Belfast Telegraph

Relatively Speaking: Fashion duo Mum and daughter, Norma and Lynn

We ask personalities about the special family relationships in their lives

By Karen Ireland

Mother-and-daughter team Norma Diffley and Lynn Stevenson run Re-Creations in Donaghadee, selling high-quality, second-time-around fashion. Norma worked in the House of Lords before opening the business eight years ago, while Lynn trained as an air hostess. They are backing Saturday's Shop Local Day, which encourages people to support their neighbourhood traders.

Name: Lynn Stevenson

Age: 34

Occupation: Co-owner of Re-Creations

Relationship to Norma: Daughter

I have always loved retail. I worked as a store manager before retraining to become an air hostess. As soon as my training was up and I started to work in airlines, I realised how much I missed the shop floor.

After a couple of years, I decided to leave and open my own shop. I'd the idea of opening a high-quality second-time-around shop for a while. Mum was the obvious choice to run it with. She is my best friend and I knew she would be really good at it and, at the time, she was at a junction in her life and she was ready for a change.

She was looking after the grandchildren all the time and she wanted to do something for herself. That was eight years ago.

We saw a small shop for rent in Donaghadee and we did it up ourselves to look very shabby chic and things just took off.

Along with my husband, John, she is the first person I would turn to if I ever had a problem. We complement each other well in the shop, as I am scatty and disorganised and she likes everything neat and tidy and is great at sorting out the day-to-day running of the shop.

We are more like friends than mother and daughter. Mum is always there for me. She helps me out with my children, Amelie, who's four, and Johny, who's two. My mother-in-law, Denise, is also great at helping out, which means I can work in the shop.

I really admire mum as she is so strong. She has had a lot of heartache in her life, but she handles herself really well and just gets on with it.

She lost my dad five years ago and then my uncle, who was like her best friend.

Mum's life now revolves around her children - my sister, Lisa, who is 45, me and her five grandchildren. We're all looking forward to a big family Christmas at Lisa's house in Bangor. My mum loves nothing more than to have all her family around her. She'll be in her element.

She is the most selfless person I know. She would do anything for anyone.

Name: Norma Diffley

Age: 74

Occupation: Co-owner of Re-Creations

Relationship to Lynn: Mother

My family means everything to me. I am so lucky. I have not only two daughters looking out for me and looking after me, but my wonderful grandchildren as well.

We are a very close family and we do everything together. I work with Lynn, so I see her all the time and we are very close.

I am lucky in that I am fit and well and I have my independence, but Lynn looks out for me, too.

When she had the idea for the shop eight years ago, I was delighted that Lynn wanted me to be part of it.

I remember waking up one morning and thinking how wonderful it would be to recreate beautiful gowns and clothing and give them a new lease of life.

Our wee shop is very popular and people come from far and wide to get themselves a designer bargain. We sell immaculate secondhand clothing, shoes and handbags. It is a great job and I love it. I love working with Lynn and meeting all the regular customers and the randoms who just call in.

I lived in London with my husband, Liam, who has sadly passed away, for 16 years and I worked in the House of Lords as a secretary to the Clerk of Sound Archives, so it was very different to what I do now.

I have my work, but family will always come first with me and Lynn is the same. She puts her two children, her husband and me above everything else in her life. We come first.

Lynn is the most considerate person I know. She always makes sure everyone else is all right. She is kind, selfless and an amazing mother to Amelie and Johny.

Her one flaw is she is always late, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I just add an extra half-hour onto any time she tells me she is going to be anywhere. It's a standing family joke. Lynn also takes me on holidays with the children, which is great. This year we went to Portugal in October and it was wonderful.

I am really looking forward to a big family Christmas and having all my grandchildren together in the same place. I love it when all the family is together. I cooked and did it all for years. Now I get to be spoilt.

What can I buy at Re-Creations?

  • Re-Creations is a second-time-around shop offering amazing labels at great prices
  • Opened in 2007, the store is based on New Street in Donaghadee, Co Down.The labels on offer include Armani, Christian Lacroix and Louboutins — with designer pieces, handbags and shoes
  • The stock is brought in by Re-Creations customers, who then receive 50% of the eventual sale price

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