Popping Up Before We’re Even Up…
It’s been a long and arduous journey to get our products ready for the market. Endless cocktail tasting, sifting through vintage maps and smelling scents under the watchful eye of experts, friends and fellow Reivers. Wait, did we day long and arduous? We mean an outrageous amount of fun.
Urban Reivers has the opportunity to pop up on George Street for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during August and we just couldn’t say no. We were planning to launch after all, and might as well do it in style. So we rounded up some of our favourite Scottish labels from indie jewellery makers to local food/drink producers and beauty brands to join in.
Opening on the 2nd of August until the 29th, 10am – 10pm the shop will be busy with free tastings, testings and demos by our makers and producers from across Scotland. And everything will be for sale. So get down to George Street to visit us over August, we will ply you with cocktail samples, make you smell great and send you on your merry way onwards and upwards to the festivities of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Photo: Bethany Grace
Products in photo: Sara Hill Make Up, 4160 Tuesdays Perfume, Bonnie Bling & Urban Reivers REEK.
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You never need to be lost in Scotland again
At Urban Reivers HQ we are fascinated by maps. Maps are, after all, the way we interact with the world – where would we be without them? LOST is the answer. Hence our inspiration for Find Your Way Home, our line of map silk accessories. We were first inspired by the stories of WW2 escape maps, printed on parachute silk and smuggled behind enemy lines. They were the most prolific piece of escape and evasion kit during the war.
We decided to remake those maps using Scotland and headed for the map library at the National Library to find the perfect vintage map. There is no end to the colourful array of hand drawn and painted originals. Our favourite was Bartholomew, a map designer from Edinburgh during the early 20th century.
We’ve printed our maps on 100% Habotai silk – the closest to the parachute silk used in the original that we could find. We’ve even thrown in a compass. So, Aberdeen to Wigtown. John o’ Groats to Moffat, whether you live here already, your family have Scottish roots or you just love it up here, wherever you come from – you need one of these. Don’t get lost in Scotland.
Follow the launch of Find Your Way Home on our social media – twitter, instagram and facebook!
Bowfin’: one of our favourite Scots words… We hesitate to use it to describe our Jacobite heroines but they probably didn’t smell that nice
Our range, REEK. is a celebration of our heroines and heroes. Our first release, DAMN REBEL BITCHES. is inspired by Scotland’s Jacobite women. Urban Reivers first came across the tales of these brilliant but bowfin’ ladies many moons ago, as stories from our childhood. Later, we read Maggie Craig’s wonderful book Damn’ Rebel Bitches, which draws on original documents, letters and stories…. It’s an inspiration.
When it came to making our scent with artisan perfumer, Sarah McCartney from 4160 Tuesdays, we wanted to use ingredients which captured the essence of the Jacobite lifestyle, minus the odours that were natural (if unpleasant) in an era when people didn’t bathe as much as we do today. Our eau de parfum, contains hazelnuts, pink peppercorns, blood oranges, clary sage, malt and a breath of fresh air, yes that’s right fresh air, something people of the 17th and 18th centuries got plenty of as their lives were mostly rural.
Pink peppercorns are produced from a startlingly red fruit grown on the Schinus Molle tree. These were an exotic luxury in Jacobean times, and their sweet-sharp flavour gives this perfume a warmth which blends with the woody, citrus notes. The blood oranges create a luxurious feel and gives the scent a kick, similar to the clary sage which has an aromatic fragrance. And at the heart of our perfume is hazelnut, which was a staple of the Highland diet. The island of Colonsay was famous for its hazelnut colonies and this woody, rich flavour makes the perfume sing. Mix all these wonderful ingredients together and voila! A damn good bottle of perfume. We can’t wait for you to try it.
Just a little message for today, step outside, take a breath of fresh air and be glad you aren’t bowfin’… and join our mailing list!
From Scottish Potatoes to Heather Rose Gin
You’d think it was all distillery visits and perfume testing round here, and that’s not far off. Fresh off the back of our trip to Ogilvy Farm in the heart of the east coast countryside, we embarked upon our next great quest, from the rolling hills of Glamis with the taste of Scottish potato vodka lingering to the rolling hills of Perthshire and the scent of gin. With great poise and misplaced confidence we pointed our taxi driver enthusiastically into the heart of the countryside, after passing several farms and country houses and nervously watching the fare climb, we eventually found our self at a lovely old farmhouse with ‘Strathearn Distillery’ in iron lettering above the door.
