An island glass artist hailed a new studio and visitor center after receiving six-figure support.
Founded by Cheryl Jamieson in 2008, Glansin Glass is headquartered in Unst in the Shetlands and following an extensive set of support from Business Gateway, including assistance in securing funding, the first workshops in bespoke installation are underway. .
Ms. Jamieson specializes in the design of contemporary fused glass, including jewelry, dinnerware and artwork, and draws inspiration from her surroundings to create bespoke pieces.
Business Gateway helped Ms. Jamieson put together a complex tailor-made financial package to move the project forward. Working with the team, Ms Jamieson was able to apply for multiple funding opportunities and secured over £ 100,000 from LEADER, a program funded by the Scottish Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.
He was also supported by the Shetland Islands Council and this injection of funds allowed him to start construction.
The space includes a workshop, an exhibition, storage and office spaces as well as a space for lessons and a furnished outdoor space.
Glansin Glass has since been able to welcome visitors and run workshops, with over 300 people in attendance since June.
Ms Jamieson was also able to take advantage of DigitalBoost, the Scottish digital development program offered by Business Gateway. Through this free 1: 1 resource and counseling program, Glansin Glass was able to undergo a digital health check and attend webinars. These helped her redesign her website to help her sell products online to a wider market.
She said: “Without Business Gateway this project would not have been launched and my advisor Diana was an integral part of the process of applying for various funding.
“Since the launch of the workshops in June, we have been well filled, working six days a week and hosting additional sessions to meet growing demand. However, now that the summer season is over, I have more time to focus on creating my own products, and it’s fantastic to be able to do it in a bespoke space.
In addition to marketing advice, premises, significant financial support, and financial restructuring advice, Cheryl also participated in a unique development program specifically designed to meet the needs of local independent women called Realize.
Launched by Business Gateway, in partnership with The Pure Energy Center as part of the W-Power project, eight women entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in the six-month pilot program. Through peer support, this focused on how to effectively use digital platforms to build and grow a business and was delivered virtually through Zoom.
Ms Jamieson said: “The Realize program was delivered well, with useful course content that helped us meet the challenges of the pandemic. It also provided a valuable opportunity to network and connect with other Shetland based businesswomen. ”
Kirsten Nicolson, Head of Business Gateway, said: “Almost two years after work began on Cheryl’s new studio and workshop, it’s amazing to see it open and welcome so many customers. I am convinced that this will not only benefit the long term growth of Glansin Glass, but also support tourism in the region, bringing wider economic benefits to Unst.
“The bottom line is, no project is too small or too big, and for anyone with an idea that seems out of reach, come talk to the Business Gateway team. As was the case with Glansin Glass, our advisors will work with you to build a strong and solid fundraising case to help you achieve your business growth goals.
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