At some point in the evolution of Seaforth Designs, the humble Dunlin rather covertly became the 'Company Crest', the logo emblazoned on business cards, flyers and website home pages. During the past year, this has significantly developed into its own 'collection', with Dunlins now adorning Seaforth tableware, mugs and even its own fabric design.
But why the Dunlin?
I have long had an interest in our feathery friends and the move to Pembrokeshire 16 years ago, opened up an exciting new world of Puffins, Peregrines and Choughs, previously inaccessible to me in land-locked Wiltshire. Anyone of these exotic birds I would have enthusiastically championed to be chosen by Emma to be the flag bearer for her company.
And yet it was on an innocuous, cold, wintry morning walk several years ago in Solva Harbour, that half a dozen or so tiny grey and white waders scuttled past, caught Emma's attention and before I knew it, a cushion design had been formed in her head!
These birds, resplendent in their silvery winter plumage, rather than their more colourful summer plumage of brown back and black chest, which prompted 19th Century bird watchers in Virginia, USA to locally refer to them as 'Smutty Breasts', appeared to operate as one entity, repeatedly taking off and landing in perfect unison to avoid man, dog or incoming tide.
Subsequently, I have learnt that the collective noun for Dunlins is a 'Fling', which naturally mutates into a 'Highland Fling' for a flock of Scottish Dunlins, something that seemed an obvious fit for a business named in part from the Seaforth Highlanders.
It is also recorded that the feeding action of the Dunlin is described as 'sewing machine' or 'stitching-like', which again could hardly be more appropriate for Emma and her business.
So ultimately, it would appear that the humble Dunlin was always destined to be the star of Seaforth Designs!