Hello to all you inspirational business owners who play such an intrinsic role in the fabric of our local retail and economic society.
It has been my honour to be once again, one of the judges in the prestigious Ballymena Business Excellence Awards 2016. My fellow judge and I had a most inspiring day in Ballymena and Mid & East Antrim recently, where we visited some of the most beautiful and innovative business premises that I have ever seen. Best wishes to all at the Gala Awards Evening on the 20th October!
A beautiful new events venue can be found at the Raceview Mill in Broughshane, a 200 year old building with vaulted brick ceilings, massive pine beams, and an original polished stone floor.
At Leaf Designs in Ballymena, we found quirkily-dressed tables, with hessian, baby-breath and lace, and romantic rose-garlanded gazebos to create a memorable wedding for any bride.
Willow Beauty is a haven of calmness and pampering, and the attention to detail such as the abundant flower bed at the front of the shop, to the hand-cut signage with its intricate leaf detail shows the owner's commitment to creating an optimum customer experience from first sight.
Gladiator Training is an unique fitness centre of excellence located in Broughshane. With its innovative approach to personal training, and its edgy ambience of colosseum-street style, it's no wonder that a client travels regularly from Co. Mayo just to train with the SMPT team.
After all that high-octane fitness, it was with joy in our hearts that we visited the stylish and decadent Chocoa in Ballymena town centre. With its hand-applied pure copperleaf ceiling, 5 Stars on the Door and, of course, the most amazing collection of hand-made chocolates, macaroons and patisserie, it is a must for any occasion!
Our wonderful experience of the retail excellence that has always been associated with Ballymena concluded with a visit to the inspiring garden and lifestyle emporium that is Creative Gardens. An abundance of autumn colour greeted us, and everywhere we turned, we found yet another delicious display of flora, foliage, homeware and gifts. My own favourite idea was mixing decorative chillies and cabbages in with seasonal bedding - a perfect Harvest theme!
Ballymena is very special to me as I delivered specialist Visual Merchandising training to local businesses as part of the BIDS 2015 project. I always find the levels of customer service and retail excellence to be phenomenal in this bustling and historic market town, and I do encourage everyone to take a trip there soon!
Until next time,
Keep Creating the Magic in your business.