We were greeted by the team and were shown around the distillery, learning about how their increasingly popular gin is made and what struck is the most is the volume this small team (small in number, not in stature) produces. Our favourite, the “Heather Rose Gin” is created by storing the gin in barrels with sacks and various herbs, spices and juniper berries. As if this all wasn’t enough work, they also create bespoke gins and have an up and coming whiskey in casks made of different types of wood, as opposed to the commonly used oak cast.
After seeing how much the team really care about encouraging and implementing new ideas, we had the tough job of trying to number their products. With a smile on our faces and a belly full of Scottish gin and whisky we waved a fond farewell to this fabulous team who peculiarly doubled in number right before our eyes. Much rest was had as we made our way back to Edinburgh. The job is tough, but someone has to do it…
To find out about the launch of our Perthshire Gin Bramble swally box and other products, join our mailing list!
A Weekend Of Photo Shoots and Prop Hunting
It’s been more busy than usual this weekend at Urban Reivers HQ. We’ve been getting our products ready for months but this weekend we pulled everything together for a shoot with talented photographers Bethany Grace and Ryan Laing. Our team worked into the night, sourcing last minute ingredients and scouring Edinburgh for gooseberries and what not. Jenn our seamstress was up so late it was hardly worth her going to bed again before driving our silks through from her studio in Glasgow.
A huge thanks to Vixy from Stewart Christie for the legendary tweed jackets to set off our silk bow tie and pocket squares and to Goodwin’s Antiques for Jacobean-style jewellery to grace our very own Damn Rebel Bitch.
Seeing all our products through the lens after much tweaking, setting and resetting by the professionals was magical. From Damn Rebel Bitches. sitting on a set scattered with blood oranges, malt and pink peppercorns. To finally seeing our Find Your Way Home range on models – it’s as if our big ideas suddenly sprang into life! Now it’s time to to pick out favourites and get them up on the website. Oh and make the site. We’d better get on that, busy busy!
To see more behind the scenes from our product shoot and look book have a look on our feed on twitter, instagram and facebook!
Dropping By Distilleries
Here at Urban Reivers we recently decided that a good stretch of the legs was needed. For a few days we swapped Edinburgh’s busy streets and scent of brewing for the rolling hills of the countryside and the scent of distilling. Having spent a lot of time emailing and calling the team of our favourite Vodka suppliers, Ogilvy Vodka, a good old fashioned face-to-face visit was on the cards.
With a map in hand we ventured north beyond Desperate Dan’s home in Dundee in search of the 1 year old Ogivly distillery. After spending 20 minutes travelling in the wrong direction in a taxi from Forfar, we finally found ourselves at a quaint little farmhouse near Glamis castle. We were greeted by a group of unimpressed looking cows alongside a much friendlier looking Graeme Jarron, one of the founders of the business. He talked us through the laborious and completely original process they created in order to produce their highly sought-after (and delicious) Scottish potato vodka and explaining ‘Cow Booze’ to us.
From field to bottle, the potatoes go through a number of stages involving boiling, mincing and fermenting until they are eventually sealed into the stylish Ogivly bottle. Which was in fact designed by co-founder of the company, Caroline Jarron who, as well managing the business’ marketing, is a successful interior designer. Before it reaches the shelf, the bottle is sent to Poland and Italy to give it a frosted effect and the foil lettered ‘Ogilvy’. We know you shouldn’t judge a vodka by it’s bottle but let’s face it, a good-looking bottle helps! We sipped, we savoured, we LOVED it. How delicious.
Keep an eye on our Urban Reivers feed for more exciting trips and product development!
When is a box more than a box? When it is EVERYTHING.
At Urban Reivers we have been working hard, tasting and testing the first range of products on fellow Reivers far and wide. But there has been another passion looming in the background. Our ever growing love for packaging. Or should we say love for the idea of packaging because it turns out that sourcing and buying the perfect packaging is not easy. After our testing day at Urban Reivers HQ last Friday there was a lot of feedback about our first attempts. Our love of die cut boxes and craft paper were not up to the standards of our Damn Picky Bitches, with high demand for coloured linen boxes and waterproof swally boxes. So we thought we’d try it out and it turns out, they were right.
Packaging is a difficult mistress. How could something so simple, like sourcing 1000 perfect navy boxes in three sizes and with a couple of handles thrown in be so tricky you might ask? We don’t know either.
But with the help from our fabulous intern Heidi (the lady for logistics), a few long nights searching on google and some braw advice we’re almost there. World, get ready for our beautiful navy boxes coming soon. Just a box, pffffft.
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