Barometer Good News Story – Simply Devine | Manufacturing Growth Programme

The customer

Simply Devine is a specialist designer of occasion headwear run by award-winning milliner and businesswoman Liz Devine-Wright. Their very own hat shop in Tadcaster, Yorkshire is a popular destination for those who want a special hat for an occasion when they need to look their absolute best such as weddings, garden parties or race meetings. Their collection of hats and fascinators are all designed by Liz herself or by well-known British designers.

The challenge

During the pandemic, and with the demise of some major high street stores, the business realised that the way forward was online shopping through selling through lager platforms as well as their own website.

As a small business, one issue they have encountered through selling online is worn returns. Much of Simply Devine’s headwear is bespoke and often hand-finished, which makes returns unsellable and unhygienic. With the support of the Manufacturing Growth Programme, they were able to design and produce a tag which allows the hat to be tried on so the customer can check they are happy with the style and colour match. Once the tag is removed the hat cannot be returned.

Liz commented:After nearly 18 years in business, we have finally got around to designing a hat tag with the help of the Support Programme.  We can now start selling on many new online platforms. 2022 will move our business forward, however, first we have to celebrate our 18th birthday!”

Positive Changes

As a micro business, Simply Devine are committed to supporting other local businesses and working with freelancers who have expert knowledge in their field.  They work with a freelance expert on Marketing and PR and their IT and Accountancy services are provided by local companies.

As a niche supplier of special occasion headwear often for weddings, they also work with other small local businesses which supply and support the wedding industry.  They can recommend local specialist transport providers, cake makers, photographers and venues – all of which have been extremely hard hit during recent lockdowns and number restrictions to events and weddings.

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