Fashioning style in the bay for 45 glamorous years
AN INDEPENDENT Torquay clothing firm that has weathered hard times and a flood is proudly celebrating 45 years in business this week.
Maggie Dawson opened Maggie & Co in Torquay town centre in 1974, trading as Pink and Blue in Fleet Street before expanding to a larger store, Peanuts, just a short distance away. She then moved the shop to the Pavilion in 1987 where the company adopted the name Maggie & Co, which has remained for 30 years.
Today the store is on The Strand, selling more than 30 designer collections from across the globe.
And to celebrate the achievement and the continued support from customers Maggie & Co in hosting a special celebration weekend from Friday to Sunday with promotions and prizes for customers.
There is a raffle of 45 prizes to celebrate their milestone, with the first prize of a £450 voucher to spend instore.
Other top prizes include a dress by designer Diane Von Furstenberg, a Paul Smith scarf and a poncho from the collection Brodie.
Tickets for the raffle can be bought in store at Maggie & Co for £1 per ticket, with proceeds going towards Torbay Hospital Breast Care Unit. The prizes for the raffle will be drawn at 4.30pm on Saturday, November 17.
The business has faced ups and downs including a major flood just this year.
During the extreme weather in March, a water pipe burst in the building above the store, causing water to stream in to the premises. The estimated damage was approximately £100,000, with £57,000 of stock ruined. Maggie, daughter Sarah Williams, and the staff were determined to keep the store running, not least for the sake of their clients. Sarah said: “If it were not for the overwhelming support of our clients in the weeks following the flood, we wouldn't be here today. Their dedication and loyalty enabled us to reopen. We are very thankful”.
Maggie and her staff believe in the three S’s – service, style and sophistication.
The team, led by Sarah, who left her position as managing director of a fashion firm to join the family-run company, pride themselves on giving customers a personalised shopping experience.
In 2005, the company was shortlisted as the designer store of the year in the Drapers Awards, being in the top five designer stores nationally.
More locally, Maggie & Co was announced best retailer in the English Riviera Quality Awards 2004, as well as being awarded Mystery Shopper Torbay best retailer.
Director Sarah believes Maggie & Co is a “destination store”, with clients travelling from all around the country to visit year round.
Although collections in store have changed with the times, customers have always remained loyal, something Maggie and Sarah are extremely grateful for. They firmly believe that if people continue to support their local stores, Maggie & Co will remain in business for another 45 years.
Maggie & Co has also raised an estimated £100,000 over the years through its popular fashion shows for various charities and organisations, including the Samaritans, British Lung Foundation, British Heart Foundation, Rowcroft Hospice, CLIC Sargent, Factory Row and Children’s Hospice South West.
It has also been involved in work experience programmes with local schools, enabling young people to learn new skills and experience the working world.
Maggie & Co is also online at www.maggieandco.co.uk