Fash­ion­ing style in the bay for 45 glam­orous years

Herald Express - - Puzzle Pullout - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

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

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