Ortak return to trade fair circuit

Orkney jewellery firm Ortak is set to return to the trade fair circuit for the first time since the famous brand was relaunched in May of this year.

The Kirkwall based company will attend next month’s Scotland’s Trade Fair event in Glasgow, along with a number of other crafts businesses from Orkney.

Ortak Jewellery, which had grown to become one of the islands’ best known jewellery manufacturers with outlets throughout the UK, ceased trading in March of this year after experiencing financial difficulties.

But the Ortak brand – including the intellectual property rights and original designs and patterns of the jewellery moulds and drawings – was bought over by a group of investors who formed a new company, Ortak Ltd, backed by a £136,400 grant from development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The firm, which employs 16 staff, carries out manufacturing in a former dental practice in Kirkwall and also has a shop in the town’s Albert Street.

Ortak Ltd’s managing director Michael Gardens said: “We’re really looking forward to taking part in the Scotland’s Trade Fair event as it’s a real milestone for our new company, which is going from strength to strength. Having a presence at such a major national show is vital and represents an opportunity for us to showcase our range and give a taste of what our plans are for the continued development of the Ortak brand.”

He added: “The run up to Christmas has been exceptionally busy for us, both in our Kirkwall shop and through our online business, and we’d like to thank everyone in Orkney and further afield who has supported our return to the market.”

Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “It’s heartening to see the Ortak brand making a return to the trade fair circuit. Everyone in Orkney was shocked and saddened when the original company ceased trading, but delighted when Michael and his team stepped in to save the iconic Ortak name and its wonderful range of designs. Attendance at such a major trade event will do much to boost the profile of the Ortak brand and help spread the word that the firm is well and truly back in business.”

The other Orkney firms taking part in January’s event are; Sheila Fleet Jewellery, Alison Moore Designs, Celina Rupp Jewellery & Artwork, The Harray Potter, Aurora Jewellery, Hume Sweet Hume and Castaway Crafts, with their attendance supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Orkney Islands Council’s joint Orkney Marketing Scheme.

Scotland’s Trade Fair will run from 18 to 20 January 2015, at Glasgow’s SECC. Over 500 companies will exhibit thousands of products, including clothing, textiles, jewellery, fashion accessories, clan products, beauty & bath products, stationery, giftware, gift food and speciality fine food. Around 5000 trade buyers from department stores, multiples, mail order, online, tourist attractions and independent retail outlets will attend the show.


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