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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scots social firm conquers North America


Provides opportunities for those with barriers to employment

Scots social enterprise Glencraft, has signed its first retail contract in North America.

The contract, expected to yield Glencraft an annual six-figure turnover, has been secured with Inform Interiors, a high-end furniture retailer based in Canada.

A not-for-profit organisation, Aberdeen-based Glencraft has been providing opportunities for disadvantaged people for more than 180 years.

The retailer will showcase Glencraft’s Sovereign and Heritage mattresses – two of its most sought-after luxury products.

Donald MacKay, managing director of Glencraft, said: “This milestone contract with Inform Interiors marks a significant stride forward for Glencraft in the international market, reinforcing our commitment to delivering quality luxury products globally.  

“We look forward to a successful collaboration with Inform Interiors and are encouraged by the positive reception already received in the Canadian market to Glencraft’s exceptional products.”

In addition, Inform Interiors will also feature Glencraft’s range of luxury mattress toppers handcrafted from multiple layers of all-natural sheep’s wool. These include the Lowlander Comfort topper and the Highlander Comfort topper.  

Its Sovereign and Heritage mattresses along with the luxury toppers will be displayed in Inform Interior’s showrooms located at 97 and 50 Water St, Vancouver, for customers to purchase in store.  

Established in 1963, Inform Interiors is a family-run furniture, lighting and home accessories retailer. It supplies furnishings from an array of global manufacturers.  

Michael Hanos, senior design and sales executive at Inform Interiors, said: “The inclusion of Glencraft’s exquisite mattresses and toppers in our collection aligns with our dedication to offering discerning customers the epitome of comfort and style. We very much look forward to continuing our working relationship with them.”  

The Canadian contract comes as Glencraft strengthens its executive team with the appointment of Michael Ballantyne as marketing and global retail strategy advisor and Kate Stott as sales and business development executive.  

Michael Ballantyne, born in Scotland and raised in Texas, was previously an executive in the energy sector before he founded Storywood Tequila in 2015, growing it into a global brand as the first tequila in the world to be aged in single malt whisky barrels. He will implement Glencraft’s global retail strategy.

  Kate, from Aberdeen, began her career in the energy sector before moving into the tech sector. In 2019, she won the Scottish Business Woman of the Year at the National Business Women Awards for her BeautyBooker app, which encourages customer bookings for salons and spas. She is also a volunteer for Long Covid Kids, a charity supporting young people.  

Donald added: “The addition of Michael and Kate has been instrumental in elevating our brand, expanding our reach, and bolstering our entrepreneurial spirit. Their experience in both the consumer goods and tech space brings a fresh perspective to Glencraft, aligning seamlessly with our dedication to craftsmanship, innovation and social impact.”  

The firm supports 23 jobs and almost 80% of its staff are visually impaired or have some other form of disadvantage in relation to health or socio-economic challenges.

One visually impaired member of staff has been providing key manufacturing skills at Glencraft for over 40 years. Another member of staff, Nataliia Zaplitna, is a Ukrainian refugee who joined the organisation in 2022 after fleeing the war in Kharkiv.



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