Valentine’s Day is a particularly special occasion at Macintyres – today we are celebrating our 21st anniversary! We first opened our doors on February 14th, 1994 in our original location on George Street.
But the story of Macintyres really begins in October 1984 when the company directors, Steve and Gaynor Turner, first met at a pub in London; by December they were spending Christmas in the Bahamas and by Christmas Eve they were engaged. At the time, neither of them worked in the jewellery industry. Steve was the editor of Windsurf Magazine and a sports journalist who had just returned from covering the LA Olympics. Gaynor was in her final year of drama school, which was followed by a short but fun career playing small parts on screen and stage, including the lead female role in a West End production. Despite their success, neither of them wished to continue in their careers or to settle in London. They had always dreamed of opening their own business, and after a few false starts, realised jewellery was their true passion.
Determined to make their business happen, Steve and Gaynor moved to Glasgow to attend North Glasgow College, which was the only place in Scotland where you could study gemmology and diamond grading.
The program was one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of their lives, and Steve’s talent was recognised when the Gemmological Association of Great Britain awarded him the top medal for gemmology in Scotland.
Just after graduation, Steve and Gaynor began renovating 80 George Street, which would be the first location of Macintyres of Edinburgh. Two days before the official opening date, they received their very first phone call from Ms. Sid Cooper, who was wondering if the shop was open. Worried that perhaps Ms. Cooper would be their only customer, Steve and Gaynor assured her the shop was open, and stayed up all night ticketing and displaying stock. At the time, Ms. Cooper was the PA to the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and was kind enough to tell her colleagues about her wonderful experience at Macintyres. From there, news spread quickly of the fabulous prices and excellent quality offered at our shop, and before long, it was not unusual to see queues out the door on a Saturday. Twenty one years later, we are thrilled to say that Ms. Cooper is still a regular customer at Macintyres!
We used to feel like the new kids on the block, but after more than two decades, it’s safe to say we have earned our stripes.
On behalf of everyone in the Macintyres family, we want to say a huge thank you to all our customers, old and new, who have supported us over the years.
We have been lucky enough to share in many of your special moments, from engagement to eternity rings, and have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you the low prices and high standards you have come to expect from our shop.
We hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love (and diamonds, of course), and we hope to see you soon.