Ardleigh artist wins two months trading in Colchester’s biggest department store

Ardleigh artist wins two months trading in Colchester’s biggest department store

More than 100 members of the local business community gathered at Wivenhoe House, Colchester to see Samantha Luxford announced as the winner of Colbea’s ‘In the Market for Success’ competition. The money-can’t-buy prize will enable the Ardleigh-based artist to take her nautical art start-up business into Fenwick’s 90,000 square ft Colchester High Street store for two months.

Winner Sam Luxford centre with Julie Hayward left and Lisa Oldman right of Fenwick

In the Market for Success” is a NatWest funded programme of start-up support for businesswomen provided by Team NEN member Colbea.

Alongside overall winner Samantha, children’s author Josie Dom, Jacquelyn Hayward of Woofs and Meows Treats, Kate Cox Garden Design and Consultation, and Philippa Kettlewell of As-If Living will all win one-week trading in Fenwick Colchester.

Samantha’s business NaviStitch combines authentic navigation charts with a love of stitching to create unique and personal works of art and has also created a range of printed greetings cards.

Speaking about winning the unique prize, Sam says, “I am thrilled to have been selected as the winner, and I’m looking forward to working with such a prestigious retailer as Fenwick. I am so excited about the opportunities that this will bring to my business and I am very grateful to Colbea for providing the IM4S course.”

The Colbea team

The announcement was made at the Colbea’s Annual General Party – a celebration of entrepreneurship in Colchester – where guests included the Mayor of Colchester Councillor Peter Chillingworth and Mayoress Ann Chillingworth, alongside sponsors, stakeholders and representatives of organisations such as Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Ambassadors.

Each winner had to make it through a rigorous judging process, comprised firstly of delivering a strategy of delivery within Fenwick, before shortlisted candidates faced a judging panel consisting of Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea CEO, Julie Haywood, Group Buying Director for Fenwick and Lisa Oldman, Sales Manager for Fenwick and Vickey Parnell from NatWest Bank.

Julie Haywood, Group Buying Director for Fenwick, presented the awards alongside colleague Lisa Oldman. Julie says; “The standard of all entrants was incredibly high, and there are definitely a lot of talented people in this room. The judging panel were in unanimous agreement that (Overall Winner) Samantha delivered the best pitch, alongside a clear direction and understanding of where to take her business.”

Colbea CEO Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford

Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea Chief Executive: “The judges and I were very impressed by the amount of hard work and dedication that went into the applications and the shortlisted candidate pitches. It was not an easy task to select our winners.”

L-to-R: Julie Hayward-(Fenwick), Josie Dom, Kate Cox, Sam Luxford, Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Philippa Kettlewell, Jacqueline Hawyard, Lisa Oldman