PREMIUM crystal glassware expert Glencairn Crystal was set up more than 40 years ago by Scott Davidson’s father. Davidson has now taken over the business, which he started working in aged just 10. The company has a huge stake of the international market as it is available in more than 70 countries and has plans for further expansion in Asia and the US.
Name: Scott Davidson
Position: Product development director
WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS CALLED?
WHERE IS IT BASED?
WHY DID YOU SET UP THE BUSINESS?
MY father set it up almost 40 years ago. He started at Edinburgh Crystal putting company logos on decanters. Edinburgh Crystal couldn’t service customers well so we bought it over and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since. I grew up in the business.
My education is in computer science and electronics – not in anything artistic – but I have worked there since I was 10 and have been engraving crystals since age 14. Me and my brother have been in it from a very young age – officially almost 30 years, unofficially nearly 35.
I am originally from Airdrie and there are two distillers based there – Inner House Distillers and Burn Stewart distillers. My dad started there and the business just expanded.
When we started to expand we thought national would be good but it was actually easier to go international and go around the world – we are in hundreds of distillers in the US. Engaging with consumers around the world is easier than doing it here. We grew our market in the UK afterwards.
There are values in being a Scottish company. There is a quality aspect to the product which makes doing business easy and quite personable as well. We try to operate the business on family values – we are not some corporate entity that overrides the quality of the business. This kind of business works better abroad than people appreciate.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM COMPETING BUSINESSES?
IT is hard to say. There are lots of different aspects to the business. We’ve got the glasses, bottles and decanters market. Interestingly we don’t really have competition in the UK. We have some in France from the old established crystal market and glassware market around the world. The skill is we developed the product for the global markets and we do a lot of the brand work here in our little factory. We are investing in hand-crafting in Scotland and are interested in the growing craftsmanship in Scotland. Scotland is core to who we are.
WHAT IS YOUR TARGET MARKET?
BESIDES the gift-giving market, working in the drinks industry is a large part of the business (more than 80%). The target market is consumers that appreciate whisky and spirits around the world. That market changes constantly – with [the popularity of] gin there is a bigger female market than ever. We are in more than 70 countries including Antarctica and we also supply a small whisky distillery in Patagonia. We are also in Taiwan, Japan, India and Scandinavia.