When Aimi MacKay and Emma MacKenzie met at Gray’s School of Art between 2004-2008, they never imagined where their friendship would take them.

Six cities, five countries and one seedling of an idea later the duo found themselves back in Scotland to launch their first joint venture – Native Sister.

With over 10 years’ experience in the fashion and textile industry, Aimi and Emma spotted a gap in the market for bespoke, thoughtful gifting, while supporting and showcasing the best independent brands the UK has to offer.

With the support of Business Gateway, Native Sister has propelled into the marketplace. Champions of ‘shop local’, and proud to showcase some of the amazing talent Scotland has to offer including Aster & Bay, Nurturing Soul, Westburn & Granite and Fernweh, the company’s customised gift boxes are perfect for weddings gifts, corporate gifts, new home or new baby gifts and much more. 

Aimi said: “We always talked about starting a business together, but after University life took over. We both moved away for work and only recently moved back to Scotland, which prompted our ‘now or never’ moment. Native Sister was born out of the need for simple, thoughtful gifting - something we both struggled to find when we lived overseas and wanted to send gifts to loved ones back home.

“Business Gateway’s support has been incredible. The range of courses available, along with the frequency and timings, is second to none. We took full advantage of these workshops, not only to help educate us in growing a business but also as networking opportunities. Another major draw for us – each one was free, which for a small business has helped us progress quickly without any financial constraints.

“We are big believers that individuals are only limited by their own imagination, so we took a risk – one which has paid off and one which may not have flourished as quickly without the backing of Business Gateway. My advice - don’t be afraid to think outside, or rather inside, the box!”

Find out more about Native Sister

Discover how Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire can help your business by visiting its local page or call 01224 946 536.

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