We were delighted to hear of recent success for OV businessman Sean Austin (Os 78-85). In 2011 Sean opened his greeting card shop Austin & Co in Malvern and over the years it has become a favourite shop for many.
In November Sean was delighted to be recognised at the annual Retas awards. The Retas were launched by Progressive Greetings magazine as an annual awards programme in 2005, in recognition of the tremendous contribution that retailers, both large and small, make to the success of the greeting card industry. Recognising and celebrating not only the top independent and multiple specialist greeting card retailers regionally and nationally, the Retas awards also fanfare the many different types of retailers who do a fabulous job on the greeting card front – from supermarkets to department stores, gift shops to garden centres.
The Retas 2021 took place on 16th November 2021 at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Mayfair and the UK’s very best greeting card retailers were officially recognised at the awards. The ever-popular event was attended by over 300 greeting card retailers, publishers and suppliers and hosted by comedian Stuart Goldsmith. We were absolutely thrilled to hear that Austin & Co won the award for the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer – Wales and the Midlands.
Sean says, “It has capped off quite an eventful 20 months for Austin & Co. I’ve come through three national lockdowns, built a successful website, relocated our shop, not forgetting losing two of my closest four-legged companions, including my trusty Nessa. To be just here and still trading is reward enough, but then to recognised by my peers in the industry for what I’ve done is literally the cherry on the cake. It’s a wonderful industry and I am so proud to be part of the card family. It just makes me want to do more going forward. Here’s to a successful 2022!”
Welcoming guests, the co-owner of Progressive Greetings magazine and award organiser Jakki Brown paid tribute to The Retas finalists and winners, highlighting that in one of the most torrid times for retailers ever, “so many showed their true grit and determination, learning new skills and instigating initiatives to enable them to nurture their customers’ loyalty.”
A huge well done to Sean on this fantastic achievement, even more impressive given the challenges the industry has faced this last couple of years.