Glasgow showcase for Orkney craft companies

Seven Orkney Crafts Association businesses will take part at the Scotland’s Trade Fair event in Glasgow this weekend (22nd - 24th January).

The event at the SECC attracts around 5,000 buyers every year and gives those attending the chance to promote their products and talk directly to trade customers.

Orkney’s high quality jewellery products will be on show, with firms including Sheila Fleet, Aurora, Ortak and Celina Rupp all taking part. They’ll be joined by textile businesses Hume Sweet Hume and Annie Glue Knitwear.

Also attending will be Stromness based jeweller Zoe Davidson, who launched her business last year. This will be Zoe’s first time at the Glasgow event.

This collection from Zoe Davidson Jewellery will be on display in Glasgow - image by Art Mosomi
This collection from Zoe Davidson Jewellery will be on display in Glasgow - image by Art Mosomi

“It will be a completely new experience for me, but attending under the Orkney Crafts Association banner is most reassuring and I’m incredibly excited about taking part,” she said. “I’ve recently launched a new collection, so I’m particularly looking forward to showcasing that, along with my other work, to such a wide audience.”

Zoe added: “Orkney enjoys a very strong reputation for quality and diversity in terms of its craft production, with all of us bringing something different to the marketplace, so this collective and mutually supportive approach to trade fair attendance makes a lot of sense.”

Orkney companies are regular attendees at the event in Glasgow
Orkney companies are regular attendees at the event in Glasgow

Running alongside the crafts event over the weekend will be Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2017, bringing together 130 exhibitors and over 1,000 buyers from around the country.

Four Orkney businesses, all members of Orkney Food and Drink, will be taking part, including Orkney Creamery (Ice Cream), The Orkney Bakery (Argo's), Jolly’s of Orkney and Orkney Distilling.

Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “Given the massive scale of the Speciality Food Show and Scotland’s Trade Fair events, this is potentially a very important weekend for Orkney businesses. With thousands of buyers attending, it’s the perfect opportunity for both well-established and new local businesses to present their products and get the year off to a positive start in terms of fresh orders. Orkney companies have also historically done very well in the awards that are staged as part of the event, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for a continuation of that tradition.”

Attendance at the event is being supported by an Orkney Marketing funding package. An initiative between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC), Orkney Marketing funding is available to projects that focus on bringing local companies together in joint promotions, ensuring the islands maintain a strong presence in competitive markets such as food and drink, the creative industries and renewable energy.