Angels’ Share Glass is a specialist glass manufacture, retailer, and global wholesaler. It was born from an idea which came to Karen and her father Tom Young, a Master Glassblower, whilst watching The Angels’ Share film directed by Ken Loach.
They decided to create an icon representing the long-told story of The Angels’ Share. For those who do not know it is a term used in whisky production for the evaporation from the cask before the spirit is bottled. The term is used in every distillery in the world and Karen was inspired to bring that term to life.
Karen had always been involved with the family glassblowing business in some shape or form growing up. But when the idea came about, she was working in Operations for Stirling University in the Arts Centre.
Before that, her career was in travel retail and so her knowledge of retailing and sales was geared up to take a product to market.
She always had an appetite for doing her own thing and the launch of Angels’ Share Glass allowed her to shape her own path.
Having been in and out of distilleries supplying glassware to scientific bodies and helping with the family business at trade shows and packing during school holidays and knowing the sacrifices family businesses go through to be successful, Karen embarked on the start of a now seven-year journey.
Karen now has a passion for whisky as much as she had for glass and launched The Fife Whisky Festival in 2017.
Karen started Angels’ Share Glass from a small summerhouse in her father’s garden and now has a glassblowing studio and warehouse premises in her hometown – Bridge of Allan. The business grew quickly and Karen has built a small team around her.
Opening their own purpose-built studio in 2017 also allowed the company to look at the future and train glassblowers to continue the designs and growth of the business.
As a Scottish business and specialist glass manufacturer supplying glass worldwide and designing pieces for many recognised companies, Karen drives business development and growth. Providing customers with premium hand-made glassware and first-class customer service.The family business not only includes her father but now Karen’s husband Emmet has taken a role within the company.
The team is growing with Karen’s own children now doing the packing during school holidays – so it seems to be coming full circle.
The company has won many awards for design and innovation in its products and Karen also won Entrepreneur of the Year with Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Angels’ Share Glass ® brand has grown more recently in eCommerce – growing the online presence now is key and trading on platforms such as Amazon and Etsy have boosted the growth in very challenging times. eCommerce allows the company to reach out to customers directly wherever they are in the world.
My biggest challenge was
My biggest challenge was being a 5ft blonde who knew nothing about whisky. I learned quickly and soaked everything in. I then understood my market exceptionally well, this also gave me confidence and I gained respect in the industry I now market to.