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Awards Limelight : A Personal Message

We sat down with our founder Sharon Cousans to get her account of being a winner at the Bridal Buyer Awards:

Back in April this year we decided to enter the Bridal Buyer Awards.  After sitting down and completing a very detailed entry form we submitted it and waited for the announcement of the finalists.
We had been lucky 2 years ago when, in our first year of business, we were declared finalists, so we hoped that maybe we would be lucky again this year.  In June, to our delight, the news came that we had been made a finalist this year too.
To be a finalist in a national, prestigious award such as the Bridal Buyer Awards is a huge honour.  Entries come from all over the British Isles and you are up against the elite of the industry.  This time we were one of 5 finalists but winning was highly unlikely.

2018 Bridal Buyer Awards:
Last Monday, 10th September, was the Bridal Buyer Awards Gala Evening at the Harrogate Convention Centre.  Having bought our tickets, packed the new dress and evening suit into the car, we headed north to Harrogate intent on enjoying a lovely evening and a stay over in Harrogate, a fascinating town with a great history and wonderful architecture.
Throughout the preparations for the evening I had pangs of excitement as I anticipated what a win would mean to us, but these were soon dowsed by a reality check.  We were up against some mighty competition.

At the Awards:
The pleasant champagne reception was followed by taking our seats at our table and meeting fellow finalists all eager to hear the results.  After a tasty meal and hilarious entertainment, the award ceremony began in earnest.  Our category was 10th in a list of 20 awards so we patiently waited, enjoying applauding fellow wedding industry colleagues, all the while the butterflies in my stomach told me I dared to hope that we might receive good news.     


 The Announcements:
As the list of finalists for the Best Men’s Formalwear Retailer were read out I held my breathe telling myself not to be disappointed if we
were not the winner. 


There was a pause -------- ‘and the winner is---’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Apparently, I screamed.  By this time everything was becoming a blur and I seemed to have gone deaf!  After a hug, I made my way towards the stage, ever careful not to trip over a chair and spoil the moment.  

​Tears welled up but were hurriedly pushed back as I knew I was about to face the camera.                                                                           

It was over so quickly.  Applause, music, camera flashes, handshakes and the golden award was in my hands.  We Had Done It!!!     


Post Award Euphoria:
Still in a daze I was whisked off the stage for an interview.  Shaking and overcome by the whole event I was in no state to be interviewed but fortunately the walk down the room and out along the corridor was long and cool giving me time to compose myself.
Not sure as to which questions I would be asked, I decide to react with instinct and honesty.  I really could not stop grinning with pleasure.  The interview was filmed, and I cannot truly remember my responses to the questions.  Suddenly it was over, and I could return to our table.

There on the table was iced champagne and glasses which had apparently, appeared almost as soon as I reached the stage.  I have to admit that the rest of the award ceremony was a blur as the reality sank in and I began to contact all those who mattered to me, to tell them the amazing news.  There were further photos, group photos, music and dancing into the wee small hours.       

Thank You:
We are a small independent menswear retailer who have received a national award at the most prestigious award ceremony in the Wedding Industry in the company of the Wedding Industry Elite.
It is unbelievable!  We are so proud and honoured!
I couldn’t have achieved this without the commitment of my colleague Graham and the support of many people not least of whom are my family.
The award sits proudly in our shop window for all to see.
Sometime soon I may come down to earth, but not yet, I hope!!