UNIQUE jewellery and accessory store Sparkles is celebrating reaching a business milestone.
The independent store, in Cascades Shopping Centre, has been trading for five years – a feat the owners never thought they’d achieve when they began trading from market stalls.
Amanda Norris, who has worked at the store for almost the whole five years, said: ‘It’s been a great five years at Cascades.
‘Dannie Jin, who owns the business, originally started with two little stalls in Fareham and Gunwharf and then in March 2012 made the decision to move to the centre. Since then the shop has gone from strength to strength.’
Amanda works alongside colleague and now good friend Steph Kemp to help run Sparkles, and she said that friendship is a theme that has played a big part in the success of the store.
She said: ‘One of the things that sets us apart from other stores is that we really build relationships with our shoppers.
‘Some good friends of mine started out as customers and that makes a difference and helps us stand out.
‘We’re able to take the time and get to know them and recommend pieces of jewellery they wouldn’t normally have thought of because of those relationships.’
Alongside the other independent retailers in Cascades, Sparkles has a boutique feel to it allowing the store to adapt to shoppers wants and needs.
‘We get some really interesting, different pieces come in that are always a bit unusual and that you can’t get in other shops in Portsmouth,’ said Amanda.
‘That’s something I really enjoy about working here, we’re always changing what we have in based on customer feedback and because of that, the pieces are very distinctive.’
Centre director Rhoda Joseph said she was delighted that Sparkles had reached the five-year mark at Cascades.
She said: ‘Sparkles has been a wonderful part of the centre and I’m thrilled that they’re celebrating half a decade.
‘The sheer range of stores here is something we’re incredibly proud of and Sparkles has become an important and established part of the retail mix at the centre.’
Amanda said: ‘When we reached our first anniversary it felt extremely important. You hear about a lot of businesses not getting past that initial year so for us to reach that and be doing well felt really significant.
‘Cascades has been a great place for the store to grow as a company, it attracts a wide range of shoppers and is a definite destination for people from across the region.
‘It’s been a fantastic location for us. Now we’re at five years and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone, we are all looking forward to seeing what the future holds.’