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Emma & Ceyda's Story.

Emma Cox and Ceyda Gibson relocated to the Isle of Man in 2020 and 2021 respectively to work for Strix, a global leader in kettle controls and water purification and filtration systems.

Emma relocated from Winchester in the UK with her husband to take on the role of Group HR Director. Ceyda moved with her young family from the Netherlands and is Strix’s Chief Technology Officer. Here they tell us about their journey to the Isle of Man; what it’s like to work within a vibrant engineering and manufacturing sector and how they’ve embraced Island living.

How long have you lived in the Isle of Man and what made you move here?

Emma -

My husband and I moved to the Isle of Man in early 2020. Initially I moved on my own after being headhunted for the role of Group HR Director at Strix. At the time I had been offered other roles in the UK – but Mark and I had not been long married, and we were up for the adventure and ready to try something completely different. Mark works in healthcare and was offered an amazing opportunity with Manx Care; working within the team overseeing Manx Care’s Health and Care Transformation Programme. It seemed like all the pieces had fallen into place, so we jumped at the opportunity.

Ceyda –

I was also headhunted for the role of Chief Technology Officer at Strix. The combination of the role, the company profile, and the exotic (!) location made it an easy decision. Due to Covid, we couldn’t travel to the Island in advance of our relocation but what we saw on the internet and our research made our decision easy and straightforward. The Island’s reputation for its natural beauty, UNESCO Biosphere status, diverse industries, low unemployment rate and safe living environment were important contributors in our decision making process. Having access to a good education was also crucial to us with a young daughter on the cusp of starting secondary school. The private school, King William’s College offered our daughter something very special, so the three of us and our dog made the move in October 2021 and haven’t looked back since.

How would you describe the Isle of Man to someone that has never been?

Emma –

Surprisingly beautiful! The Island is a well-kept secret – a real gem in the Irish Sea. The local and professional community are the friendliest we have ever encountered, and we’ve moved around a lot. The Isle of Man is really about the people; they are so welcoming of newcomers, and they want you to embrace Island life as much as they do – it’s infectious!


I would agree – we were blown away at the natural beauty. Yes, the Island is a small place, but it is tremendously diverse. When you’re on it, it feels so much bigger! There’s so much to explore and experience that it will keep us occupied for few years to come. The Island radiates safety and security – a family feel that extends beyond the community. When you’re an Islander you’ll know!

Do you feel there are opportunities for individuals in the engineering and manufacturing sector in the Isle of Man?

Ceyda –

Absolutely. At Strix we undertake both the design and manufacture of our components – a unique working environment within the sector which makes the work challenging, exciting and provides ample opportunity for employees to progress and skill up in a variety of areas, while also providing the chance to be a part of a global company.

As a technology company, our ongoing success and sustained competitive advantage heavily depends on the innovation consequently secured and protected by Intellectual Property (IP). This means ownership of a portfolio of patents and design registrations as well as safeguarding trade secrets. We design our products and manufacture our high precision components on the Island. The Island has a unique sweet spot in this regard due to its geographical characteristics and the low attrition rate of the workforce.

Emma -

Here at Strix we offer structured and transparent career pathways, especially for graduates and school leavers. These pathways are diverse and provide both new and existing staff the opportunity to train up and progress very quickly.

We encourage a good work-life balance and since joining Strix, my team and I have ensured thorough succession planning is in place to safeguard knowledge and skill. Married with continued professional development and performance building makes for a fantastic working environment for any engineering and manufacturing professional, no matter what stage of their career they’re at.

Read our Guide to Moving Yourself to the Isle of Man.


Tell us about your roles and what you most enjoy about them?

Ceyda –

Strix occupies a unique position that many engineering and manufacturing companies aspire to be. We are the market leader for kettle controls, the challenger in water filtration and a new player in appliances. The majority of companies who achieve market leadership via a technological breakthrough generally evolve into mature companies, but not Strix. Strix is still pursuing something exciting and different. This makes my job diverse, challenging, and exciting. With regards to the Isle of Man, it is small enough to make a difference without having to wait years, yet it is big enough to make a real impact on a national scale. The Island offers you the opportunity to directly access people of seniority from all walks of life – you can speak to an MHK, a world-renowned investor or entrepreneur. It is very humbling.

Emma –

Something that really attracted me to the role was its malleability; it was a role I could make my own, which is the case for many of the roles within Strix. I’m proud of the work my team are doing and feel like we’re making a difference to the organisation.

What difference has living in the Isle of Man made to your work-life balance?

Emma –

I live in the South of the Island, and my commute to work is simply beautiful – and takes all of 12 minutes! The drive home along Gansey Bay is the perfect journey to recalibrate, and even if I do a longer day, I still have time to unwind.

Ceyda –

I still feel like I’m living in a holiday resort! I live in Port St Mary and we have the most breath-taking views from our house including the beautiful Port St Mary lighthouse. I relish waking up every morning and looking at the views below – the colours of the sky and the sea change every time and it’s a joy to behold. Living in the Isle of Man doesn’t just provide a better work-life balance, but a better quality of life.

How was your experience moving to the Isle of Man?


As we relocated from the UK, Mark and I had to acquire work permits. Strix did this for me and it was a fairly straightforward process – I actually had to relocate fairly quickly for the role, and the Isle of Man Government were very accommodating of this.

Once I got to the Island, I initially stayed in an AirBnB property. The owners were very hospitable and introduced me to many people locally – both personally and professionally. It was an instant network and helped me settle far quicker.

There are certainly less barriers to entry to the Isle of Man – at Strix we regularly recruit off Island and it’s a far easier relocation process in comparison to other jurisdictions I’ve worked in. In fact, the Isle of Man Government actively encourages relocation – incentives including the Employee Relocation Incentive and National Insurance Holiday Scheme are great examples of this. There are also no property restrictions on the Island, and this goes a long way in making what can be quite a stressful experience, a lot smoother.

Ceyda –

I am a naturalised British citizen, so I too went through the work permit process. My husband who is British born, but a Dutch citizen, was then able to get a co-habiting work permit based on my residency. Initially we stayed at holiday lets to familiarise ourselves with the Island before committing to buying a property. As there are no restrictions to buying a property on the Island, it was a rather straightforward process to purchase a house.

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What’s the best-kept secret in the Isle of Man?

Ceyda –

For me, it has to be the opportunity to observe the Northern lights as well as being able to go kayaking or surfing all year around. The night sky is breath-taking as you can see so much more due to the low light pollution. We purchased a telescope so we could look at the stars and planets at night and we’ve even been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Peel last winter – a real gift from the Island.

Emma –

We have palm trees! I’m a keen gardener and I’ve been amazed at what you can grow here. We don’t have the extreme temperatures like the UK, which means certain flora can grow all year round. The wildflowers too are uniquely stunning – adding another layer to the Island’s wonderful and diverse natural landscape.



What would your top tips be for those considering a relocation to the Isle of Man?

Ceyda –

Don’t get put off by the size – when you’re here it really is so much bigger, as there is so much to explore and do. The climate is much milder than you would expect, and you can experience the outdoors in a way which is not possible anywhere else. This includes trekking, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, wind foiling, kayaking, sailing, and scuba diving all year around. It does take some getting used to, as it is a slightly different way of life, but ultimately in a positive way. I know I wouldn’t change it for the world

Emma –

Fully embrace it if you can, and have both feet firmly planted on the Island. We did just that, and the response from people here has been overwhelming – it really is a fantastic place to live.