Business Gateway helps ensure prosperous start for internationally sought Shetland music producers


AN ABERDEENSHIRE born music composer, and her business partner have launched an innovative music project that is capturing the hearts of tourists all around the world, after the duo accessed support from Business Gateway. 

Launched in 2022, Island Custom Music produces unique souvenirs in the form of a piece of music written and performed by director and composer, Inga Scott, which is specifically for an area or an event. This is presented in a bespoke aluminium frame customised box, complete with QR codes on a wooden Interactive Media Card to direct customers straight to the recording and video online. 

Inga, alongside her partner, Eric Semple, have both lived in Shetland for many years. Inga was interested in traditional music from a young age, which was clear when Inga became the Daily Record’s youngest winner of the Junior Golden Fiddle Awards which was held annually in Scotland. They both realised there was a missing piece in the market for musical souvenirs, especially in a place like Shetland which is famed for its music. Having spotted this gap in the market, Inga and Eric set out on a mission to bring traditional music into today’s age and expand on tourism. 

In need of a clearer direction for their business plan, the pair approached Business Gateway for help to turn their vision into a reality. Inga and Eric accessed one-to-one support from a dedicated local business adviser, who helped them establish a business plan and outline plans for managing potential financial risks. They also received marketing advice which was crucial to help them learn about how to grow their brand and reach their target market. 

Island Custom Music also benefited from digital support, receiving social media advice and support around posting frequency, stories and reels, to optimise their digital channels and increase brand awareness and overall growing their social media followers by hundreds.  Eric has also been able to create a new website, which makes it easy to purchase their unique souvenirs online. Business Gateway also helped Inga and Eric apply for funding from Shetland Islands Council. Thanks to this support, the pair successfully obtained a £3,000 Start-up Grant, which went towards the costs of branding, packaging, point of sale design and social media. 

Since launching, Island Custom Music has enjoyed tremendous success, with tourists all over the world calling the musical souvenir innovative and nothing like they have ever seen before. With international streaming greatly increasing and plans to expand on their current premises, they also have acquired a stand at The Tall Ships 2023 in Lerwick. 

Inga Scott, Founder of Island Custom Music, said: “We wouldn’t have a business without Business Gateway. Business Gateway has been the perfect source of mentorship and the first point of guidance for starting up your own business. The support we have received is invaluable and helped turn our musical dream into a robust and successful business that is now being enjoyed by so many all over the world.” 

Kirsten Nicolson, Business Gateway Manager said: “It is so rewarding to see how well an initial business plan can turn into such a unique business. Inga and Eric have worked so hard to launch Island Custom Music, focusing on their main goal which is to modernise traditional music. It is excellent to see how well they are doing, and how the Business Gateway support and training has ensured a successful launch.” 

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