An Aberdeen fashion designer is urging people to support local businesses as she puts her own firm on hiatus.
Fernweh, an outdoor clothing and accessories brand, was set up in 2014 by Gray’s School of Art graduate Laura Sherriffs.
The rock climbing fanatic initially started out by creating her own accessories that matched her style, before going on to expand with every product hand-made and shipped by her and her boyfriend Scott.
In less than three years her brand and her products travelled the world with items sold and shipped everywhere from USA to Thailand.
However, in a post on Facebook, Laura announced that the firm will be going on hiatus indefinitely.
She wrote: “This is possibly the most difficult thing I have ever written & I am absolutely devastated but after three crazy years this amazing, whirlwind journey is coming to a pause for now.
“Fernweh started as a tiny flicker of a dream, and its been my dream for three and bit years, so its heartbreaking making this decision to call time on it for now.
“Fernweh encompassed all of my passions – creating quality handmade pieces, rock climbing, the outdoors and my love for creating products that were environmentally conscious and zero waste – and it made so happy to find that there were so many others who shared my passions, around the world.”
She added: “It has been a tough few years for small businesses, especially in Aberdeen particularly, and while I thought Fernweh had safely weathered that storm, over the past 6 months or so Fernweh has struggled, even if it seemed to be swimming from the surface.
“This is a decision I do not make lightly, giving up on my dream is the hardest thing I have ever done, but when you are constantly swimming against the tide, it begins to affect your mental health & for the time being at least, I think Fernweh needs to go on the backburner.”
But Laura was adamant this is not the end, adding: “I will not say it is goodbye forever, merely a “see you later”.
“I’ve poured heart and soul of my life for three years into Fernweh, its been a mammoth part of my life for so long now, I’ve sacrificed friendships, time and money into this crazy journey and I hope to see it continue in the future.”
She continued, thanking her stockists, Transition Extreme as well as telling of her pride at being nominated for a Life & Style award in her first year.
Fernweh also gave her the chance to meet her hero Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
Laura urged her followers to help local businesses, writing: “Support your local/independent businesses, in any way, shape or form that you can.
“Whether they are online based, or bricks and mortar store, they need your support, you don’t realise just how valuable they are until they are gone.
“They put everything into what they do, and pieces of themselves into their products.
“Not everyone can afford to purchase from small businesses all the time, but when you can, please do.
“That £20 in a High Street store is so much better in the pocket of a hardworking business owner, and I guarantee will most definitely mean SO much more to the small business owner.”