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Textile designer Jennifer Carr and contemporary jeweller Tina MacLeod grew up in the Lochalsh area of the west Highlands and have always worked in the creative industries both as makers and in retail. In 2019 after several years of planning and scouting for the right venue they opened Stròm, a contemporary Scottish lifestyle shop in Kyle of Lochalsh.
In their formative years, Jen and Tina frequented the legendary Paterson's Toy Shop in their local village of Kyle as often as their long suffering mothers would permit, not knowing that sometime in the future they would be converting that very building into their own lifestyle shop, which if you really think about it, is really the ultimate toy shop!
With a nod to our Gaelic and Norse heritage, we looked to our geographical surroundings here at 57° North when we chose our name. The 'kyle' or caol in Gaelic, is the narrow stretch of water between two pieces of land, here it refers to the Kyle of Loch Alsh where the sea separates the Isle of Skye from mainland Scotland.
The area is rich in maritime history and was an important Viking stronghold from the 8th century and many of our place names derive from this.
Stròm is a word shared by Gaelic and Scandinavian cultures that can be defined as energy and movement, like the power of the current rushing through the Kyle of Lochalsh.