Simply Devine owner Liz Devine Wright is hoping to add another feather in her cap after being shortlisted once again in the English Wedding Awards.
Liz – owner of the Tadcaster destination hat shop – is shortlisted in the 2022 Wedding Boutique and Accessories supplier of the year and in the Specialist Wedding Supplier of the Year. She has previously won the same categories in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
A spokesman for The English Wedding Awards said: “These awards are now recognised as the leading celebration for showcasing those that have demonstrated excellence in the industry.
The aim is to acknowledge everyone in this sector that has shown skill, commitment and have the customer satisfaction as top priority in their business.”
The awards did not take place during 2020 and 2021, and like most non-essential shops, Simply Devine was forced to close down during the pandemic.
“Business for everyone in the wedding industry has been particularly tough. Wedding numbers were restricted and receptions were forbidden, so many couples either put off their fairy tale weddings or went to the register office with just very close family;” said Liz.
“Race meetings were also banned, so we lost our customers – those who love to dress up for special occasions, whether it be going to the races, or for mothers of the bride or groom.”
Fortunately, the last months of 2021 saw customers returning after weddings and venues began opening up. And as Simply Devine is due to celebrate 18 years in business next month, 2022 is set to be a successful year as couples who postponed their weddings are set to walk down the aisle.
“We have weathered this particular storm since we own our premises and stock outright and are completely debt free. Many other high street businesses have not been so lucky, with even large department stores disappearing;” said Liz.
“Simply Devine also sells its own creations to other boutiques around the country, and as the pandemic hit, we offered to cancel their forward orders which would have been delivered in early 2020, since we understood how difficult it was going to be for other small businesses.”
“Simply Devine has always offered online shopping, but in realising the extra potential during lockdown, we opened new outlets on some of the major online selling platforms, in addition to our own online presence;” said Liz.
“Our hats have been sent world-wide – to the USA, Dubai, Australia, Africa and to Europe, but there are vast untapped markets for our beautiful products, so we are hoping to reach a much wider online customer audience during 2022.”
The winners of the English Wedding Awards will be announced on the 21st February.