25 July 2024
  • 25 July 2024

The InCube Crowd

on 1 January 2019 0

InCube is Renfrewshire’s foremost creative business incubator and retail academy. Over the next few pages, they explain why they’re the one-stop shop for local artists, designers and entrepreneurs.


Several of the latest fashion collections – Etro included – currently feature the iconic Paisley pattern, so no wonder the design world is turning its eyes towards us. 

Boasting the second highest percentage of listed buildings in Scotland, and with famous Paisley ‘buddies’ including artist John Byrne and the Queen’s sculptor Alexander Stoddart, it’s a place filled with inspiration and a wealth of design talent. 

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Paisley was one of the leading towns in Europe for the manufacture of high quality fashion fabrics. Fine silk gauzes and figured muslins were in demand in all the fashion circles of Europe. The textile collection in Paisley Museum holds what is thought to be the largest collection of shawls in the world, together with many pattern and sample books containing a huge variety of original designs.

Today, many local designers who continue the tradition of creating beautiful textiles have been joined by ceramicists, jewellers, milliners, book-binders, furniture-makers and artists – all of whom have a story to tell about combining traditional crafts, local culture, materials and design in a new and contemporary way. 

At InCube, we aim to support and nurture such artists. Our business concept is designed to help nascent creative businesses to grow, thrive and locate in Paisley. The business incubator is part of Invest in Renfrewshire, a growth programme supporting the local economy. It will also add impetus to the Paisley regeneration initiative, which celebrates the town’s creative and crafts heritage.


InCube offers a package of support including business accommodation, masterclasses, workshops, direct consultation, business planning, specialist expertise and access to creative networks. Also operating services from InCube are Business Gateway and Prince’s Trust Scotland, making it a vibrant environment for aspiring entrepreneurs in need of start-up advice.

A crucial part of the programme is the dedicated InCube shop at 9B Gilmour Street, which provides a showcase for businesses to sell their products. It’s also a central location for design-savvy shoppers eager to find a range of unique gifts.

Designer Sarah Johnston of FlipFlopDesign.Shop regards the InCube programme as a great opportunity to absorb advice and guidance from specialists.

“It’s perfect for networking and learning business skills alongside other creative, inspirational and like-minded people who have the same goal,” says Sarah. “InCube has helped to push me in the right direction and work on the areas of my business I felt less confident about.”

Former InCube graduates are now reaping the rewards of their hard work. They’re finding commercial success and winning design competitions and scholarships, as well as sponsorship for overseas design events. 

One graduate, Laura Provan of Paisley Pins, recently travelled the world running workshops on cruise liners, resulting in a whole new customer base and inspiration for a collection based on her adventures. Laura now has her jewellery stocked in over 40 National Trust shops and has recently opened The Workshop in the Old Fire Station annexe in central Paisley – a great resource and stepping stone for her fellow creatives.

With this wealth of local talent breaking onto the design scene, let’s meet the current group of entrepreneurs.

Roberta Simpson MillineryRoberta Simpson Millinery

Specialising in the wedding market as well as headwear for occasions such as the Queen’s Garden Party, Ladies’ Day at the Races and Royal Ascot, Roberta’s designs balance classic elegance with a modern twist. All pieces are made locally, ethically and sustainably and, where possible, materials are sourced from Scotland’s many wonderful textile manufacturers. Some of the pieces are embellished with vintage jewellery hand-picked from Roberta’s extensive collection of treasures. Roberta believes that ladies’ headwear should look as good as every other part of their outfits. Visit the website.

Obsidian Ore

Having travelled the globe as an ‘army child’, Geraldine Donnelly has used her experiences to create a range of luxurious fabrics and interior furnishings inspired by diverse architecture, beautiful landscapes, historic buildings and cityscapes. After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design with an Honours Degree in Textiles and an award from Dyers of Dundee for Best Use of Colour, she exhibited at New Designers in London. Most recently, Geraldine won a prestigious competition to design the prizes for the Scottish Album of the Year Awards. Visit the website.

Handmade Moments
Handmade Moments

Lisa is a stitch, textile and paper artist who repurposes vintage buttons and thread inherited from her aunts, her grandmother and upcycled books, to create unique pieces of jewellery. Liberty Fabric and Harris Tweed bought directly from the weaver are made into teddy bears, each with its own individual character. Never to be spotted without a notebook to jot down ideas, Lisa’s creations are a wonderful blend of vintage craft and contemporary design, making them perfect heirloom pieces for the future. Visit the website.

Atelier Eva Art
Atelier Eva Art

Having learned to sew at the age of 10 using an old treadle sewing machine, Eva’s passion for fabric led her to set up her own business. Using only top quality cotton and linen, Eva designs limited collections of high quality handmade children’s wear, accessories, nursery decor and gifts – all beautifully bright and fabulously funky. Each collection is made up of no more than 12 to 15 garments from each fabric print, making each piece very special. Personalised baby blankets are made to order using applique, quilting and patchwork techniques, and can be embroidered to create a unique gift or heirloom piece. Visit the website.

Soheila KeyaniSoheila Keyani

Abstract painter Soheila Keyani is renowned for the boldness and vitality of her work and for using paint to express complex emotions and ideas. With much of her work in private collections around the world, Soheila’s interests have recently turned to fashion as a means of expressing mood and personality. She’s currently in the process of creating an ethical and sustainable clothing line using her own designs alongside local textile producers and manufacturers. Watch this space. Visit the website.

InCube is located at 27 High Street, Paisley and 9B Gilmour Street, Paisley. 0300 300 1180 and 0141 618 6040. For further information on the programme and how to apply, have a look at their website. This feature was published in Mill issue 3 January/February 2019.

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