Scottish jewellery designer’s return to islands pays off

Karlin Anderson Picture: Dave Donaldson

Karlin Anderson Picture: Dave Donaldson

A Shetland-born jewellery designer has been expanding her business after relocating it to the islands from London.

Karlin Anderson, who has been making jewellery inspired by Shetland’s landscape and culture since 1994, was helped with the relocation by taxpayer-funded advice service Business Gateway. Funding from Shetland Islands Council’s economic development grant scheme helped cover the costs of renovating her workshop and purchasing manufacturing equipment.

Ms Anderson, whose main studio is next to the beach in the village of Hoswick, highlighted the part her family was playing in the expansion of the business, and flagged the boost to sales during the tourist season from independent travellers and cruise-ship passengers.

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She said: “I do the majority of the work involved in designing and creating pieces myself, with the support of a small group of trusted freelancers and small companies who I built relationships with when I was based in Hatton Garden. Since moving home, I still work with this network but instead of ‘popping round the corner’ I have to send pieces back and forth using Royal Mail. My business has also expanded because I have a retail space in my Shetland workshop so I now employ my sister and my husband helps out too.

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“Tourist season is particularly busy with independent travellers and cruise ships visiting the islands. When I was in London it was just me in my workshop.”

Ms Anderson produces bespoke fine jewellery made by commission for clients all over the world in precious metals and gemstones. She also sells ready-to-wear jewellery collections in her Hoswick Gallery as well as through her website and through stockists in Shetland and in London, where she has a shared workspace in The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

She said of Shetland: “Creating beautiful jewellery which tells my clients’ story from such a beautiful location has a romance about it that adds a whole other layer to the piece.”

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Kirsten Nicolson, manager at Business Gateway, said: “It is rewarding to see how this package of support has shaped Karlin’s journey back to Shetland. Building stronger and supportive relationships with other female entrepreneurs and business owners in Shetland has helped Karlin have honest conversations providing both practical advice as well as increasing confidence in challenging economic times.”



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