THE owners of a Helensburgh business are keeping their fingers crossed for success at a national awards ceremony tonight (Thursday).

Leather Guild, run by Mairi and Stephen Clayton, have made it to the shortlist for two prizes in the Gift of the Year competition.

They were nominated for Chipsafe, a wallet that allows safe contactless payments without removing the card, and a dog treat bag which was originally commissioned by Balmoral Castle Estate.

The prizes will be handed out to all the winners at a black tie event tonight at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Creative director Mairi not only designs all the company’s products but also the tweeds they are made from, commissioning Scottish weavers to make the fabric and then incorporating high tech water repelling finishes to help the products resist the Scottish weather.

In addition to wholesaling their products to many quality tourist destination retailers in Scotland, the couple take on bespoke work with client clan tartans and estate tweeds. 

They also run a retail store, Tweedie, in West Clyde Street, which offers the full Leather Guild range plus some extra special pieces.

The couple have hailed the support of Argyll and Bute's Business Gateway team in helping them adapt to the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

Support from Busines Gateway's Local Growth Accelerator Programme enabled them to buy specialist equipment to bring their tweed stitching work in-house and to expand their team by recruiting four additional staff members.

Co-founder Stephen said: “We knew we needed to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic and Business Gateway helped us with this by advising on what we could do to build resilience into our business. 

“The team then signposted us to funding that enabled us to increase our production in Helensburgh. This has not only ensured our business growth, but kept us based in Argyll and Bute, which is vital to both of us.”

Mairi and Stephen have also benefited from a range of Business Gateway’s growth services, including one to one guidance from a dedicated adviser, specialist advice and Scottish Enterprise support with intellectual property and exporting.

Jen Smith, business adviser for Business Gateway, said: “Stephen and Mairi produce wonderful products that showcase what Scotland has to offer. Working with us they have been able to adapt to challenges and secure funding to move production in-house, which will not only generate future business growth but ensure that the business remains firmly rooted in the region.”

To find out more about Business Gateway and its services visit