By Kim Taylor

I have a fondness for most things Scottish, since the B. In my name is for Bonnie. Although supporting artisans and cultures around the globe won’t cure a disease or ensure world peace, in its own quiet way art still does make the world a much better and lovelier place.

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Edinburgh-based Thistle & Broom was founded in 2004 to serve as a cooperative luxury brand for artists and craftspeople. This distinctive web site ( offers an extraordinary collection of luxury goods made by Scottish artisans. Best of all, Thistle & Broom donates 8 percent of its pre-tax profits to various organizations whose missions sustain Scotland’s heritage and gorgeous wild spaces. One of these organizations, referred to as “friends” on the web site, funds a scholarship/apprenticeship opportunity each year to study with a master.

Many of Scotland’s finest artisans consider Thistle & Broom their home. Product lines include hand-wrought Orkney Chairs from Scapa Crafts, Catherine Aitkin’s fantastic Munro (messenger style) bags, uniquely knitted and felted soft furnishings from Mary T Design, fine oil paintings from renowned painter Richard Wemyss, and couture clothing that includes beautifully hand-stitched kilts, skirts, and cloaks from Piob Mhor in Harris Tweeds. Visit to see what other delights Scotland has to offer apart from Trainspotting, haggis, bagpipes and Sean Connery and support the arts and environment.

Originally published August 2005
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