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Everywoman in Retail finalists include big names from world of fashion

The finalists of this year’s Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards have been announced and include some big names from the world of fashion.

The awards celebrate the success of women working within the retail industry and lifestyle retailer Crew Clothing, lingerie manufacturer Who Made Your Pants, supermarket Asda and premium etailer My-Wardrobe have all received places in the final listings in the following categories:

Nominated for Innovator of the Year

Becky John, Who Made Your Pants

The business employs marginalised women in the Southampton area, many of whom are refugees with no work prospects. John trains them, putting them through NVQ qualifications and teaches them English if required.  The business makes knickers from leftover materials purchased from lingerie manufacturers at the end of each season.  John has a waiting list of over 40 women wanting to work for her.  

Nominated for Leader of the Year (under £200m)

Octavia Morley, Crew Clothing

Morley is managing director of Crew Clothing and has steered the brand through strong growth despite the downturn. Through her initiatives Crew’s sales growth has been nudging 20% with operating profits growing to £2.7m in 2003. In the two years since she joined, Morley has completely turnaround a business that was financially stretched when she took it over.

Nominated for Online Retailer of the Year

Sarah Curran, Mywardrobe.com

Launched in 2006, Mywardrobe.com has grown to become one of the best-known premium etailer’s in this country. Competing with major players in the etail market, Curran has managed to create a personal shopping experience with a unique offering which is now worth over £50m.  

Nominated for Innovator of the Year

Keren Long, Asda

Long is the Bangladesh Sourcing Manager for George at Asda. She joined the company on its graduate training scheme back in 1997 showing her flair for merchandising and within 8 months was promoted to oversee lingerie merchandising. Her natural talent saw her part of the business grow from £15m to £50m in her first year of overseeing it and since then she has pioneered George’s direct business in Asia.

Maxine Benson, co-founder of Everywoman said: “The quality of entries in this year’s awards was very impressive - inspirational women like this show that with hard work, passion and leadership, there is a place for ambitious women in retail. These finalists are a huge inspiration for other women and I wish them all the best of luck.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Savoy, on 14 September.

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