Female Scots changing the game: thank you to all these women for helping us feel we can take on the world

We happily attended the FutureX Festive Social on Wednesday, and it was a really fantastic evening. While we left with our heads buzzing with ideas around building a strong Scottish business ecosystem, diversity, and encouraging entrepreneurship – there was, in some ways, a more dominant take-away.

Rachael Brown, of the Creative Entrepreneurs Club and the CAN DO Collective, spoke on this evening’s panel. All the speakers were engaging and interesting, but Rachael stood out. She was and is, an inspiring female Scot: emanating down-to-earth warmth, entrepreneurship expertise, humorous anecdotes, and a no-nonsense attitude to the importance of being yourself. 

Listening to Rachael, and leaving the event feeling a fraction stronger as a woman, I thought about how lucky I was to have come across so many powerful, female, Scottish role models over the last year or so. 

Rachael was remarkable, and she isn’t an anomaly – far from it. So here is a small round-up and shout out to some of the strong female Scots who’ve helped inspire us, and drive us to grow our business, and ourselves.

Celia Hodson

Celia is the founder and CEO of ‘HeyGirls’, a Scottish social enterprise tackling period poverty in the UK. We were lucky enough to hear Celia speak twice in the last year and a half: at the Impact Summit this year, and at the last FutureX Social. 

Both times, Celia’s ‘get things done’, and ‘aim higher’ attitudes have left us feeling like anything is achievable. HeyGirls’ upwards trajectory is something of wonder; starting as an idea between Celia and her daughters, HeyGirls is now a multi-award winning social enterprise, with eco products stocked in supermarkets across the country. Through their Buy One Give One model, they have donated nearly 2.5million period products to communities in need, in just 12 months. 

Celia is also funny, engaging and inspiring. Like Rachael, she emits a no-nonsense approach to her own self-worth and ability. This makes her a truly valuable female, Scottish role model. 

We hope to hear her speak again, as we at Hidden Trax are huge fans.

Arusa Qureshi

Arusa became the editor of The List Magazine, aged just 25!!

The List has a regular audience of over 2 million, employs around 25 staff members, and produces monthly print magazines (weekly during the Edinburgh Festival). They also maintain a huge online database of listings, reviews, and articles, covering all things events, entertainment, art, and culture – in Scotland and beyond. 

For Arusa to have been chosen as the editor at such a young age is something that we at Hidden Trax are in awe of. We were lucky enough to work with Arusa and The List during August, when we collaborated on a series of Festival Edition podcasts. 

Arusa is quietly passionate about gender equality, taking the remarkable decision in 2018 to create the first ever all female Hot 100. This annual list gathers together all the exciting talent in Scotland. The revelatory decision to create an all-female list puts things like the TRNSMT line-up to shame. Having the guts to suggest – and facilitate – something like this, is the kind of inspiring act that sets a strong precedent for young women in Scotland. 

Go Arusa!

Nicola Sturgeon

We had the privilege of hearing the First Minister speak a couple of years ago, at the Startup Summit in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.

It is hard to put into words quite how much of an impact Nicola Sturgeon has made on Scotland, and particularly to our ideas around aspiration, and what is possible. 

Agree with her politics or not, the FM is supremely competent, dedicated, brave and hugely inspiring. Her tendency towards common decency, her belief in helping others, and her refusal to allow male politicians to dominate or overshadow her at any point, is what makes this true.

It is an honour to be lead by someone of the calibre of Nicola Sturgeon. We are very lucky. 

Briana Pegado 

Briana Pegado is a Hidden Trax collaborator, having created our ‘Universityland’ Trax. The reason for this is because she was the first ever black, female president of the Edinburgh University Student Association. 

She also founded the Edinburgh Students Arts Festival, a social enterprise that aimed to increase accessibility to the arts for young people in Scotland. 

She was named as one of Scotland’s ‘Top Ten Social Innovators’, and as one of Scotland’s ‘30 under 30’ by The Young Women’s Movement. 

Briana is exceptionally driven and is now the Executive Director of Creative Edinburgh. It is some CV…

On the matter of a message to young women in Scotland, she said:

“My message to them is to fiercely and unapologetically be yourself, even if it’s dangerous, if you’re scared, even if it’s really difficult. At the end of the day only by being yourself will you change the world. I think the more that people have the courage and bravery to be authentic, the more that we will be able to change hearts and minds and how backwards society can be.” 


We think this is a pretty great place to leave things.

Thank you to all these incredible women, and those everywhere, who help us feel ready to take on the world. 

Need some incredible, local service providers in Edinburgh? We couldn’t have done it without them.

As per our company values, we’ve tried wherever possible to use Edinburgh-based companies for outsourced work over the last year. From rebranding, website management, and building our iOS app, there has been plenty we’ve not been quite able to tackle in-house. But instead of reaching out to some of the bigger, more corporate giants, we thought it was fitting and beneficial to seek out some slightly smaller service providers in the city. 

Afterall, we strive to champion local voices; and would love to take this with us in all aspects of our business.

After a year of growth, we thought it would be nice to shine a wee light on just a few of the companies, organisations and individuals we’ve worked with, who’ve been pretty fantastic across the board.

Looking to outsource a job? Maybe we’ve got some helpful recommendations

Rebranding, renaming, logo creation…

Jusoh Design were one of three fantastic local branding companies we spoke to and from the outset we were pretty enamoured with Malin and Jeremy. 

Friendly, professional and genuine, the pair set up Jusoh after graduating. They combine Malin’s research expertise and Jeremy’s creative talents to help you settle on a new name, and entire new look. They also provided us with a huge market research report into our target audience and market, copywriting services AND referred us to our website developers. 

We were really over the moon with our new name and logo: going from ‘weetour’ to ‘Hidden Trax’ has helped us position ourselves in the correct space. 

Working with Jusoh was a true pleasure. They’ve recently left Leith, moved to Sweden and got married.

Wishing them all the congratulations and happiness, from us at Hidden Trax. 


Website creation, development, maintenance…

Geared App have a cool set of offices down just off Constitution Street, stocked with Rubicon Mango and Josh’s warm welcomes. 

Having had our branding briefed to them by Jusoh, the website was built efficiently, and matched our new look perfectly. It is a great site, and something we’re really proud of. 

Josh and his team have been beyond helpful throughout and we have an ongoing relationship with Geared App that we value immensely. 


The sound engineer of our dreams…

Barry Jackson and Refo Productions have been with us since our ‘weetour’ days; Barry has helped us record and produce nearly every single piece of our 50+ selection of audio content. He pretty much has a fan club within our Creator Community, has advised the company whenever needed, and gone above and beyond to help whenever he can.

Barry makes up the backbone of Hidden Trax and we’d strongly recommend getting in touch with him if you’re looking for a freelance sound engineer or general audio maestro. Watch out though, you might well come out with a great new pal as well!


Recording studio in the heart of Leith’s musical community…

Dave House’s Noisefloor, situated next to Musicbase and Lost Oscillation studios, all underneath Spilt Milk Coffee on Great Junction Street has become a bit of a home from home for us. Twelve hour days spent basically underground would have been pretty painful if it hadn’t been for the truly fantastic creative community around Noisefloor. This DIY music studio has become more familiar than our own front rooms at times over the last year!

What has been built in this music-making tardis is phenomenal, and we bow down to the resources being offered to the community here. If you need any to do any recording, production, or if you need a rehearsal space, a new drum kit or a delicious toastie then we’d recommend heading along to 125 Great Junction Street.

It is a helpful, interesting, welcoming family – and Dave Houses’ wee booth in the middle has been a real blessing to us throughout our journey.