OVER the past five years Roxanne Morris has poured her heart and soul into her fashion business Rokii.
It hasn’t always been easy for the 32-year-old, who had to move in with her mum and ride a bike to save money.
But it has finally paid off and she has been named The News’ Small Retailer of the Year, beating almost 40 other nominees.
Rokii, a clothes shop in Victoria Road South, Southsea, is now thriving and Roxanne said she was delighted to win the award.
‘I’m an honest person and I can honestly say I did not think I had a chance of getting first, second or even third place,’ she said.
‘I’m thrilled and it will hopefully give me a little bit more exposure.’
Roxanne prides herself on not compromising and buying only pieces that she would wear herself.
She said: ‘I signed a five-year lease on the shop just before the recession started. At times it has been so, so hard and I’ve questioned whether I’m doing the right thing, but I’m not the kind of person to give up.
‘They say things take time to work and now things have really picked up.
‘I’m confident in the fact that every single thing I buy is my choice. I don’t sell anything I don’t like – and it’s paid off.
‘There is nothing for people in Portsmouth who want something a bit different. I only ever sell one of each size.
‘This is a small city and there’s nothing worse than bumping into someone wearing the same thing as you.
‘My clothes are quite individual, even though they are of the season. If you’re looking for a plain black top you won’t find it here. And you won’t find a copy of something you can buy in Primark or Topshop.’
Roxanne also puts her success down to being able to cater for men and women of all ages with everything from clothes to accessories.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘You nominated everything from grocers to wedding dress shops and we have been really impressed.
‘But I’m really pleased for Rokii, Roxanne has shown fantastic creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and Rokii is a deserving winner.’
Roxanne is diversifying with a bigger range on her website rokii.co.uk