Our Story - from 2007 to today

Cornish Gems was founded by Julianne Shelton and Nadia Macer-Wright who met at university over 20 years ago. Studying business management, we vowed to join forces in the future and run a business together. After leaving university, Julianne pursued an international sales career and Nadia followed a career in merchant banking in London. In 2005 our desire to leave the City and set up a business together heightened and Julianne returned to her hometown of St. Ives, persuading Nadia to join her a year later.

With a love of Cornwall, a family history of hospitality and a career interest in property and luxury markets, our business idea flourished. We identified a gap in the market for a holiday letting agency that focused on 'luxury' and that could provide owners with a complete management service by taking care of their home and managing the guest check-ins, cleaning and maintenance.

The Cornish Gems website went live in February 2007 providing the launchpad for what was to become an industry-shaping luxury travel brand. Each holiday home joining the portfolio was (and still is to this day) personally inspected for selection and over 11 years later, we are now highly regarded as the 'go-to' letting agency for luxury self-catering holidays in Cornwall. Our website has evolved during this time and now showcases over 180 high-end holiday homes, cottages, beach apartments and country houses that are tried, tested and trusted by over 25,000 visitors each year.

Today we employ over 100 staff, including 80 Gems-trained housekeepers to uphold our sparkling standards. We are both still involved in the day-to-day running of the business and collaboratively have achieved a number of high calibre awards including:

  • Silver Award Best New Business Cornwall 2009
  • Silver Award Investors in People 2012
  • Gold Award Investors in People 2015
  • Bronze British Travel Award Best UK Self Catering/ Cottage Holiday Company 2016
  • Finalist Venus Awards for Women in Business - Company of the Year Cornwall and Devon 2018

Whilst the company has grown, our mission, core values and company ethos have remained the same cementing Cornish Gems as the market leading, fully-managed luxury holiday letting agency in Cornwall.

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