Emma Hartley Bridalwear in Colne scoops an award in the 'Oscars' of the bridal industry presented by Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer David Emanuel
An independent Colne bridalwear shop has scooped an award in the 'Oscars' of the wedding dress industry.
Staff at Emma Hartley Bridalwear in Albert Road were named Best Team 2022 in the Bridal Buyer Awards during a glittering ceremony at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate last Monday.
The award celebrates how director Emma Hartley, manager Rachel Williams, plus bridal consultants Heidi Whitwell and Kelly Gibbons, worked as a team during the pandemic and beyond, taking part in sales courses on Zoom and using unconventional tactics like conquering Pendle Hill together in blizzards or the dark.
Emma, former manager at Etam Burnley, said: "I have an amazing team. My girls are just a laugh and they keep me entertained.”
The award was presented by David Emanuel, who designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress, and marks more than two decades in business for Emma.
She added: "I’ve had the shop for 25 years and entered the awards every year. I know how hard it is just to get through to the finals, never mind to win. We had some hard-hitting rivals from all over the UK so when our name was read out, we couldn’t believe it. Just to be there was special but to win was the icing on the cake.
"We legged it up on stage and I gave David a big hug. I was just so delighted to win.”
The accolade can now sit beside their other award, Best Customer Service, which they took home in 2019, adding to their reputation as a small boutique with a big “passion for helping women feel amazing about themselves,” says Emma.
To illustrate, she points to the fact one girl drove five hours from Kent to buy her dress from them.
Emma now hopes the shop’s success, despite the cost of living crisis, can inspire other small businesses to keep going if they can.
She said: "We’re really pleased to bring the award back to Colne. We are a little team and went up against some big names with big teams and still managed to win.
"A lot of businesses are struggling in the aftermath of Covid, so being able to spread some positive news is a great thing to do. Despite everything going on, we hope it might motivate people to carry on and refuse to surrender.”