An award-winning family firm has launched a £25,000 Crowdfunding appeal in a bid to create a state-of-the-art glassblowing studio.
Bridge of Allan-based Angels’ Share Glass, which specializes in unique gifts for whisky lovers, wants to increase production and train a new generation of glassmakers to continue the firm’s legacy.
Co-founder Tom Young has been making glass by hand using traditional methods for nearly 60 years and currently works out of a home workshop where he trains an apprentice. But the firm’s success means that unit is now too small to keep up with demand and plans have been drawn up for a fully-equipped studio at the company’s premises. Now Tom and his daughter Karen Somerville hope whisky and glassmaking fans will get behind their bid and invest in the company’s future via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Karen, the firm’s Managing Director, says: “We’ve seen growth way beyond what we expected since we launched our first products – glass angels filled with malt whisky – three years ago and it’s been fantastic. “We’ve been able to take on staff, increase our turnover and create new gifts for whisky lovers who visit our online site from all over the world. “But we’re at a bit of a crossroads now – demand is outstripping supply and we need more space to grow the business and allow my dad to train up more apprentices who can help keep glassblowing alive in the heart of Scotland. “This is our first attempt at crowdfunding and I really hope local people, colleagues in the whisky industry and our loyal customers will help us achieve that dream and be part of the next generation of Angels’ Share Glass.”
The studio – expected to cost £25,000 – will include new glassblowing equipment to increase production of the firm’s innovative glassware plus space to train future glassblowers.
Angels’ Share Glass is hoping supporters will invest anything from £10 upwards in the initiative and are offering rewards to those who can help. These range from a special whisky tasting event for a donation of £50 to a day spent learning to blow glass in the new studio with Tom Young in return for a £500 investment.
Tom, 77, is one of a handful of Master Glassblowers in Scotland and has been making glass since he was a teenager. He began his working life as a scientific glassblower before branching out to create his own designs which were sold through Village Glass, the Bridge of Allan shop he founded in 1979.
Tom was already retired when Karen came up with the idea of capturing the spirit of whisky producers’ legend, the Angels’ Share, through the creation of handmade angels.
The myth claims the portion of a whisky’s volume lost during age-ing is taken by angels and Tom came out of retirement to devise a secret process to bring the legend to life by sealing that 30ml measure into unique glass angels.
He says: “It would mean a lot to our firm and staff if we can create this studio and pretty much double our current production levels.
“For me in particular it’ll be a big help in terms of passing on my glassblowing skills to a new generation of young glassmakers and keeping the tradition alive.”
The firm’s ambitious crowdfunding campaign kicks off on Indiegogo today (Tuesday March 1) and will run for 60 days.
Anyone who can help support the New Studio can do so via http://igg.me/at/angelsstudio
More information about the bid – plus a video showing Tom and glassmaking apprentice Bee Hardy at work in their current studio – can be found on the firm’s website – www.angelsshareglass.com
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