Lewis’s Little Mermaid

The ocean is what makes ishga products special. Our beautiful golden sands and turquoise waters are breathtaking, and our remote location means that the clear water and the plantlife that grows there is so abundant in vitamins and minerals, that it makes an amazing difference to your skin.


It’s also a truly magical place to visit, and recently we heard of someone who can give a glimpse of the beauty above the waves, and the beauty below too. 24-year old Kate MacLeod is our real-life little mermaid and we just had to tell you more about her, and the underwater kingdom that she explores in a unique way.


Our Hebridean Isles are a rich treasure trove of Scottish folklore, which is entirely different to other fairy tales that you might know. From water spirits and monsters, to merpeople, werewolves, will o’ the wisps and sithchean (fairies); ancient tales from the Hebrides are spiritual, mystical and can be darkly intriguing.


However, if you were to visit the Isle of Lewis today, you might just spot Kate, and a glimpse of her distinctive blue tail, bobbing and diving amongst the waves. She’s lived all her life on Uig, and her mum, Janet, remembers what she was like as a child in the water.


“When Kate started swimming in the sea it would be too cold for everyone else but she would just keep going, she’d spend the whole afternoon in there then come out freezing. On holiday she’d spend all her time in the swimming pool, and she wouldn’t just swim, she would be underwater.”


Since those days, Kate has become a formidable open water swimmer, and can power through the water with a distinctive mono-fin, resembling a mermaid’s tail. She’s perfectly at home in the ocean and loves to explore the sea bed and the marine life that thrives there.


She now has a full, custom-made mermaid’s tail from Hawaii to fit over her mono-fin, and often swims around the coastline, cutting a truly striking figure, with her long hair flowing behind her. She’s become a social media sensation in the U.K, and has made her own four part series for BBC Alba, where she looks at the beauty, history and legends of her native isles in more detail.


She said, “I have such a strong bond with the sea and Uig. I think a lot of islanders feel the same. There’s something so special about the islands and Scotland as a whole. I feel so privileged to live in this part of the world, at the edge of the sea, and in the water. When I was young, I felt that if our sea was warmer I would never leave it, I’d just be a mermaid for the rest of my life!”


All of our ishga products are made at our headquarters in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis. It’s a special place, with wonderful people and a unique history. We take great care to make sure that we look after the environment that we’re blessed with, and hope that in our own small way we’re sending a little piece of it to you in our beautiful seaweed skincare.

We think our little mermaid, Kate, is amazing, and if you’d like to, you can find out more about her adventures here.