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Our Story

The MiM Story

Renae Bell noticed a lack of opportunity to buy quality hand-made, ethically-made products locally. So she teamed up with other creative artists to do something about it.

She joined a local art committee in February 2019 with the idea to organise an area-wide Open Studio Day tour. The idea grew arms and legs. She gained support and volunteers, then the idea morphed into the Made in Midlothian launch event in June 2019. The day was full of live music, workshops, demonstrations, book readings, arts and crafts, street food and community.

The response was so overwhelmingly positive from members of the whole community that since then she has been working with volunteers to organise events and set up long term goals that will see MiM working towards the community interest of supporting the creative arts in Midlothian far into the future.

Meet Team MiM

Our Creative and Passionate Volunteers!

Team MiM is comprised of volunteers who have dedicated much time and energy to get Made in Midlothian going and continuing to grow.


In June 2019, they launched a community group to deliver events that featured local art, crafts, music and literature.


During the Covid-19 lockdown, the group quickly put it’s focus on providing tailored online support, entertainment, and tutorials.
As its online community grew, so did their vision and mission.


Made in Midlothian is a social enterprise and all our profits go back into our community.

Our mission is to support, develop and showcase Midlothian creative talent while we strengthen our community through safe and inclusive activities.

Renae Bell image

Renae Bell

Managing Director

Owner: Yellow Door Studio

I’m a community-driven, pottery mad Aussie, and a mother of four, who accidentally left her front door and found herself in Midlothian. After years of lifelong-learning pottery classes, I took the plunge and established Yellow Door Studio, a home pottery studio specialising in functional bespoke hand-thrown ceramics.

Since February 2019, I’ve been working with other local community groups and volunteers to shape events that are all about the creative arts and how it can benefit our community.

Shondra Riley

Managing Director

Owner: Complement Entertainment

I’m from Los Angeles and I have lived in Midlothian since 2012. I’m a mum, an event planner, a volunteer school librarian and I have an alter-ego called Miss Sugar Lady DJ.

I saw a post about Made in Midlothian on Facebook. I volunteered to DJ an event and was also given the opportunity to programme the music stage. The community feedback was so great, that our MiM Music Programme is funded in 2020 by the National Lottery Community Fund!

I am excited to see where MiM will go in the future. It’s a wonderful community initiative that I am proud to be part of.

My superpower: Bloody-mindedness!

Erin Whyte

Director

Owner: Whyte Craft and Buzzy Bees Music

I’m a local girl from Gorebridge, a Mum to two kids and a part-time crafter at Whyte Craft. I am also the singer of musical duo soundLounge, a function band with an acoustic, lounge style.

When I spotted a post about Made in Midlothian, I trundled along to a meeting and I’ve since become MiM Secretary. I love being part of the Steering Group, planning exciting events for the creative arts in Midlothian.

With my background in music and working with children, I created Buzzy Bees Music, which I have run for 18 months and I love every minute of.

alison_vikis_image

Alison Vikis

Director

Owner: LumenEssence Handmade Lampshades and Mysa Therapy Rooms

A crafter since childhood, I’ve turned my hand to everything from glass painting to woodwork. Currently my favourite thing to make is lampshades, and preferably using reclaimed materials. I love bringing beautiful old hand sewn shades back into use by making new covers, but equally like making modern rigid shades, and if the frame is upcycled, that’s even better.

Having seen makers’ groups in other areas doing exciting things, I was really keen to be part of Made in Midlothian to highlight the talent that’s on our doorstep. There are big plans afoot so watch this space!

Amanda Dodds image

Amanda Dodds

Director

Owner: Made in the Avenue

I’m a Canadian girl, living the dream in Scotland. A self-employed, wife and mum to three kids, I started Made in the Avenue two years ago with my crafting partner-in-crime. I have been creating and using textiles since I was a child but have found my passion for crochet and sewing.

I first heard of Made in Midlothian when I met Renae at a local craft fair, I knew instantly that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I have lived in Midlothian for over a decade and excited to see how we can grow and develop to showcase the amazing talent right on our doorstep.

Julie Donnelly image

Julie Donnelly

Market Team MiMber

Owner: Julie Donnelly Reflexology and This Quirky Bird

I’m a self-declared crafty Mumma and professional hippie, I originally hail from North East England but have called the Lothians my home since 2001.  I’m a reflexologist, a crafter known as This Quirky Bird and mum to my two wee cherubs.  

In May 2019, I popped along to a MiM meeting.  A few months later I took on the role of  Treasurer.  I’m excited to be a part of this venture and look forward to showing off what Midlothian has to offer.

When I grow up I want to be a witch or a superhero.