05 August 2014

The Retail Factor 2014

I'm delighted to announce that after three weeks of hard work, followed by a month of tense anticipation, I have been given special recognition from the Mall's Retail Factor! As a result I will be going to the Oxford Summer School this month, which is a fabulous opportunity for me and something I will hopefully learn a lot from! Here is the press release by The Mall to explain the competition in more detail:                 

Chorley Mum of two Sue Seddon has gained national recognition in The Mall Blackburn’s National Retail Factor competition. 

Judges took the decision to reward Sue with the Award of Distinction in recognition of her passion, drive and creativity. She has also been awarded a place on the coveted Oxford Summer School in August, which provides professional retail advice.

The overall winner of the national final was Recluse Colony from The Mall Wood Green, which sold handmade up cycled & recycled products including jewellery, accessories, home-wares, footwear and clothing.

The Retail Factor launched in January and hopefuls were asked to pitch their business models in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation.

Four local finalists were chosen by a line up of prestigious judges to trade from a Pop Up Shop in The Mall Blackburn.

Kease Keyrings went head to head with Tutus and Tulle, Irresistible Cupcakes and clothing company Krosl and the two finalists were selected based on profits, creativity, drive and business acumen.

Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sue has been awarded a place at the fantastic Oxford Summer School in recognition of all her hard work.

“From the moment the judges met Sue we all agreed she has the professionalism and passion to go far in business and her products were lovely.

“She also showed real entrepreneurial skills by listening to customers and evolving her product range to add accessories to her exclusive keyrings throughout her trading in the Pop Up Shop, which added to her success.”

“I would like to thank all our entrants and finalists for making this year another Retail Factor success story and extend a special thank you to our fabulous judges Nicola Clayton, Head of Commercial and Business Development at Blackburn College, Salma Chaudhry, Principle Business Adviser at Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and Lancashire Telegraph Journalist Bill Jacobs.”

Sue Seddon added: “I could not believe it when I received the call to say I was going to the Oxford Summer School as I hadn’t even considered getting this far in the competition.

“I firmly believe that in order to be successful in business you have to work hard and be professional at all times so it is wonderful to hear that these were just two of the reasons the judges selected me.

“The Oxford Summer School looks amazing and I can’t wait to go. I am so pleased that I entered the Retail Factor competition as it has given my business a real boost.

“I would urge anyone who has a business idea or has recently started a business to enter the competition next year, the help I have received and the recognition I have gained is. phenomenal and I would like to thank everyone at The Mall for believing in my business.”

Kease Keyrings provides a wide range of unique keyrings that can be clipped to belts, bags, running shorts and much more, solving the age-old problem of lost keys.

The Retail Factor is an annual competition aimed at supporting and nurturing retail start-ups and established small retail businesses in the local community.

Here's a little collage to give you a taste of my three weeks at Blackburn Mall

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