We recently caught up with mother and daughter team Glynis (Glenna) & Alison of Glenna Studios, the jewellery, fragrance and soy wax melts company based in Castle Douglas, to learn more about the business following their exhibition at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow.
With a passion for Scottish art & jewellery design, mother and daughter team Glynis (Glenna) & Alison recently opened a new Glenna Studios showroom and studio in Castle Douglas. Their award-winning Scottish & Celtic silver designer jewellery is inspired by nature and the beautiful countryside of Dumfries & Galloway. Complimenting the jewellery, Galloway Melts, their collection of luxury home fragrances & soy wax melts is all handmade in small batches using the finest ingredients.
How did it all start?
Back in 2013 with daughter Alison expecting twins, it seemed like the perfect time to start a family business so we could all work together and help each other as the family grew. We both had backgrounds in art and design so knew we could create something unique. The inspiration to create a contemporary jewellery collection with a distinctive Scottish style came on a hilltop close to the studio. It’s so peaceful in Galloway and you can see for miles, a good space to focus your mind.
The story behind the name…
We decided on the Gaelic version of my name Glynis (Glenna) and first launched our business as Glenna Jewellery. Glenna Studios was a natural follow on when a shop and studio space became available. The shop now showcases all our collections instore and online as Glenna Studios.
Where are you based?
We are based in a small studio shop and workshop at 175 King street in Castle Douglas in beautiful Dumfries & Galloway. We live locally so it’s a simple walk to work, what could be better.
What inspires you?
Both Alison and I are Inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Dumfries & Galloway, a place we as a family have called home all our life. The open Scottish countryside, coastal villages and natural wildlife of South West Scotland provide the perfect inspiration for our collections.
What is your creation process?
Living in rural Galloway, inspiration is all around. Usually a simple sketch drawing is the beginning of an exciting new jewellery collection. Our Galloway Melts fragrances are inspired by family memories of days at the beach, peaceful morning walks and cosy nights by the fire.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
Our handmade jewellery greeting cards are quite unique. The concept of a high quality but affordable sterling silver necklace combined with a quality greeting card with space to write your message inside makes them one of our most popular products.
We also have our own unique house blend of natural, toxin free wax which has been carefully developed to give our soy wax Galloway Melts customers the best scent experience.
What is your next project?
We will be launching new Glenna Jewellery Collections early in the new year and our Spring/Summer Collection of Galloway Melts fragranced soy wax melts will be online and instore just in time Spring.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
To keep up with demand we hope to take on some new staff early next year. It’s always nice to welcome a new team member and it should allow Alison & myself more time to design and create.
What is your biggest achievement?
Working with family is simply the best. It’s also lovely seeing our designs in quality retail stores all over Scotland and when a customer buys one of our products and loves it, it feels amazing. Our other claim to fame is making the final of Gift of the year awards for our Birth Flower Collections, quite a surprise for a small family business like ours.
What is your best-selling product/line?
That’s hard to pin down! For some our Glenna Bluebell jewellery collection is a must have, others love our Birth Flower Card & Gift in one range. Plus, can’t forget our Galloway Melt fans who keep coming back for the latest scents from our handmade soy wax melt fragrance collections.
Your experience of your first Country Living Fair (year, exhibiting or visiting)/ What are you looking forward to the most about exhibiting at the Christmas Fair?
This is our first Country Living Fair, so we are beyond excited to take in the whole experience.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
Country Living Fairs are a brilliant way to meet the customer, gather feedback and maybe have a little chat with likeminded small business owners that are also exhibiting. It’s good to talk one to one.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
Take advice from more experienced business owners when starting up.
Search the market to see if your product will stand up to the competition.
Keep believing and make sure you price properly for your time and effort.
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
If you have an unfulfilled passion you will always wonder what if, so don’t waste time and just go for it, you never know where you might end up!