Watch brand Freedom To Exist seeks to boost Scots sales

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A high-end watch brand is looking to boost sales in Scotland amid plans to grow its customer base globally over the course of 2019.

Freedom To Exist (FTE) was established by Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner in 2015 after spotting a gap in the market when she could not find a watch she liked or that fitted her.

The pair had met while designing products for Habitat, and then both joined online furniture retailer when it started.

Whyte, a designer and the watch firm’s creative director, has worked for brands such as Heals, Tom Dixon, Normann Copenhagen, Habitat and BHS.

She said FTE had a strong 2018, including a “bumper” Christmas, which is its peak time of year. It experienced growth of two-thirds last year, and is now looking to double its business after increasing its product offering.

The London-based business sells direct online, with a customer base in Scotland, while stockists include Skandium, a British company founded in 1999 by three Scandinavians that has two stores in London, online platform Trouva and The Watch Lab, in Lyon, France.

FTE already sells to more than ten countries and Whyte said the company has attracted a lot of interest from the US and Australia, and would like to establish flagship bricks-and-mortar sites there as well as Europe to boost the brand’s credibility.