A LUXURY ski maker in Perthshire who has been inundated with orders this year has said he is hoping for more snow to keep the area’s “up and coming small business scene” booming.

Jamie Kunka lives in the village of Birnam, next to Dunkeld, where he runs the Lonely Mountain Skis company using his garage as a workshop.

The 32-year-old makes equipment to order for each customer and only has a certain amount of time to do so, meaning he has already had to close off orders for February and has a few inquiries in for next month.

Current Covid restrictions have left ski resorts across the country unable to open to the public, despite several days of heavy snow in the last few weeks, but that has not stopped his own personal production line from providing skis for the slopes.

He said: “In January I got more orders than I think I ever had in one month, totalling about maybe 16 sets of skis, which is mad.

“I’ve had to suddenly scale-up production and work faster, also with the sort of unknowns of Brexit and ingredients coming in from Europe it’s been quite exciting.

“I make all skis to order so it involves a wee process with the customer where they decide what they want and it’s usually very customised. They’ve got specific desires for particular types of wood or a type of ski that’s good for a certain condition or even a certain holiday.

“It’s quite a holiday-driven business, like Easter holidays and also a lot of folk go in February/March as well as Christmas time where families tend to go to the Alps and do that if they’ve got chalets.

“There’s usually three distinct peaks in my business here, but this time it’s just all sort of one.

“I think a lot of people are looking for British-made, Scottish-made stuff and they’ve got maybe a bit of extra cash and they want to buy local to support some smaller businesses.”

Kunka came up with the idea while studying product design at Dundee University, where he lived at the time before moving to Perthshire seven years ago.

Most of his orders have been domestic, with “probably 80% Scottish” customers, and he says there are other firms in the area experiencing similar boosts because of current conditions.