Hartlepool lingerie shop Bellus Amor honoured at national shop awards
A Hartlepool lingerie shop is celebrating scooping a national award after winning a public vote.
Bellus Amor in Stockton Road, owned by Amy Hanlon, won the Excellence and Outstanding Achievement category at the Stars Underlines Best Shop Awards.
Organised by Underlines magazine, they are the only intimates and lingerie retail awards in the UK and Ireland.
Amy rubbed shoulders with fellow awards finalists including big names such as Selfridges, John Lewis and Bravissimo, at the ceremony held in the glamorous Cafe De Paris in London’s Leicester Square.
Bellus Amor is the only place in Hartlepool that offers a specialist bra fitting service which Amy, 29, says can have a major impact on women’s lives.
The business won the Excellence and Outstanding Achievement award after being nominated by a jury of international brands, then winning a public vote by customers.
Pamela Scott, managing editor of Underlines magazine, said: “To reach the finals means that the reputation and professionalism of these shops, stores and e-sites is beyond question.”
Amy, who opened the boutique in March last year, said: “It was the only award decided by public vote. There were six within the category from the UK and Ireland including physical and online retailers.
“We reached the finals last year as well but had only been open for six months and unfortunately didn’t win.
“It’s such an achievement to even get to the finals but when I heard my name being called out there were tears.
“It was a big risk to come into this industry and set up a business with the situation on the high street.
“But it is really nice to know customers voted for you and makes you feel you are doing the right thing.”
Amy, who is mum to Oakley, two, and Willow, aged five, hopes the award will help to raise awareness about the importance of wearing the right sized bra.
“It’s massively important,” she said. “It makes a difference to their comfort, support, the way their clothes look, and give someone more confidence.
“We would encourage people not to be scared about coming in and having a fitting.”