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The Herring Girl
Posted on: 24th May, 2019
Connection is important to us here at the Isle of Harris Distillery and if you’ve visited, emailed or called us by phone, it’s likely you will have connected with our young customer service assistant, Lauren Macsween.
Hailing from nearby Scalpay, Lauren joined the distillery team in November last year and has been busy ever since answering your queries and questions as well as ensuring all orders are shipped in good time.
After leaving school Lauren spent a year in both Glasgow and Dundee studying art before returning home to work with the local council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
After 4 years in Stornoway progressing from apprentice to clerical assistant within the Education and Children’s Department, Lauren decided it was time for a new beginning back in her homeland of Harris. She tells us:
‘I love the ethos behind the distillery and what the company is doing for the island, and I wanted to be able to live and work in Harris without such a long daily commute.’
We’re delighted to have Lauren on board here at the distillery and pleased she also takes great pride in her work...
‘I really enjoy the variety of the job, working in a place that has a purpose and is going to be here for a long time to come. Although I only do a small job, each task plays an important part in the bigger picture.’
So, whether she’s booking guests on distillery tours, tackling tracking information or printing out address labels for the next day’s dispatch, there’s rarely a quiet moment.
But when her voicemail is finally switched on at 5 pm and the last of the emails have been replied to, Lauren tells us how she enjoys digging out her paintbrushes once more.
‘I love being creative, so you’ll often find me drawing or painting at home.’
‘I first began selling my artwork in 2011 when I worked at Hebrides Art in Seilebost. I really wanted a vintage-style travel poster of Harris and couldn’t find any anywhere, so decided I would make my own.’
Lauren’s style soon proved to be very popular and, inspired by a history of industrious young Hebrideans who came before her, in 2018 she launched her own online shop, named after the women whose skilled and nimble fingers once cleaned, salted and stored the local catch.
We think Lauren's previous studies shine through in her artistic abilities and her work can now be found throughout the distillery, from appearing on our tour tickets and blackboard calligraphy to her prints hung in the distillery canteen.
Just like the original women who toiled tirelessly over barrels by island harbours in years gone by, we’re confident you’ll find the best of care, diligence and good humour whenever you connect with distillery’s very own Herring Girl.
- By Shona Maclennan, Assistant Storyteller.