17 January 2014

Dressed for Success Awards

Local independent retailers had cause for celebration on the night of Tuesday 14 January at the Dressed for Success 2013 awards event. 25 Brighton & Hove shops received expert one-to-one tuition on how to make the most of their window displays in the run up to Christmas, and following a public competition which received over 2,000 votes, winners were announced across seven categories at the glitzy ceremony! 

Deputy Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Economic Development & Culture Committee, Councillor Christopher Hawtree, said: “"I have always enjoyed shops. They are a fabric of a neighbourhood. Their success resonates in so many ways - socially and financially. I am thrilled at the reaction to Dressed for Success. Shop windows are a mirror of a shop's soul: they should make passers-by pause, and want to see what else is inside. My admiration for shopkeepers is great: they are, in effect, on stage all day - and that is only part of their work."

Overall Dressed for Success winner was MIY Workshop, who picked up a prize of a year’s free partnership with VisitBrighton. Shop owner Wendy Ward said: “We were very surprised and delighted to be the overall winner after seeing so many great windows in the competition. It is wonderful to have our work recognised and I am now inspired with ideas to create lovely window displays throughout the year.”

Category winners

Irresistible Image: KerrieBerrie Beads & Jewellery (North Laine)

Shop owners Kerrie Monks and Melanie Ford said: “Dressed for Success was a fantastic competition to be part of. It showed us how to create a beautiful window display. The advice gave us some great ideas for the future, and we definitely had increased footfall during the Christmas period.”

Judges comments: KerrieBerrie Beads created a magical window with beautifully made props that framed their displays and brought their Christmas theme alive to the delight of passers by.

Best Silent Seller: The Specky Wren (London Road)

Shop owners Marco Wren and David Carmichael said: “Dressed for Success really helped us focus on building a window that had impact. Our trainer gave great advice and added to our existing ideas with practical steps on how to implement them. As a new retailer it was wonderful to win an award, which now has pride of place in the shop.” 

Judges comments: Not only did The Specky Wren create a fun and engaging Window Display, but they also combined creativity with real commercial thinking to promote their Christmas offering.  

Cleverest Concept: Emma Plus (North Laine)

Shop owner Emma Hayes said: “It’s a lovely positive thing that Dressed for Success promotes independent shops, which is what the city is famous for. I do feel that the real prize was having the input from trainers Metamorphosis, who really knew their stuff. I was very impressed”.

Judges comments: Emma Plus’s window was both gorgeous looking and inspired.  A fabulous monochrome colour scheme with beautifully presented products, handcrafted gift vouchers and great attention to detail, all combined to evoke an elegant Christmas Concept.

Most Theatrical: South Coast Costumes (London Road)

Shop owner Jackie Crier said: “The trainers were delightful to work with, taught us a lot and gave us a real insight in to what to do with our windows. Networking with the other retailers was also very valuable. Brighton & Hove City Council has been amazingly supportive throughout the whole project.”

Judges comments: South Coast Costumes showed that they really are THE specialists when it comes to Retail Theatre, with a truly magnificent window that captured the imagination of their audience and filled them with a taste of fairytale magic.

Most Visually Stunning: KerrieBerrie Beads & Jewellery (North Laine)

Judges comments: KerrieBerrie Beads not only used beautiful props to catch the eye and inspire desire, but they combined this with great product presentation and stunning lighting to create a high impact and Visually Stunning Christmas Window.

Best Transformation: Manor of Things (Hove)

Shop owner Mia Douglas said: “Ellie from Metamorphosis was very informative, and it was great to have the training one-to-one in my shop. I was inspired to make more effort with my window, it boosted footfall into the store and I received many compliments from customers and my neighbouring shops.”

Judges comments: The judges this year were blown away by the amazing transformation that Mia created within her window at the Manor of Things.  Not only was the composition really strong, but the use of colour and props created a stunning window that stood out, capturing customer attention and delivering real inspiration and temptation to buy.

Overall Best Dressed: MIY Workshop (North Laine)

Shop owner Wendy Ward said: “I have been scared of getting our shop window display wrong in the past, so found the one-to-one training really useful. We were given sensible, practical steps to make a great window. It boosted staff morale and certainly got my workshop noticed!”
Judges comments: MIY Workshop, our Dressed for Success 2013 Overall Winner, created a visually stunning contemporary Christmas Window, which captured our attention with its visual impact and sense of Retail Theatre. The display combined great composition, striking use of colour and clever use of props, to create a window that not only looked fabulous, but also brilliantly conveyed their specialism.

More information

Dressed for Success is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council, and provides independent retailers with free window dressing training from retail experts Metamorphosis.

Five of the seven awards categories were decided by the public vote (either through online forms or Facebook ‘likes’ in the case of Irresistible Image). The Best Transformation and Overall Best Dressed category winners were judged by retail trainers Metamorphosis with oversight from the city council’s Economic Development Team.

Find out more on the Dressed for Success 2013 page.

Photo credit: James Pike @ www.jimpix.com