Belfast Telegraph

Bridal boutique contender for UK business award

Kate Speers, founder of Comber-based wedding retailer, Ivory & Pearl, has beaten hundreds of small businesses to be shortlisted in the UK-wide Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2013.

Ivory & Pearl is just weeks away from finding out if it will win the Start-up of the Year category, which is judged by a panel of experts including leading businesswoman and star of BBC1's The Apprentice, Karren Brady.

If successful, Ivory & Pearl will win £2,000 cash, 50,000 Nectar points and the prestigious title. What's more Kate will be invited to the Nectar Business Round Table event, which will take place in September, where she will meet and get business advice from lead judge Karren.

Kate created Ivory & Pearl as a consumer-facing extension of her social media business, Sprinkles of Love, which hires wedding decorations to brides-to-be. The company has a selected range of wedding dress styles to suit every bride, from romantic to vintage and buys in designs that are exclusive to Ivory & Pearl in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"I'm delighted to be shortlisted in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards," she said. "The success of my business has come from an intimate knowledge of the bridal industry and its current trends which has enabled me to exclusively purchase dresses that are set apart from what was previously available in Northern Ireland.

"I would love to win this award as I admire Karren Brady tremendously and to be able to get first-hand advice from her about my business would be really valuable in taking us to the next level. The £2,000 prize money and 50,000 Nectar points will be used to buy new and exclusive wedding dresses to Northern Ireland, as we continually want to expand."

Belfast Telegraph