Tartan-covered car draws looks, business

If you’re looking for tartan, the Constant clan of La Jolla is selling it by the carton.

More than three years ago, patriarch Hugh, matriarch Delia, son Ben and daughter Chloe started Jock McDuff Celtic Creations, an online business marketing all things tartan from belts, photo frames and jewelry boxes to men’s and women’s underwear and swimwear, shampoo and conditioner and handcrafted soaps - even watch straps.

The company’s namesake, Jock McDuff, is a living person famous in the British Isles, who is a friend of Hugh’s whose tale is told on the company’s Web site


The Constants also created a novel new promotional device: the McDuff mobile, a plaid-wrapped station wagon that’s turning heads around town and eliciting hits on their site.

All about marketing

About the idea behind his tartan transportation, Ben Constant said it was to “get the name out there, guerrilla marketing and all that. We live in La Jolla. We drive around all the time. It works out well.”

Hugh Constant credits wife Delia, the company’s president, for leading them on a quest that has culminated in a successful sideline business for the clan. It was Delia who first realized Celtic heritage could be a marketable quantity.

“So many people love tartans and plaids, are moved by the music of bagpipes and Celtic song and dance, that we decided to offer an online source for contemporary apparel and accessories in the Celtic theme,” she said. “There are plenty of traditional kilts and bonnets available online, but not much that you can wear and enjoy on a daily basis.”

Dad Hugh noted Celts are really into wearing their heritage.

‘Feeling connected’

“They tend to take things very seriously with the kilts and the bonnets and the flying ribbons and the full regalia and carrying daggers, though that’s not what we’re about at all,” he said. “But people hear the bagpipe music and they see the tartan and they feel connected. They like to have that kind of image. It’s contemporary.”

Ben Constant, the family’s PR manager, noted the Celts were more a civilization than a race, and that Celtic tradition is more much more cultural than ethnic.

Jock McDuff does a lot for charity, and the Constants wanted to uphold that tradition.

Company marketing manager Chloe Constant is currently volunteering with a New Zealand charity building orphanages in Nepal. A percentage of Jock McDuff Celtic Creations’ profits are donated to worldwide charities.

Hugh Constant said the family company may be expanding its horizons in the future.

“We’re looking to add a golf line, bring in a line of women’s and men’s golf shorts as well as carrying golf umbrellas,” he said.

For now though, they’ve got bikinis and boxers, accessories and bodycare items.