The Legend of Derek
You might think I am off my heid for saying it but I am determined to turn Instakilt into a brand that presents a modern and positive (but cheeky) image of Scotland to the world. That actually sounds like a good description for me – modern and positive but cheeky.
We can talk about my master plan for global kilt towel domination later but first I want to tell you a wee bit about where I came from.
I was born in Dundee in 1973 to Hugh and Barbara Macrae. My memories of my early childhood are mostly about sweeties, actually it was only about sweeties. One thing you might be interested in is that my family kept entering me into Butlin’s Bonnie Baby competitions. They kept entering me and I kept winning!
I think won close to 4, the amazing fact is that I look exactly the same then as I do now. According to my Mum I didn’t win because I was the best looking child…I won as I was the cheekiest, happiest child there.
My family moved to Calgary, Canada when I was 5 as Shug (Shug or Shuggy is the Scottish nickname for people called Hugh) got a job on the rigs.
I went back to Scotland at the age of 10 and thank goodness I did or I wouldn’t have any accent left. I had a grand old time going to school in Broughty Ferry and then University in Dundee.
I moved back to Canada when I was 27 and immediately remembered why I liked the country so much when I was 5.
I love living in Canada and it’s a great place to live if you are a red haired man with a Scottish accent. I have travelled to lots of different parts of the US and Canada and every day I have at least two or three people tell me their Scottish story, about how their Great Grandfather moved to Canada before the war. This happens all over the world but especially in North America where the diaspora are fascinated by their heritage.
My living companion Bruce and I are now happy and settled in the Roncesvalles area of Toronto. I should point out that Bruce is a Shetland Sheepdog. One of my earliest memories is Sheltie’s tearing around the Macrae croft on the hills above Drumnadrochit. Drumnadrochit sits on the shores of Loch Ness and believe it or not it it was a member of my family who had a very famous Loch Ness monster sighting. It’s Macrae family lore that he never, ever went out onto the Loch again….
For some incredible and unknown reason I have worked in sales and marketing positions for some great companies. I was working away quite happily until around three years ago when I met James Buchanan, the inventor of Instakilt. Instakilt then become my Pandora’s Box or an itch that I couldn’t scratch.
James and I became good pals we chatted about how we could work together on Instakilt…early in 2012 one thing led to another and I bought the company! I am eternally grateful to James for inventing Instakilt and entrusting me with his legacy.
50 million people around the world claim to be Scottish, 30 million in North America. It’s our mission to reconnect the diaspora with their heritage.