A thriving independent business in Harrogate has scooped a major coup in its field - by taking home a prestigious award from a ceremony that’s the Oscars of their craft.
In being crowned the best gift retailer of jewellery and fashion accessories in the Greats Gift Retailer Awards, the owners of Bijouled ladies boutique on Parliament Street have emphasised the importance of the town’s independent businesses.
Georgina Collins, who runs the shop with her husband Neville, said: “The world of retail is very challenging at the moment, whether you are an independent or a chain, and so it is critical to adapt to this changing climate as well as participate in local initiatives and collaborate with other businesses to try to increase local footfall.
“We believe that independents are key to the success of Harrogate as they are an important driver of visitors to the town - we have a strong visitor customer base and so know that visitors want to see different products and shops when they come to Harrogate. It’s also important that independents continue to offer enticing products to local consumers and encourage them to stay shopping in Harrogate.
"At Bijouled we offer customers a variety of products that stand out because of their difference, whether that be because of their unique design or provenance, and work very hard not only on customer service but also on creating an experience in the shop for people that they will remember. We want local people to continue to shop with us, and the same for visitors even if they have to shop with us online when they have left Harrogate."
Residents and visitors alike have fallen in love with Bijouled’s stunning and award-winning Christmas shop window displays over the years, which have been showcased to millions on Channel 5’s documentary series about Harrogate’s festive celebrations.
Georgina said this latest award represents another huge honour for the Bijouled team. She said: “One of the great things about winning this award has been that it has given us a sense of optimism about the value and experience of shopping, and we want to keep trying and working hard to make Bijouled stand out from the crowd.
"We were thrilled to receive the award - after 14 years of being in business it is such an honour - and we were competing against some fabulous shops across the country. Our entry was based on the story of Bijouled and was very personal as ultimately independents are about people and what they bring to the business and their customers. We also were judged on our merchandising and mix of jewellery and fashion brands, which we have worked very hard on over the years."