Get to know the team behind Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers a wee bit better.
Made up of Nicolsons and adopted Nicolsons the GNK Family is exactly that - a family.
Each and every one of us play an integral part in the successful small but mighty GNK machine...we also have a hoot together too!
Meet The Team
Get to know the team behind Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers a wee bit better.
- Founder -
Gordon Nicolson is at the helm. The chief of GNK and a true visionary in the highlandwear field.
Gordon's lifetime of professional experience along with his unwavering passion for kilts and tartan has led GNK to an exceptionally prominent position in the industry.
Tired of seeing the decline in the quality of kilts, Gordon, with the ongoing support of his wife Louise, decided to take a leap of faith in 2009, and create a business that put quality craftsmanship before everything else.
Along the way, Gordon has now not only created a business with a fantastic reputation for a quality product, knowledge and customer service, but pushed forward in standardising the quality of the kilts being produced in Scotland.
Through the Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, founded by Gordon in 2016, the level at which kilts are made has been pushed to its highest ever. Thanks to training our kiltmakers under our own roof, we can now assure each and every customer receives the best quality kilt available.
Gordon is also responsible for a number of iconic tartans - from the Scotland Nation Football Team to The Univesity of Edinburgh, Celtic FC to a number of family designs.
Gordon has achieved what he set out to do, and continues to drive the GNK business and family from strength to strength.
- LoullyMakes -
Textile designer and maker Louise is, not only, Gordon's wife and another visionary behind the GNK Family and brand, but also the hands and mind behind LoullyMakes.
Louise's life long love of textiles and having studied her craft in the capital of Scottish textiles, Galashiels, all led to the creation of LoullyMakes. Passionate about both quality cloth and sustainability, this beautiful brand and integral part of GNK, began by creating accessories from the off-cuts of kilts!
LoullyMakes has also gone from strength to strength too and now produces a few short run collections a year, along with some staple pieces. Louise champions unique combinations of the highest quality Scottish tweeds and tartans and luxurious Liberty prints and velvets. The off-cuts of every piece are then transformed into further beautiful products, always with zero-waste sustainability in mind.
Beyond LoullyMakes, Louise is always on hand with ideas and advice. She's the first to know about exciting things we can all be a part of or a project that would suit GNK down to the ground!
- Sales Manager -
Gillian is the heart and soul of organisation and keeps us all right! Having worked for GNK since she was 19, Gillian has been part of the growth of GNK and helped lead the business into the wonderful and exciting position it is in today.
Gillian is a wealth of knowledge and the go to for anything and everything for both team mates and customers alike. She is the first person you are likely to speak to when you get in touch, the first person you are likely to meet when you stop by!
She's heard and seen just about everything the highlandwear industry could throw her way! Having heard "So...what's under the kilt?" and "What's my tartan?" countless times, Gillian knows an enormous amount just off the top of her head - which never fails to amaze and impress us! She's also incredibly patient and gives each and every customer a wonderful experience with us.
Beyond ensuring GNK runs smoothly each and every day and making sure our customers are all happy, Gillian has also recently added tartan design to her list of skills! She has designed beautiful tartans for families and organisations alike, some being a pretty big deal too!
We wouldn't know where we would be without Gillian's organisation and knowledge!
- Sales & Kiltmaker -
Helen, famously known as "The Irish One" is behind each and every beautiful bespoke accessory created for our customers. From tree skirts to bowties, shawls to dog collars, Helen's never afraid to take on a tartan challenge, and create something beautiful in the process.
Helen has a degree in Fashion from Heriot Watt University and began her career working on costumes for Game of Thrones in her native Northern Ireland before taking on the bridal industry, then joining GNK.
Beyond creating handmade accessories in-house, Helen is also an Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy qualified kiltmaker and another knowledgeable and committed member of our sales team! If you don't catch Gillian, you'll certainly be greeted and helped out by Helen - who truly knows her stuff too!
Helen is behind some of the perfectly tailored kilts created here and has a wealth of tailoring and alterations knowledge our team and customers benefit from greatly.
- Marketing, EKA Tutor & Kiltmaker -
Emma has a very varied role here! She is a kiltmaker, EKA tutor and mind behind all of GNK's marketing, from social media posts to TV appearances!
She joined us as an Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy student after graduating with a degree in Textiles from The University of Edinburgh. Her time at EKA was supported by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, where Emma is the first and only kiltmaker to have achieved such an accolade and be tasked with upholding excellence in British craftsmanship in her field - something Emma does with each and every kilt she makes here.
Now one of Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy's tutors, Emma takes great pride in the progress of her students and believes skill sharing is extremely important as we strive to ensure another thousand years at least of kilts and tartan in Scotland.
Weaving tartan by hand is also a skill of Emma's who has previously been responsible for award-winning textiles and fashion collections bringing weave, print, embroidery and kiltmaking together to create an exciting fusion of old and new.
Emma's undisputed passion for everything kilts and tartan allows her to create marketing campaigns that truly capture the GNK brand and our ethos of respecting the traditions of the past, while pushing them into the future in an exciting and unique way! Her research can be found here - www.thekiltmakerschronicle.com
- Head Tutor and Course Leader, Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy & Kiltmaker -
Kirsty is, without a doubt, responsible for Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy becoming the most comprehensive kiltmaking course in the world. Her teaching is behind, truly, some of the greatest kiltmakers in the country!
She is by far, one of the most patient people around, passionate about skill sharing and leading EKA to even more success. Kirsty is an EKA qualified kiltmaker herself before becoming the Head of the Academy. She is rarely seen without a kilt in her hand.
The mark of a great tutor is never ceasing to learn - and that is exactly how to describe Kirsty. Through making brand new kilts from start to finish for endless shapes and sizes, to taking apart old kilts to investigate how they were made, Kirsty has developed a course that never stops developing and a form of kiltmaking that is both deeply rooted in tradition, while working perfectly for the customer of today.
Even when her students have graduated, Kirsty is always on hand for any questions or further advice. She has helped to create the beginnings of a new look kiltmaking community, one where community and support are it's heart.