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"The Elevator team really understood us as creatives and were always happy to revisit points or explain any business jargon which was unclear. By the end, I really felt we had formed a wee creative family.” 

ALISON CARRIE FOUNDER

With a love for exploring and enjoying the local history of jute, self-taught crafter Alison Carrie started a small project which led to her becoming an accidental author and founder of handmade vegan jewellery and accessory business, Jist Jute.  

Jist Jute was initially set up as a temporary idea for Alison to raise funds to print her first book – if these wa’s cuid talk’ – all about the history of Dundee’s jute mills.

As her passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable material jute continued to grow, she decided to join Elevator’s Famous Grouse Ideas Centre Creative (FGIC) Accelerator in September 2020. 

“I found out about the programme through social media and I joined in order to improve and grow my crafting business into a real business and to gain the confidence to keep going.” 

Alison appreciated the opportunity the programme gave her to apply new tools and new ways of thinking to her business.  

“My experience was great! The Elevator team really understood us as creatives and were always happy to revisit points or explain any business jargon which was unclear. By the end, I really felt we had formed a wee creative family.” 

Similar to other local businesses, Jist Jute was affected by the covid-19 global pandemic. Luckily, Alison referred to it as a hidden blessing with a chance for self-reflection.  

“Before joining the programme, I was almost ready to give up. Lockdown happened and I turned my hand to making facemasks which helped to grow my customers and social media followers. On the back of this, I could afford to start renting a studio workspace and begin to expand my product range.”  

Alison shares some words of advice for anyone thinking of joining the Creative Accelerator: “Do it. You won’t regret it. It was literally life-changing for me! I have grown my business, taken on a studio, finished my book, prototyped new products and when permitted, I plan to use my studio as a shop for visitors to purchase my products.  

“It feels pretty good to be bringing Scottish jute working back to Dundee in some sort of form.” 

 

If you think you could benefit from one of our programmes, then apply today.

Find out more about our accelerators