A textiles designer is expanding her Fraserburgh-based business with the launch of a new online shop.

Fiona Ross, owner of Candy Coated Accessories which specialises in the creation of high-quality products including luxury knitted scarves, mini hot water bottle covers and cotton baby accessories, is working with a new manufacturing partner based in Fife.

A graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Fiona started her business in 2003, working part-time as she gained experience working as an accessory designer for well-known Scottish manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin, then as a merchandise buyer at BrewDog.

However, at the end of 2019, she decided to take the plunge and concentrate on Candy Coated Accessories on a full-time basis.

Country Lifestyle Scotland:

Fiona has launched her new online shop after accessing support through DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital upskilling programme delivered by Business Gateway.

The designer received support from a business adviser via the Business Boost programme which helped her rebrand the business and increase her product offer.

The DigitalBoost support enable her to build and launch the online shop which has helped Fiona to reach new customers and access Christmas markets in Aberdeen and Dundee, which increased her direct to customer sales by 30%.

Fiona is now developing a new product with another manufacturer based in Fife and hopes to scale up her operations further by working with a variety of Scottish-based manufacturers to help her meet customer demand. She is also aiming to take on her first part-time employee this year.

“I’m passionate about keeping manufacturing in Scotland and next year it is my goal to work with other businesses across the country who can help me create my products and designs,” she said. “This will give me time to grow my business and scale up my operations further.”