Family partnership proves a big success

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MOTHER and daughter entrepreneurs Melanie Smith and Lizanne McLeod won the award for New Retailer of the Year.

The pair set up children’s clothes shop Marabella’s Boutique, which is in Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth.

The shop sells children’s clothes, shoes and accessories from all over Europe.

Since it started, the business has gone on to expand and create its own shoe brand as well as putting the business online.

Ms Smith said: ‘It’s absolutely amazing for all the hard work that’s gone into it.

‘We felt there was a gap in the market in Portsmouth. It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of hours and a lot of thought.

‘We have got lots of plans for Marabella’s. This is just the start.’

The idea behind the shop started after Ms McLeod found that she was struggling to find nice yet affordable clothes for her daughter.

So she suggested to her mum that they went into business together and started their own shop selling children’s clothes, and they haven’t looked back since.

She added: ‘I’m really shocked. But there is no-one else like us.

‘We try to focus on the price of all our items and we really try and make it easy for mums to be able to shop in our shop.’

And Ms Smith added she hopes that the customer service played a part in their success at the awards too.

‘We treat our customers as we would like to be treated,’ she said.

Thousands of people now follow the business on Facebook and it has conducted sales from all over the world, as far as Australia.