Join us for an insight behind the scenes at this artisan Scottish family business Paul Andrews speaks to Karen Somerville about her journey into the family firm.
Tom Young MBE and daughter Karen produce beautiful glassware, creating the very best in innovative and creative concepts. Together they have supplied some of the world’s leading distillers with products used for the distilling process. The idea for the business was born out of the Legend of The Angels’ Share After watching a Film in 2012 of the same name by Ken Loach Karen & Tom designed the Whisky Angel. This is now their signature product.
Tom worked throughout industrial and chemical glass laboratories until his creative side took over and he made designs in glass. Using a bench flame torch, his commissions include glass pieces for high profile figures and companies all over the world.
Tom made the glass element of the Johnnie Walker Golf trophy and almost every spirit safe bowl in every Scottish distillery. Now, almost 60 years on, and a master glassblower & MBE awarded for service to the Glass industry, he still creates wonderful designs & glassware in the heart of central Scotland for a worldwide market.
Using Lampworking rather than the familiar kiln glassblowing techniques, all the glass is made on the bench with a firing kiln at their studio in Bridge of Allan, Stirling. Glassmakers from around Scotland contribute to the production process allowing the company to meet the huge demand for these premium Whisky Gifts.
Designing and adapting glassmaking techniques helps affirm this company’s glassmaking heritage and love of Scotch Whisky.
The signature product, the Angel, was born out of a eureka moment after watching Ken Loach’s film The Angels’ Share. Combining whisky and molten glass is what makes these products so special.
Tom Young MBE has been glassblowing since he was a teenager and most recently was honoured by Her Majesty in the 2017 New Years Honours List.
Karen has a passion for glass and whisky. Co – Karen founded this company in 2013 with father Tom Young MBE. Growing the business from a small craft enterprise to commercial production, with future plans to continue to scale up production.
As Director of Angels’ Share Glass ® Karen is also a former winner of “Entrepreneur of the Year” Chamber of Commerce Awards and currently a Judge for The Scottish Whisky Awards 2019. Karen serves on the committee of The Association of Women Entrepreneurs Scotland (BAWES) and is a brand ambassador for Womens’ Enterprise Scotland(WES), mentoring small and start up businesses within Scotland. Winning many business awards from product design to growth, the firms glassblowing expertise and passion for scotch whisky is evident within the industry. Karen is also Director of The Fife Whisky Festival, a vibrant celebration of whisky in the Kingdom of Fife with the only festival of its kind in the area.
Listen to Karen as she shares her journey with us.