Raymond left Airdrie Academy at 18 and joined Honeywell, an American company, as a technical apprentice where he soon became an environmental test engineer – a job where innovation played a major part.Raymond always wanted a career in sales and moved to work for Crown paints and then Matchbox toys.
One day a colleague asked if he would be interested in setting up a new division for Edinburgh Crystal – to manage their new corporate business.
After a while he realised that Edinburgh Crystal were unable to supply the needs of this new range of customers. The corporate customers were far more demanding than the consumer – looking for faster lead times and innovative design. Their technical demands, such as exacting fill levels, effective closures, prevention of lead leaching etc told Raymond that there was an opportunity to establish a business that could better meet these requirements.
Raymond established Glencairn but was always interested in music, running dances and playing in bands or playing solo. When he set up Glencairn he was still playing part-time and thought if the new company proves difficult financially, he would just play more nights. Fortuitously, for everyone out there, the business did well.
Raymond was always insistent that his products should be aesthetic, as well as functional, and, shortly after starting Glencairn, he was fortunate enough to be introduced to Jim Drysdale, a most remarkably talented artist with huge experience — and one of life’s gentlemen with a terrific sense of humour.
In those days the only people in the original factory were Jim and Raymond. and, as Raymond says, Glencairn would have had a very difficult start without Jim’s input.
From there the business has grown into an international success story. Raymond brought his sons on board to help and from those days of Raymond and Jim, working late into the night, there are now over fifty employees servicing the needs of some sixty countries across the planet.