Alicia takes helm of Blair’s jewellers sparkling expansion
One of the Borders’ oldest family-run businesses is shining brighter than ever, thanks to a sparkling new expansion.
W J Blair’s jewellers is something of an institution in Kelso, having remained in four generations of the same family since it opened in 1922.
And with the clock ticking towards the Woodmarket shop’s 100th anniversary in three years’ time, the Blair family have decided the time is right to expand.
It entered a new era last week with the opening of a new arm of the business in a former storeroom next door.
Alicia Blair, who has 15 years’ experience working in the jeweller’s with her parents Walter, 63, and Carmen, 59, has taken the helm of a new dedicated jewellery, watch and gift shop, leaving her parents to focus on engraving, trophies and repairs next door.
The 33-year-old, who began working for her parents at 17 and lives right above the shop, will be offering a more tailored jewellery service.
She said: “It’s quite the transformation from the derelict-looking store that it was.
“Next door looks totally different now too, with much more space for displaying trophies, quaichs and hipflasks which were previously in the basement.”
The two shops will work hand in hand, though.
“We’ll still offer all the services we did before, just with more space for people to enjoy each,” Alicia added.
“People wanting to come and browse the jewellery without the hustle and bustle of how busy the old shop is can take their time here.
“I have a private area for people wanting to spend time looking at engagement, wedding and eternity rings too, and I’m also focusing more in this area by offering a custom-made ring service.”
Alicia is also stocking new jewellery and watches ranges.
“The new part of the shop may look posher, but we still have something to suit every style and price range,” she added.
The shop opened its doors at a launch event last week, with guests enjoying a tour and complimentary prosecco.
“It was fantastic,” Alicia added. “We have so many great customers from all over the region who have stuck with us over the years. Lots of them popped in for the opening, and we received loads of lovely cards and flowers.”
WJ Blair’s opens 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday but closes on Wednesday afternoons.