Small Business of the Year 2023!

We were overjoyed (and somewhat surprised!) to scoop Gold at the North Cheshire Business Awards on Friday 24th November with a WIN for ‘Small Business of the Year 2023’.

The event was held at Cranage Estate and the competition pretty fierce across the county.

Winning any award is epic, but winning one that is based on business performance, business strategy, commercial strength and judged by a panel following a rigorous interview, is even more meaningful to any business, especially a small one.

With little hope of winning (although delighted to be a finalist) I wasn’t speech prepared, in fact I was sat at the back close to the door ready to make a quick exit after our category was announced (assuming we couldn’t possibly win). But win we did and it felt euphoric! So much so we were one of the last to leave the dance floor.

Days earlier I had actually considered not even attending, it was being held on Black Friday (yikes! a key retail day and a clash with my regular Friday Night Live show!)… but realising it would be rude not too I did a Black Thursday Night Live instead and sales were record breaking…another win! I kept refreshing my sales data app after that show and I was gobsmacked in the 24 hours that followed as orders flooded in, but that said our sales and promotions are always genuine for sure, so why wouldn’t ‘30% Off everything’ that is already a fraction of its retail price not have the tills ringing!

Back to the moment of glory at Cranage Hall…once up on that stage (dressed head to toe in second hand clothes) I accepted the award with glee from sponsors Citation, thanking Lucy (my right hand gal who I grabbed to come up on stage with me, also in a second hand dress) for being by my side and helping drive the operational side of the ecomms business forward, but I forgot to thank the wider team of people who are also responsible for our ongoing success. Without them we would not be where we are, or on course for where we are heading.

They include my husband Gary… by my side always, my business partner in Dress and also House Creative, our full service marketing agency of over 12 years… Gary is responsible for our gorgeous brand identity and our ads.

Thanks also to Nick Connors… a long standing friend and also one of my business partners at House Creative, he heads up digital and runs the online ad campaigns and website with the rest of the amazing team at House. Thanks also to Lois  (Colourful Leopard on Insta) who creates our social content and is integral to our team albeit part time.

I can’t thank Jean enough who stood by me on the shop floor for almost 5 years before she had to step down for health reasons earlier this year, she was more than a shop assistant and remains a true friend (sadly she was unable to join us for the award ceremony). How fabulous does she look at aged 80 dressed in second hand!

And of course I’d like to thank Terry Haywood and the team at The North Cheshire Chamber for recognising the hard work and journey we have been on and for voting us outright winners for this prestigious award.

I am eternally grateful to everyone.

let’s keep going.

Christine x