Spartan’s got a Tartan
By Katie Gotta
Today I tried to find my family heritage. I’m sad to say I failed.
But before that, we met with Brian Baglow, aka the gaming guru, as he came to speak with us about media through video games. I grew up with an older brother so I’m the first to admit I’ve played my fair share of video games. From Mario Kart to Need for Speed, I’ve played my fair share of games, and I could relate to nearly everything Brian discussed with us today (while I quickly realized many of my peers could not). Through his presentation he emphasized the power of media and in particular, the power that video games have on this media. The world is at our fingertips, and we just have to take advantage of it.
Following the morning of games, we visited Kinloch Anderson, the premiere kilt-making store of Scotland. Throughout the trip whenever we come across somebody who has so much pride for what they do, I can’t help but become invested. When Dierdre, the wife of the 5th generation Anderson, spoke today her eyes lit up and you couldn’t help but become intrigued by what she had to say. Learning about something that embodies Scotland the way that a traditional kilt does was truly an honor to see.
From prior research I had known the quality of Kinloch Anderson, but I was unaware of the magnitude of its market it has managed to reach. Doing anything for the Royal Family is a big deal, let alone making a traditional kilt for several members of the family. With the likes of Prince Charles & Camilla as well as Prince Phillip & the Queen wearing the traditional kilts the amount of publicity they have received from that alone is powerful in itself, and shows the capabilities of their market.
On top of premiere products, Kinloch has managed to brand itself as a family company- a powerful brand to maintain in today’s culture. This has allowed families to not only create their own tartans for use but keep them in the family for years by creating a future family heirloom.
Following the presentation I approached Dierdre to look up my Grandma’s surname- Blackwell. Unfortunately, no Tartan’s were created under the name and her ancestry is still a mystery. But because I asked for the name to be looked up, she pulled out an enormous book of names and meanings. Staring at the book in her hands full of the history of families dating back decades was truly an honor to see. Kinloch is something special, and something many countries aren’t fortunate to have. With a family appeal to a mass market that also contains such an abundance of history is so important, and a sure fire way into the hearts of their customers.