FOR JEWELLERY designer Karlin Anderson, relocating her business from London to Shetland has led to rapid expansion.

Karlin who was born in Shetland, has been making bespoke high-end jewellery inspired by the islands’ rugged landscape and culture since 1994. After moving to Glasgow in 1994 to further her education and then to London in 2004, she Karlin Anderson Jewellery Designs in 2008.

Country Lifestyle Scotland: Karin Anderson.Karin Anderson. (Image: Newsquest)

In 2019, seeking a better work-life balance, Karlin decided to move back to Shetland. She approached Business Gateway for advice as she juggled running her business full-time in London while seeking a new base for the business back home.

During the pandemic, she was able to reconnect with like-minded business owners in her local area, taking part in Business Gateway Shetland’s Women in Business Realise Programme.

The six-month development programme, specifically tailored to meet the needs of female entrepreneurs, involves one-to-one mentoring as well as peer support, covering topics such as confidence, networking, self-promotion and change-making conversations.

Karlin, whose main studio is next to the beach in the village of Hoswick, produces bespoke fine jewellery made by commission for clients all over the world in precious metals and gemstones. She also sells ready-to-wear jewellery collections in her Hoswick Gallery as well as through her website and stockists in Shetland and in London, where she has a shared workspace in The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

As well as support from Business Gateway, Karlin received funding from Shetland Islands Council’s economic development grant scheme to help cover the costs of renovating her workshop and purchasing manufacturing equipment.

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


Karlin Anderson is expanding her jewellery business on Shetland

Photograph: Dave Donaldson