Proud Scots from an award-winning glassmaking firm joined Hollywood star Karen Gillan at New York’s famous Tartan Day Parade.
Karen Somerville and Helen Kerr from Stirling-based Angels’ Share Glass sported the firm’s bespoke Whisky and Water Tartan as they marched along 6th Avenue to cheers from New Yorkers.
The pair also met Marvel actress and fellow Scot Karen Gillan, the Parade’s Grand Marshal, and gifted her one of the company’s signature line of glass angels filled with whisky to remind her of home.
Inverness-born Karen began her career in television starring in Doctor Who and Rebus before making her Hollywood breakthrough and achieving global recognition for her roles in Jumanji and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Karen Somerville, Managing Director of Angels’ Share Glass, said: “Spending Tartan Week in New York was a dream come true and a lifelong ambition for me and taking part in the Parade was quite surreal. It was an amazing experience to walk through Manhattan along with more than 2,000 lovers of all things Scottish and get waves and cheers from New Yorkers as we showed off our tartan banner.”
“Having the chance to meet Karen Gillan made the whole experience even more memorable and she was delighted to receive one of our whisky angels. She was lovely and said she was pleased to have something to remind her of home.”
Karen and Helen, the firm’s Customer Service Manager, travelled to New York as part of a trade mission aimed at forging new transatlantic links between Scottish and US businesses.
They spent Tartan Week liaising with US retailers, showcasing their products and enjoying the various festivities including a Ceilidh.
Angels’ Share Glass was among 14 Scottish companies selected to travel to New York on a trade mission run by Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Scottish Business Network and Visit Scotland.
FVCC President Lynn Blaikie said: “We were delighted that Forth Valley Chamber member Angels’ Share Glass were part of the trade mission. They took centre stage along with 13 other exciting and innovative Scottish businesses who flew the flag very high for Scotland!”
“The New York mission aimed to help Scottish businesses establish new trade links and meaningful partnerships in the US. This was certainly the case with the delegation who never stopped and had back-to-back meetings from the moment they touched down on American soil.”
“Karen and her team, along with the rest of the delegation, were all fantastic ambassadors for Scotland and took New York by storm with their enthusiasm and determination to maximise their time on the mission and make as many business connections as possible. I am immensely proud of every business in the delegation and know we have done Scotland proud and will see many of their products on US shelves shortly.”
During the trade mission, business owners from the companies, which included Ardgowan Distillery, Ochil Fudge Pantry and Quirky Chocolate, took part in meetings and networking sessions with US retailers.
Angels’ Share Glass also had the chance to showcase their creations, which include handmade whisky water droppers, in a display at a Scotland House pop-up and an exhibition at New York’s Glasgow Caledonian University campus.
Mrs Somerville said: “The trade delegation was a fantastic opportunity for Scottish business owners to forge connections with American retailers and business leaders. The mission was well organised by Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and gave us the opportunity to extend awareness of our brand. We also met people from several organisations, including the St Andrews Society and New York Distilling Company, who I hope we will be able to develop future business relationships with.”
Angels’ Share Glass specialises in crafting whisky-based gifts and launched in 2013 with the creation of handmade glass angels filled with the ‘Angels’ Share’ of whisky.
Last year, the family firm created its own tartan – Whisky and Water by Angels’ Share Glass – which reflects the glassmakers’ story and is used to complement its products.