Shetland jewellery designer Karlin Anderson relocates from London in boost for islands

A Shetland-born jewellery designer has relocated her business back home from London in a boost for the islands’ economy.

Karlin Anderson is a creator of bespoke high-end jewellery inspired by Shetland’s rugged landscape and culture.

She moved to Glasgow in 1994 for education before moving to London in 2004 and founding Karlin Anderson Jewellery Designs in 2008.

In 2019, Karlin began seeking a greater work-life balance and decided to move back to Shetland.

She juggled running her business full-time in London while seeking a new base for her business in Shetland.

Karlin said: “It is easy to feel isolated when running your own business, especially in such a rural setting.

“Having worked in the jewellery district of Hatton Garden in London, I had built a strong support network and I wanted to be able to build a similar network here in Shetland.”

She sought support from Business Gateway and secured a local advisor who helped create a detailed business plan for the move.

Karlin Anderson renovated a workshop in Shetland.Business Gateway

She applied for a grant through Shetland Island Council, which helped cover costs of renovating the workshop and purchasing essential jewellery manufacturing equipment.

Karlin was also able to reconnect with other business owners in her local area during the Covid pandemic as a result of Business Gateway Shetland’s Women in Business Realise Programme.

Karlin said “Business Gateway was really helpful from the start. Having someone from the local area with such strong expertise and knowledge has really helped in the success of my relocation.

“Business Gateway introduced me to the Realise Programme. It’s great to speak to people in a similar position, and to share your struggles with like-minded people.”

The six-month programme, which was tailored to meet the needs of female entrepreneurs, involved one-on-one mentoring as well as peer support, covering topics such as confidence, networking and self-promotion.

Kirsten Nicolson, Business Gateway manager said: “It is rewarding to see how this package of support has shaped Karlin’s journey back to Shetland.

“Building stronger and supportive relationships with other female entrepreneurs and business owners in Shetland has helped Karlin have honest conversations providing both practical advice as well as increasing confidence in challenging economic times.”

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