The Faire Isles story is a classic tale of perseverance and fellowship.
~ Cue the tin whistle ~
Rob and Sandy MacAllister established Faire Isles in 2001 as a small gift shop attached to their pub in Bradenton, Florida. Rob and Sandy were very active with Clan Donald at the time, and they were afforded the opportunity to work with some vendors at Scottish events in the region. They enjoyed it, and their experience inspired them to become vendors themselves and take Faire Isles from the pub to the party.
What started out as a quaint 10'x10' tent of Celtic gifts and collectibles in central Florida grew to an impressive 30'x20" tent resembling a mini department store on the sidelines of Scottish Highland Games up and down the eastern coast of the United States. Faire Isles Trading Company became a fixture of each event, much like an anchor store at a shopping mall, and it developed a loyal patronage to boot.
Now this is where the cyclical nature of history goes on full display.
At the 2013 Virginia Scottish Games, Adam and Stephanie Shahan were offered the opportunity to work with Rob and Sandy. The Shahans enjoyed the cultural showing, the social fellowship of the crowd, and the overall atmosphere. Like the MacAllisters 12 years prior, the experience inspired the Shahans to join Faire Isles and the Scottish festival life.
By 2020 Faire Isles was poised to have a banner year with a full schedule of events and a brimming, well-rounded inventory. The pandemic, however, canceled every event for the next two years and a large, paid stock order went unfulfilled as one of many small businesses fell victim to COVID.
And yet, Faire Isles persevered. As a testament to the foundation they built, Rob and Sandy emerged from the pandemic, dusted off their boots and top hats, and picked up where they left off. As they were joined by the Shahans at the New Hampshire Scottish Games in September 2022, they revealed they were ready to hang up the brogues and pass Faire Isles to a new generation. The Shahans officially took over in June 2023, and they look forward to continuing the Faire Isles legacy with the same work ethic, cultural appreciation, and enthusiasm.