My Story

As Paisley waved off its bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the bid documents themselves were all given a unique twist.

Artists, designers and groups with links to the town were invited to design bespoke front covers for the documents.

Bound with thread donated from Coats, the company to whom Paisley’s fortunes were tied and which is still a global force, each has its own Paisley inspired design.

As they are handed over to the judging panel of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who organise the competition, we can reveal the inspiration behind some of the 25 covers.

Read Paisley Pins' story below.

Jewellery design duo Andrea McCarthy and Laura Provan were so enthused by the town’s UK City of Culture bid that they credit it with inspiring them to launch their business.

The designers, who studied jewellery and silver smithing , came up with the idea of creating acrylic pins celebrating the Paisley pattern three years ago.

When they were asked to create a front cover it seemed fitting to turn to the Paisley Pins workshops they run.

Andrea said: “The individual designs on our front cover submission were created by some of the participants of workshops we ran both at London Craft week and at the Paisley Weave festival.

“We liked the idea of our submission being directly inspired by the people we are connected to through our Paisley Pins projects.”


The design partners say they are excited by the changes they already see in the town and that Paisley is ready to embrace all that winning the title of UK City of Culture 2021 would bring.

Laura said: “I think it's fair to say that without the Paisley 2021 bid we might never have thought of producing a range of jewellery celebrating the Paisley pattern. For us the bid really was a catalyst for our business.

Andrea said:” It's really exciting to feel we can play a part in the bid for the City of Culture, and inspiring to see the effort Jean Cameron and the bid team put in to get to this stage.

“Paisley is a beautiful place - some of the architecture on the High St alone is wonderful if you just look up above the eye line.

“There’s a palpable feeling of excitement, expectation and hope around the town just now and that’s a very good thing. “

The women say that the town has also supported them in other ways, with Renfrewshire Council’s InCube business programme helping guide their success.

Laura said: “ It really helped us to focus and develop our brand, launch our website as well as the opportunity to sell in the Incube shop.

“It’s been a real success for us. Opportunities like hosting a workshop during London Craft Week are things we would never have had the chance to do without the Incube.

“On a personal level Paisley is still my home, with my children growing up here and for me the bid is the kick start of Paisley's transformation. It feels like the town is on the cusp of an exciting new chapter, and I think the opportunities and investment that the bid will bring will make the town a more vibrant place to be."​