Graduates & Students

Scottish SME takes on talented textiles graduate

After achieving a 1st class degree and travelling round the world, Gemma returned to Scotland to start her career in textiles through ScotGrad.

Published: 15/09/2016

The Scottish textile sector is worth a whopping £838m to the Scottish economy, with some of the world leaders in luxury and performance textiles choosing to operate here*.

Eclipse Blinds, based in Inchinnan near Glasgow, has over 45 years’ experience in delivering high quality service and products to the window blind industry in the UK. When the company required a graduate to undertake an innovative marketing project earlier this year, ScotGrad helped them find the perfect candidate!

Gemma Paton, a first class honours graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University, took a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world after her studies. Her gap year gave her an insight into different cultures, expanding her knowledge and character attributes, which could then be applied in the working environment.

Upon returning to Scotland, Gemma saw the opportunity on offer with Eclipse Blinds and immediately applied:

“I studied International Fashion Branding and was keen to go down a similar path when I returned from my travels, so this graduate placement seemed perfect for me. It would give me the chance to gain experience in marketing and put my skills to use in an exciting sector.”


Gemma at the ScotGrad Training Course

Her responsibilities include producing editorial and content for trade magazines, blogs and social media, as well as keeping on top of trends in the marketplace. She also frequently uses her visual merchandising skills to create visual spaces, working closely with trade customers to design their showrooms, displaying fabulous products, colourways and prints. Every day is different and Gemma is working on some amazing projects during her placement. She is also getting the chance to focus on personal development.

“I would consider myself a determined individual with a passion to learn new things, and the team at Eclipse have been great with supporting my development and building my skills.”

The ScotGrad team met Gemma at our latest training course, and we had the chance to put her under the spotlight for 60 seconds. Find out what we learnt below…


What are the best bits about your placement?

“I love working with textiles and creating visual elements. I get a lot of opportunities to utilise my creative skills both internally and externally. ”


What 3 top skills or qualities are important in your role?

“We work to tight deadlines, so managing my time is crucial to get all tasks completed. Being creative and on trend is also important, as the industry is constantly evolving with interiors becoming more significant to the consumer therefore we have to know what they want before they even know. In the end, it all comes down to being organised and efficient to complete tasks to a high standard!”


What are you excited to learn on your placement?

“I am enthusiastic to learn more about marketing and develop my skills in this area. It’s fantastic getting to learn in practice instead of in a classroom setting. From studying fashion to then moving into interiors, this has been an exciting change for me as interiors is a rapidly growing industry with lots of opportunities, therefore a fabulous time to be involved!”



Has this inspired you to apply for a placement? Check out our latest opportunities.

*Taken from Scottish Key Facts, Scottish Enterprise, May 2016