A fruitless and frustrating search for an evening dress transformed former Daily Echo journalist into a multi-award winning businesswoman.
Tracie Beardsley won the Woman in Dorset Small Business of the Year in May and the “Best Shopping Experience” in the 2009/2010 Bournemouth Tourism Awards.
For a woman who began Westbourne-based, Fab Frocks with no retail experience, the success has been completely unexpected. Tracie does not take complete credit for the awards, however.
Tracie said: “Both awards were a surprise and a great morale boost. However, the “best shopping experience” is really an accolade to the sales staff as they were the ones who were present when the mystery shoppers visited.”
Tracie started Fab Frocks over eight years ago after she realised that there just wasn’t the choice or spec for occasion wear available. Tracie joined forces with her business partner Steve Taylor and they threw themselves into filling the void in the market.
Tracie has not hesitated for a moment since winning the awards, continuing the expansion of the business with gusto. Tracie said: “Steve and I have just opened a Mother of the Bride boutique and have introduced two new Spanish labels. We also have a new member of our management team starting, which should be exciting.”
Tracie has also noted interest from customers who don’t live in Westbourne. To make the stock of Fab Frocks more accessible, Steve and Tracie have invested in improving their website.
With Tracie’s efforts, the all too familiar, three-hour trudge around the progressively gloomy offerings of the high street, may soon be a happy memory!!