OP Abi Dee (04-11) could never have anticipated a global pandemic when she set up ‘Aura’, a women’s fashion and lifestyle boutique in Beverley three years ago. Yet despite exceptionally challenging times for retailers, Abi used her entrepreneurial skills to adapt to new opportunities, taking advantage of social media and online shopping to help steer her business through the lockdowns. Thanks to Abi’s hard work and creativity, the business is thriving and the shop on Ladygate, which is now fully open again, has been voted one of the top 30 independent boutiques in the UK by readers of Grazia magazine.
Grazia ran the campaign towards the end of the most recent lockdown aimed at boosting high street retailers around the UK as part of their Save Our Shops initiative.
Abi commented: “It was a complete surprise and it’s so amazing to be named one of the best independent boutiques. The past 12 months have been extremely tough, for everyone. But the incredible support and loyalty from our customers has truly blown us away! We can’t thank them enough.”
When the shop was forced to close during the lockdowns, Abi turned to social media to engage with customers. Using Instagram, she held 'live' sales and posted styling videos, giving style advice and trying on different outfits, before uploading them to the website to encourage customers to keep shopping online.
Abi said: "I gained so many new followers on Instagram and through that I got orders from all over the country. I also had people local to Beverley say they didn't know I was here, so I gained new customers both locally and nationally, which was wonderful.”
After a difficult year, being named as one of Grazia’s top 30 independent boutiques in the UK is testament to Abi’s resilience and perseverance and affirms the business’ continued success.
For more information visit the Aura website.