Tartan Tailor.
The ScotlandShop team with their mascot Tam the Tartan Tailor.

The Scotland Shop, based near Sinclair’s Hill, Duns, will be represented in New York’s Tartan Day Parade this week by Tam the tartan tailor.

Tam, the tailor’s dummy, will be joined in the parade by Scotland Shop founder Anna White and her two children Harry and Poppy, all wearing New York City tartan.

Since 1998, April 6, has been celebrated as National Tartan Day in the United States to recognise the contribution made by Scottish-Americans to the country.

A year later it involved two pipe bands and a small band of Scottish Americans marching from the British Consulate to the UN. Now the parade in New York includes hundreds of pipers, thousands of marchers and many more thousands cheering from the sidelines.

This year’s parade will be led down Sixth Avenue by the grand marshall, Sir Billy Connolly, and it is the perfect environment for the Duns-based company to show off the tartan products available from its online shop and Edinburgh store.

After arriving in New York on April 2, Anna explained: “We will run our pop-up shop in the Algonquin Hotel where lots of those attending the parade will stay. The parade itself starts right outside the door and as it heads down Fifth Avenue others filter in.

“Our pop-up shop will feature a collection of clothing and accessories in the New York City tartan along with a few favourites such as the Caledonia and Scotland Forever tartans. We Fedexed eight boxes full of our most popular tailored garments along with accessories and fun stuff such as our Tartan Ted. Quite a few dogs join the parade so we have even created a special range of bow ties and neckerchiefs for pooches attending.

“A tartan Ted, made in the United States St Andrews tartan, flew out to California for St Andrew’s Day and since then he has been travelling America meeting Scottish societies and clans, with a final destination of the Tartan Day Parade in New York.

“We are also joining Visit Scotland at a couple of evening events focusing on the clan links to the different regions of Scotland and we will provide the tartan slant on this talking about history and fabrics, showing swatches of all the different tartans.

“For the parade itself we are all wearing the New York City tartan and my two children Poppy and Harry are very excited to get the chance to visit New York for the first time and join in the parade.”