Success for Coldstream’s Hirsel Gallery at Borders Retail Business Awards

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What happens when a jeweller and a glass designer join forces?

They win the Best Craft or Creative Business category in the Borders Retail Business Awards.

Maggie Read who was also a finalist with her jewellery business Sleepy Thistle and Julia Linstead of Julia Linstead Glass went into partnership to set up The Hirsel Gallery just two years ago.

The gallery unit at the Hirsel Craft Centre in Coldstream had become vacant and while discussing what they would really like to see in the shop it occurred to them that they should approach the Estate about running it themselves.

There is a wealth of creative talent in the area and a tradition of a quality craft gallery on the site so Maggie and Julia took on the challenge of realising that potential in a business.

With support and encouragement from the Hirsel Estate and local artists Maggie and Julia bring different strengths to managing the gallery, but have a strong joint vision and purpose.

Julia said: “For two such different ‘artistic’ people we have never had a difference of opinion on anything to do with the Gallery, it’s spooky, but it also means there is a cohesive look and a really nice atmosphere, customers notice that.”

Maggie said: “We want to promote professional artists and makers.

“Coldstream is a gateway in and out of the Borders and we feel that it’s important for people to see what amazing things are made here even if they are just passing through.”