Zoe from the fabulous store in Solihull tells us about the inspirational event!
On Friday 14th we had to set our alarm clocks rather early to make our way to Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole Hotel close to Birmingham Airport in order to attend the Vitalise Midlands Women of the Year Awards. Vitalise is a charity which provides respite care for those with physical disabilities, dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as their carers. It was the first time we had taken in the event and we weren’t sure what to expect! We took two very heavy suitcases literally bursting at the seams with a selection of our most popular designers including Pandora, Lola Rose and ChloBo, prepared for an interesting day!
We were helped by the friendly staff to the Kings Suite, which was where all the shopping stalls were to be set up, so that the attendees could enjoy a spot of retail therapy before the luncheon and awards ceremony began. We shared the vast room with nine other stallholders whose wares consisted of handbags, hats and gloves, clothes and jewellery as well as two brand new Jaguar convertibles in the centre of the room! Our visual merchandising skills were put to the test as we had limited space and resources to display our fabulous jewellery but we were pleased with the outcome!
As the attendees and nominees began arriving and having a wander around, we saw some familiar faces such as Karen Jones, the editor of Touchbase magazine, Tara Robinson, the Sales and Marketing Director of Mallory Court where we hold our annual Garden Party, Sarah Faulkland from Midlands Today and Joanne Malin from Radio WM. Also we met lots of lovely ladies who shop at our Solihullstore. It’s really nice at an event when people chat to us and are friendly because they know and like shopping with fabulous!
After a couple of hours shopping, the ladies were called to take their seats for the luncheon, and it was time for us to refuel too! The hotel proved quite confusing as it’s so large and is very easy to get lost in! Finally I made it to the lobby restaurant to enjoy my lunch whilst people watching.
This year’s winners were Lucy Shuker (a British wheelchair tennis player, who received the award for Woman of Achievement) and Julie White (the director of D-Drills Ltd, who won the Business Woman of the Year award). At the end of the awards ceremony, I was lucky enough to meet television presenter and guest speaker for the awards, Kirstie Allsop of ‘Location, Location, Location’ fame. She was very accommodating of the crowd of fans that grew around her and I heard her chatting to ladies about the W.I. and Phil Spencer, her co-presenter! Unfortunately she was in a rush to go to another interview so I was able to only have a quick photo with her taken on my phone! Little did I know I was going to get to do a bit of celeb spotting when I got up that day!
If you would like to learn more about Vitalise please click here.