AN INDEPENDENT Tunbridge Wells-based womenswear shop has scooped one of the fashion retail industry’s most prestigious awards.
High Street-based Bod & Ted was named Womenswear Independent of the Year at the Drapers Independent Awards on Thursday, September 22.
Co-founder Sophie Bland told the Times: “After 12 years trading on the High Street it is wonderful to gain this recognition. Regarded as ‘the Oscars’ of the fashion independent sector, it has left us feeling inspired and excited for what is to come in the future.”
Sophie’s mother and co-founder Yvonne Brown, who died in January, was a major part of the shop’s success.
“I founded Bod & Ted in 2008 with my mother Yvonne. She passed away earlier this year and I know she would be so proud of what we have built together,” said Ms Bland.
Drapers mentioned Yvonne at the awards ceremony and praised the company’s resilience and positivity.
Announcing Bod & Ted’s win, Drapers said: “The pandemic was a very challenging time for the independent sector.
“Co-founder Sophie Bland showed extraordinary resilience running a business as a mother to two small children – one of them a newborn. She then lost her mother and business partner Yvonne to Covid-19 in January 2022.
“However, Bod & Ted’s perseverance paid off: the store recorded an annual turnover increase of 80 per cent across both e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar since the start of the pandemic and will welcome five new brands to its store for SS23 [spring/summer 2023].”
The judges had praised the independent business’s ‘spirit and determination’ and its ‘quite phenomenal’ turnover for the floorspace, added Drapers.
“They said: ‘[Bland] understands the customer and is so resilient, a lovely application that shone with positivity.”