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‘Tunnock’s Tea Cake Lady’ Sees Surge in Sales Since Opening Ceremony

Scottish giftware entrepreneur Gillian Kyle has seen a 50% increase in visitors to her website and a surge in sales since giant dancing Tunnock’s teacakes whirled around Celtic Park in the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony last week. Less than a year since her new website launched, Kyle feels that the Games has already had a hugely positive effect for the company and brand.

“I am so proud to be Scottish and Glaswegian right now,” says Kyle, 36, who has been called “the Tunnocks Tea Cake lady” after her most famous design. “everything has come together so well for 2014 - the city is looking glorious, the people have embraced the games with fun and friendliness, and the opening ceremony was wonderful.”

Kyle’s nostalgic and colourful designs showcase her hand-drawn homages to much-loved Scottish foods and are hugely popular with Scots, tourists and ex-patriates. As well as Tunnock’s biscuits her range celebrates a range of other iconic Scottish and British foods and icons, such as Fish and Chips.

Tunnock’s themselves have seen a spike in sales of 62% since the much talked about Parkhead ceremony, which featured super-sized versions of their ever-popular chocolate mallow biscuits pirouetting about the stadium. “Opinions have been mixed but I thought it was quite magical - a joyous, colourful celebration of all things Scottish. For me the dancing teacakes were a big highlight of the show and very reflective of the Glasgow spirit” says Kyle.

“Scottish people have such a big affection for Tunnock’s as a brand and for Teacakes in particular. They occupy such an important place in the national consciousness that its hard to believe they are just a chocolate biscuit! And of course the red and silver wrappers are so iconic and eye-catching. I’m so glad that the organisers of the ceremony agreed that that was worth celebrating”.

The company, launched in her hometown of Glasgow by Kyle 5 years ago, now has an annual turnover of more than £250,000 and 3 employees as well as Kyle herself. She is now looking beyond the Scottish market and exports her products to Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, as well as selling throughout the UK in John Lewis, Waterstones and Paperchase.

Gillian is expanding her range this autumn with a new range of Tunnock’s ceramics; flying the flag for Scottish design in a homewares market still dominated by foreign imports and proving that her images of these iconic brands are just as popular as ever.

Gillian Kyle Ltd is shortlisted (1 of 6) for the Evening Times ‘Glasgow’s Favourite Business’ award this year.

Gillian Kyle started the company in 2009 after graduating from Glasgow School of Art. Her first designs, featuring the Tunnock’s Tea Cake, are still in production today. Her products are sourced, manufactured and printed in the UK. She uses organic cotton wherever possible. As well as designing the products for her own brand, Kyle has worked for Harrod’s, the Famous Grouse, Tennent’s Lager and other big names.

Visit Gillian Kyle’s fantastic products here >>>

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