Firm bridges cash gap

Glassblowing studio to go-ahead despite shortfall

Karen Somerville and Tom YoungA family firm is to go ahead with building a glassblowing studio despite falling short on a crowdfunding appeal.

Angels’s Share Glass raised just over £11,000 of the £25,000 required and the founders have raised further funding so the project can proceed.

Bridge of Allan-based Angels’ Share Glass, which specialises in unique gifts for whisky lovers, launched the appeal on the Indigogo site in a bid to increase production and keep alive a traditional skill.

The firm has secured grants and investment loans. The studio, which will allow space to train new apprentice glassmakers, should be up and running towards the end of this year.

Karen Somerville, managing director, said she and her father, co-founder Tom Young, had been overwhelmed by the generosity of those who contributed to the campaign.

She said: “It was the first time we’ve tried a crowdfunding campaign and we really had no idea what to expect.

“It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time but it was amazing when contributions began to come in from friends, family, business colleagues and people we’ve never met.

“There were a whole range of contributions and people were just phenomenal in the way they supported us.

“We’re now looking forward to moving on and getting the rest of the funding organised and then we can achieve our dream of creating a new studio.

“It’s wonderful to know this long-awaited goal is now within our reach and we want to sincerely thank everyone who has helped us.”

Contributions to the appeal came in from all over the world including Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Qatar, and the United States.

Individual donations ranged from £5 to £1,000 and some backers opted for the various perks available in return for funding.

These included having their names engraved on a glass plaque in the new studio, a whisky tasting evening and a day spent glass-blowing with Mr Young, the firm’s master glassmaker.

Mr Young has been making glass by hand using traditional methods for nearly 60 years.

He currently works out of a home workshop where he trains an apprentice but that unit is now too small to keep up with rising demand for the firm’s products.

The new studio and equipment, which will be housed at the firm’s headquarters, will mean more space to increase production and train a new generation of glassmakers to continue the company’s legacy.

He said: “It means a lot to me to know that – thanks to the amazing support from our local community and people much further afield – we can now create a new studio and have more space to work in.

“For me it will be a great help in terms of passing my glassblowing skills onto a new generation of young glassmakers so that we can keep the tradition.”

Photo: Karen Somerville and Tom Young (contributed)


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