How it all began; My journey to Aesmo.

Brought up on farms in the rural Scottish Borders, my days were spent making mud pies, jumping on huge piles of hay bales and building dens in the endless, ancient woodland with my brother, Aonghas and our sister, Emma.

After Aonghas’ passing in 2009, I moved with my Dad to Asturias briefly in Northern Spain for a month, and then to the depths of Central Portugal. Here I lived for 4 years with my Mum, who had set out to create a permaculture project on her own wee piece of land called Quinta do Vale in the Serra do Açor mountains. We lived in a Yurt (a large, traditional Mongolian canvas tent), with the very basics. We lived by candle light for 6 months until we installed our solar panels which gave us electricity. A treasured and finite commodity. Showers were taken in freezing waterfalls in all months of the year with an adapted shower head, made from a string, funnel and watering can head. Vegetables were grown, grapes were squished in big barrels with scrubbed-clean feet, and many, many, many courgettes were consumed in all (and any) various recipes. Summer days were for 35 degree heat, wild-swimming, Magnum double caramels and tosta mistas. Nothing else.

After many trials and failed attempts to rejoin school in Portugal, I decided to head back over to the UK solo in 2013. At the age of 16 I began my Music course at a college near my new town of Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Nestled in the deep, dramatic hills in-between Manchester and Leeds. I worked many part-time creative jobs including in a florist, paint shop, hair salon and a couple of short-lived attempts in cafes.

After a short while spent out of the country to go travelling around Europe in a homemade camper my partner and I built, we returned home to Hebden Bridge with a new and ferocious passion for learning. I signed up for a college course in Art and Design and began working with local designer and my wonderful friend Hannah Nunn, without whose mentorship, I very much doubt I would be doing what I am today!

I began Aesmo right at the end of 2019, only a few months after starting my Brand & Web Design business. It was a busy year! In December of 2019 I bought a desk, raided IKEA, scoured the antiques centres and set up my own wee hub for Aesmo in Linden Mill. A big, old, beautiful mill used for studio spaces and offices. I felt ready for the next year ahead and my first full year in business.

Then, of course, 2020 happened. We spent a lot of time reflecting (as I’m sure so many of us did) on what we wanted and where we wanted to be. So after spending 7 years in Hebden Bridge, Luke (my Hebden born partner) and I decided to move back up to my homelands of Scotland to carve out a small piece of this world for ourselves and be closer to some of my scattered family.

My entire family are self-employed or doing their own thing, which has undoubtedly helped shoogle me along this path too. My Mum still lives out in Portugal at Quinta do Vale doing her permaculture thang, and my Dad who moved back from Asturias to the UK after 8 years over there is now travelling this island in his van whilst making beautiful Itinerant Treasure. My sister, and undoubtedly my biggest fan ran a multi-award-winning floristry business called Stems here in the Scottish Borders.

They have all helped to motivate me and spur me on on this creative path.

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Hi! I’m Oonagh and I am the creator behind Aesmo, a small creative design business in the Scottish Borders.

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