Black White Denim boutique owner wins top retail award
Although designers try to tempt us every season with bright colours, floral dresses and gregarious prints, there are some staples which women just can't live without.
Number one is a little black dress, followed by a smart white shirt and at least a few pairs of jeans.
It was this concept of three failsafe colours, which form the basis of pretty much every woman's wardrobe, which inspired Jo Davies to set up her first shop called simply Black White Denim.
Jo said: "I was attending a friend's baby shower at Harvey Nichols and we were asked to take part in a quiz about the mother-to-be and describe her wardrobe in three words.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"I chose black, white and denim.
"All the guests agreed that not only was I spot on but that the same three words could describe their own wardrobes. I like to think of this as my light bulb moment."
Just over a year later, Jo had sourced her desired brands, convinced them to supply her and leased, fitted and opened a boutique in Cheshire.
She launched the brand's website in March last year.
"The early days were exciting because I was treading new ground," she said.
"I'd never been to a designer's showroom, let alone bought for a fashion retail business and I had no idea what launching a transactional website entailed. "Things haven't changed much, each day is still as exciting as my first because my foot is firmly on the gas and I love what I do."
Jo was born and brought up in Cheltenham and went to Cheltenham Bournside School where her dad, Gordon Davies, taught. She comes back to Gloucestershire regularly and says she would love to open her second boutique in the county.
Jo studied for a Business Studies degree in Oxford and joined Proctor & Gamble as a graduate trainee, before spending 17 years working her way up to senior management level in some of the largest corporations in the world.
"When I had my little boy, Gabriel who is now six, I knew I couldn't go back to the corporate world," Jo said.
"I took the opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do – I opened a designer boutique on the cusp of the worst recession in history, stocking only black, white and denim, just as the fashion press went mad for colour."
Last year, Black White Denim was shortlisted for the Drapers Award for best new business and now Jo has won the title of Retail Leader of the Year, for a business with a turnover under £200 million, at the Specsavers everywoman in Retail Awards.
"I dedicated my award to my team, without whom I wouldn't have a business to be proud of and to my little boy who has sacrificed a full-time mum to let her live her dream," Jo said.