MAIRI Flood is the maker behind Bosie Hug

What’s the story behind your brand?

Two women have inspired the evolution of Bosie Hug. First, my mum shared her love of sewing with me. As I watched her sewing on her hand-crank Singer machine I began to develop the skills and a passion for sewing. By 10 I was making my own clothes and I have continued to sew and create throughout my life.

Mum loved the Doric dialect of north-east Scotland so from birth we got “bosies”, which means a warm embrace. As children we invented the phrase “Bosie Hug” for that extra special hug that is still used by our family today. So, when I left teaching five years ago to try my hand at making children’s clothing, the choice of name was simple.

The National:

The second lady is my good friend and fellow maker Janice, who asked me to make a pair of Harris Tweed booties for her newborn niece. I gave it a go and the first pair of Bosie Hug boots arrived. I was smitten, decided to make a few more pairs and the rest is history.

What do you make?

Luxury baby booties from Harris Tweed that by law is only woven in the Outer Hebrides on foot-operated looms. My booties are a pre-walker style that can be ordered in two sizes. My aim is to create a gift for babies to use but that can be kept as a keepsake for life. Customers can choose to personalise the heels with the baby’s name

and date of birth, add hand-embroidered blanket stitch or have them boxed with ribbon tie and gift tag.

The National:

How do you make them?

I have a meticulous and methodical approach to my sewing. I want my booties to be as comfortable and robust as possible.

Each piece of the Tweed outer is stay stitched, and all the seams once they have been trimmed are overlocked or reinforced with a zig-zag stitch. The elastic around the cuff is not machine stitched in but is fed into the casing by hand and securely hand stitched in place.

What sets you apart from other makers?

I have a real passion for perfection and pattern matching. It’s also important to me that I remain a small, niche maker so I can take my time making individual items for customers. My booties are a bit different because they are made from natural textiles combining pure wool Harris Tweed along with a super soft lining of GOTS Certified 100% organic cotton fleece.

What are your most popular products?

It must be my 2019 Ness Range, which are made to order in a choice of seven subtle herringbone Harris Tweeds that are all woven by the same independent artisan weaver on Lewis. I buy almost all my Harris Tweeds from independent weavers now. Source is important to me. Having visited several weavers in their loom sheds I have a very satisfying picture of them in my head when working on any given Harris Tweed.