Born and bred in the crofting, fishing and weaving community in the Isle of Harris, Catherine Campbell was bound to grow up with Harris Tweed embedded in her heart.
Now, after years of hard work and dedication, Ms Campbell has been made an OBE in recognition for her services to the Harris Tweed Industry and the economy on the island she calls home.
Having grown up in a family of Harris Tweed weavers, Ms Campbell always found the trade “fascinating” and knew she would end up in the family business one day.
She said: “Harris Tweed is still to this day a home industry therefore many children were brought up with the familiar clickity clack throughout the day and evenings as we helped our parents with filling the bobbins for the loom shuttles – a chore which none of us will ever forget.
“My father’s aunt Marion Campbell lived next door and although she did her own dying, spinning, weaving and finishing of her cloth, her work was always fascinating.
“We helped her gather the natural flowers and lichen for the dyes, watched her dye the wool in the pot, intrigued at her skillful spinning of the wool – it was such a long hard process to prepare the wool for weaving and the final process was to wash and shrink the tweed by hand.
“It was and still is fascinating for children growing up with such an industry in and around our homes – the way of life and work instils in you and never ever leaves you.”
Ms Campbell added: “I am deeply honoured and very surprised to receive this award.
“And although I stand to accept this honour, I feel it belongs if not equally to my family who brought me up to love the Harris Tweed Industry I live and work in today.
“Also, a very big thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us in every way throughout the years, I am eternally grateful.”