Despite the recession, local businesswoman Clodagh Shortt is bucking the trend.
Her specialist lingerie, shoe and bag shop, Honey, is up for a prestigious ‘Stars Underlines’ Shop Award.
Based on Belfast’s bustling Lisburn Road, Honey is a gorgeous boutique stocked with the latest top-name brands. Designed by Paul Horscroft, one of Ireland’s leading interior designers, the store is decked out in sumptuous pinks, crushed velvet and chandeliers.
And it’s this combination that has landed her in the final shortlist for the Best Concept Shop in the UK and Ireland.
Originally from Quigley’s Point, Clodagh said: “To be considered as one of the best concept shops in the UK and Ireland is a great achievement for us and shows that all of our hard work is paying off. We look forward to representing Ireland as a top boutique shopping destination at the awards.”
Clodagh, a former Thornhill College student, opened the store in 2003 after a holiday abroad proved inspiration for the budding entrepreneur. She explains: “After a four week holiday to Singapore and Australia I was amazed by the diversity and multitude of boutiques. So I decided on my return that there might be a niche for such a type of a shop in Belfast. The additional twist I wanted to give it though, was to bring three elements - shoes, bags and knickers - all under the one roof, a veritable one-stop-shop of girlie indulgence!”
And now her unique shopping concept, the only one from Northern Ireland to be shortlisted, will battle it out against 61 other finalists.
The ‘Stars Underlines’ Best Shop Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the best independent, department stores and speciality shops in the UK and Ireland and is part of a wider international award competition running in Germany, USA and Italy. The awards highlight the value and innovation shown internationally by small/medium sized retailers and e-tailers.
The awards are independently judged by a panel of 21 international brands and winners will be announced at a Gala Awards Ceremony next Thursday, 10th November in London.