Case Studies

A picture of success

Intellectual property expertise and innovation support put Whisky Frames on course to quadruple its turnover in 2018.

29th November 2018

About the business

Whisky Frames secured 80 new stockists in January and February 2018 alone – including an Australian retailer. Thanks to Business Gateway Midlothian, the artisan business went on to benefit from innovation support and Scottish Enterprise intellectual property expertise. This put it on course to hit a projected turnover of £308,000 by February 2018, a four-fold increase year on year.

Kristen and Ross Hunter began crafting their unique photo frames from reclaimed whisky barrels in 2015. The couple have since taken on five employees and created a workshop from five shipping containers. The business produces up to 1,000 frames per month.

Our adviser has been fantastic. He’s introduced us to potential stockists and is arranging support that will help us protect our business and hopefully buy further machinery so we can operate more lean.

How Business Gateway has helped

“We’ve been surprised by the immediate, widespread popularity of our frames and how quickly we’ve had to scale up our operation,” says Kristen. “It’s fantastic and scary in equal measure. When we decided to really push the business in October 2016, we turned to Business Gateway to see what help was available.

“We’d always envisaged exporting but not as quickly. Having Peter’s of Kensington in Sydney as a new stockist, and with discussions under way with an American retailer, we’re now looking to our adviser for internationalisation support.”

Business Gateway support

Links to other support

What’s next?

Having won its raft of new stockists at Scotland’s Trades Fair and Spring Fair at the NEC, the enterprise now has over 150 stockists. The frames were also voted Best Product at the Scottish event.

“We invested very little in getting the business off the ground – £1,000 of our savings – and have grown it through hard work and resourcefulness,” says Kristen. “We’ve a product we are very proud of that provides a lasting memory of Scotland. Ultimately, we want to be exporting worldwide and for the frames to become a national gift of Scotland.”

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