Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

First female boss for Harris mill

Ann MacCallum
Ann MacCallum is also a clothes designer

A woman has been appointed to run a Harris Tweed mill for the first time in the history of the industry.

Ann MacCallum has taken over as general manager of the Carloway Mill on Lewis in the Western Isles, which is owned by Harris Tweed Textiles.

The 48-year-old clothes designer has previously created a white Harris Tweed wedding dress and coat for Celtic singer Alyth McCormack.

Mrs MacCallum had been a manager of the Woolworths store in Stornoway.

Mrs MacCallum said: "The fact that I'm a woman is irrelevant. It is just an accident of birth.

Some people may say I am ruthless
Ann MacCallum

"I may be the first mill boss but this whole industry was pretty much founded by Catherine Murray, the Countess of Dunmore.

"And we also have, in Lorna Macaulay, the first woman as chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority. Maybe that is all too much for some people but that is how it is."

She added: "I have always been a woman but I've still somehow managed to do my job. I am very organised and some people may say I am ruthless but I do understand what my customers are looking for."

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Press and Journal Ann is first woman in charge at Harris Tweed mill - 2 hrs ago
Herald Scotland Scots designer first woman to run Harris Tweed mill - 7 hrs ago
The Scotsman New boss of Harris Tweed mill is definitely not run-of-the-mill - 14 hrs ago

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