Meet the Mentors: Sarah Clarkson

23 January 2024

Sarah Clarkson is an Edinburgh-based knitted textile designer working with undyed and plant-dyed Scottish yarns, and the founder of Woolly Originals.

She has been mentoring as part of our programme since May 2021, and we're so lucky to have her! We had a wee chat with Sarah to find out more about her career and her mentoring experience so far.

Why did you choose to become a Creative Edinburgh mentor?

When I started my textile business in June 2015, I was in the right place at the right time and quickly grew a worldwide customer base. I feel that the good fortune accorded to me should be passed on.

Could you share a memorable moment from your mentorship journey that reflects your experience?

One mentee felt that the mentorship not only was helping their business but also the organisation of their personal life. It felt a genuine privilege to hear this.

How have you seen the programme contribute to the artistic growth of those participating? Can you give an example?

I have seen one mentor go from designing products on a computer to creating actual products. It was so amazing to be involved in that process.

What have you learned in the process of mentoring?

Better listening skills!

In your time with the programme, how have you noticed it shaping and benefiting the broader creative community?

The mentoring programme would appear to be giving the wider community an opportunity to learn and to grow from each other.

What elements of the programme do you think prove valuable for emerging artists and creatives?

Being able to connect with an existing successful artist or creative to discuss the direction of their own particular artistic or creative endeavour and receive positive feedback.

Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve through being a Creative Edinburgh mentor?

To learn more about how I may take the advice I give to others and apply it to myself. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said in a mentee meeting, “I should be doing that too.”

Have you got any exciting projects/news that you would like to share with the community?

I have a new design to be launched soon which highlights the work of volunteers at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh who record weekly the details of particular plants so that climate change can be scientifically detailed.


The Creative Edinburgh Mentoring Programme is open for applications until January 30 2024. Apply here.