We asked Sylvia and Karen a few questions
Tell us about your family’s history of running shops in Westdene
Sylvia started Abbey Wines in Loyal Parade when her daughter Karen was six months old and ran it for years. “I can remember Mr Lauder’s supermarket and the sweet shop that used to be where Abacus are now”
Karen tells us: “I’ve lived in Westdene all my life and mum has run shops in this Parade for so long she knows everyone.”
Now daughter and mother run the two Blessings outlets and enjoy a loyal following of customers from all over the country.
How did the dress business start?
The dress business started when Karen, “I’ve always loved shopping…” opened her “new to you” shop. Demand for bridalwear increased and when a designer approached her to sell new gowns, Karen sensed an opportunity. A second shop in the parade came on the market, the Hacketts split the business into bridalwear and occasions wear and the successful formula of today was established.
What do you aim to achieve for your customers?
“In bridalwear we stock sought-after labels. People will travel to see us – believe me, girls research their wedding dresses!
“Our occasion dresses are individual. They have appeared at Queen’s Garden parties! It works because we offer a range that is independent and people are confident they won’t appear in the same dress as someone else!”
Barn Buddies is a unique scheme which recognises the regular financial support local businesses give to The Barn and promotes their goods and services to the Westdene community in return.
< Back to Barn Buddies page
“We want to show our support for a community that’s always been good to us”
Blessings Bridal and Occasions Wear
1-3 Loyal Parade, Mill Rise
Phone: 01273 505 766