Success at Great Weeks UAE has prompted UK expansion plans.

Edinburgh-based pearl jewellery brand Orchira is planning a return to the UK market after achieving success as part of the Great Weeks UAE trade mission.

Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, Orchira had approximately 70 stockists in the UK, but the financial difficulties of retailers forced it to look overseas for new international markets.


After achieving success in the Middle East and Japan the brand ventured to Great Weeks UAE to develop contacts in this region.

Orchira founder Shan You said: “We have found that there is definitely an empty market in the UAE in the mid-to-high-end pearl jewellery sector for stylish designs like ours. We have now – thanks to Great Weeks UAE – secured partners who want to be our exclusive distributors throughout the whole Gulf region including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Libya.”

Now the brand is ready to return to the UK market, citing improved economic conditions as the main driving force behind its decision.

You added: “Now we feel that the economic situation is strong enough in the UK to return to the high street. We intend to begin by renewing our relationship with our original retailers. What we cannot afford to do – as we did in the past – is leave ourselves open to so much potential bad debt.”

Orchira specialises in freshwater pearls sourced from Japan and China and sells its collections through its online pearl boutique and through a growing network of retailers.