Thanks to The News, one business owner from Southsea is able to say her company is an award-winning one – something which she says has helped with her growing success.
Samantha Worsey, owner of Southsea Bathing Hut, entered The News Retail and Leisure Awards last year, winning Independent Retailer of the Year and landing second place in the New Retailer of the Year category.
The 36-year-old, who makes natural skincare products from the British seaside, is encouraging other businesses across the area to enter the awards, now is in their fourth year.
Samantha said: ‘In 2016 we entered the awards by self-nomination, not expecting much, but wanting to be a part of the business community.
‘I remember thinking that, at the very least, we could come away having had a nice evening – I was blown away when the results were announced.
‘To win Independent Retailer of the Year up against 14 other businesses, and as the youngest one in the category, was overwhelming and a real honour.
‘I’m grateful to The News for allowing me to showcase what was at the time my relatively new, small business, because it’s tough in this industry.
‘I encourage other businesses to enter because you come away feeling like you’ve got so much support.
‘British people tend not to shout about their achievements and it’s good to be modest, but at the same time you should be confident enough to put your business forward for this sort of thing.
‘Even if you just want to make connections, that’s fine. Because of the awards we can now call ourselves the award-winning Southsea Bathing Hut, which is so useful to us as a small business and we say it wherever we go.’
Samantha runs Southsea Bathing Hut with her husband and mother, and started the company in 2015 with a mission to revive Portsmouth’s lost soap industry.
The family started out on a market stall on a rainy day in April and now have their own base at the Portsmouth Enterprise Centre. They sell products all over the world.
Samantha added: ‘Entering the awards gives people a chance to make a statement with their business.
‘I had so many interesting and inspirational conversations over the course of the night which I still remember now, and even take advice from – that in itself is reason enough to enter.
‘We had an amazing year last year, and now it’s time for other businesses to shine.’
To enter, download an entry pack which contains the rules, criteria and entry form, from jpeventssouth.co.uk/events/retail-and-leisure-awards
The closing date for entries is Friday, August 4.
For more details, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.