Spotlight On: Alison Grieve, Safetray Products Inventor and Entrepreneur
We catch up with local inventor and entrepreneur, Alison Grieve. She explains how one simple idea led her to create her revolutionary rage of Safetray Products which are now available all over the world.
How long have you lived in Edinburgh and what brought you here?
I was Glasgow-born, but moved here when I was seven. I lived here until leaving school when I scooted off for the best part of a decade. I returned in 2004 to have my twin boys because there really is no place like home when you become a mama.
Tell me more about your business, Safetray Products
I used to run an events business. I invented the Safetray after witnessing a spectacular accident at one of our high-end events. A waitress lost control of her tray and dropped dozens of full champagne glasses all over the floor, smashing everywhere and causing embarrassment and expense. I started wondering why we still use the same old, dangerous design for carrying glasses and that’s when the idea for a discreet, retractable clip on the underside of the tray came to me. It slips between the server’s fingers and allows them to use their knuckles to help to control the tray, preventing it from overbalancing.
After patenting the invention and enlisting the help of Glasgow product designers, Fearsomengine, to source the manufacturer, we commenced production initially in China but then moved it to Scotland. The Safetray is now exported to 17 countries worldwide and is used in venues such as the Sofitel in Lyon, the Hyatt Regency in Dubai and Sodexo, USA.
We now have a few more products in development, including a mirror tray which looks as if stemmed glasses are magically floating through the air, and a disco tray with embedded LEDs.