Well, 2019 is just hours away and I find myself looking back and reflecting on the events of the past year. We have thankfully once again seen the business bloom and blossom under the support and dedication of all our customers, old and new. While grateful for this success we are always striving to do bigger and better things and boy do we have some exciting plans in store for next year, but that’s for another day……(yes I am teasing he he)
Let’s begin with January of this year, we made our move from the small office and warehouse in Grimsby to a custom built HQ with TWO Warehouses and a Studio in Humberston. To begin with, myself, Jess and John felt a little lost at our new home. From a small, cosy nest of an office we found ourselves drowning in space whilst Lauren, Millie and Charlotte had an entirely new and huge work space to pick and pack orders. This excessive space didn’t last long though! Before we knew it, we had been joined by several new members of the team including Donna who took over my previous role as Head of Customer Experience and Mia who became our Warehouse Manager. In addition to a group of fantastic new ladies in the warehouse and stores, Stacey came on board as our Store Manager whilst Nutty Tillett invaded our lives! But I digress….
February saw us on the receiving end of an exciting invitation from Gok Wan to join his Fashion Brunch in March which as you know, was a HUGE success! Quickly followed by a nomination in the Best Retailer Category at the Lincolnshire Media Tourism Excellence Awards (ahem, which we won by the way), Mel was then invited to discuss her life and career on Radio Humberside, inspiring Women all over the country.
The year had begun with a flying start but then Mother Nature had other ideas in mind! The entire country was brought to a complete halt in March by an influx of heavy snowfall. For a few days we got off lightly and then ‘The Beast From The East’ hit Lincolnshire and boy did it hit hard! Our model, Laura was well and truly snowed in while I was trapped in a sea of cars on my way to work, and the Tilletts lived in the countryside so access was difficult. We had heard that Gok had had to cancel one show already due to the weather and as we were still prepping for ours, we were hoping it wouldn’t result in a cancellation for us too! Thankfully after a few days, the weather had settled and the snow began to drift away. Just in time for Brunch with Gok! And what a fabulous day that was, a whole new experience for us at Tilletts and an amazing opportunity to introduce Gok and all the ladies in attendance to the world of Tilletts and the concept of One Size Fashion. A day we will never forget!
Come April, we were celebrating 4 years of Facebook videos for Tilletts - a humble 15 second short on Sloppy Joes sparked the creation of the Weekly Lives we know and love today. Our plus size section was completely overhauled and re-branded as ‘Tilletts Curves’ while our new model Zoe was brought on board to showcase the range. An exciting and positive start to Spring set the precedent for a fabulous season ahead.
By now we were approaching the mid point of the year and already outgrowing our custom built warehouse so, there was only one thing for it…..we knocked through into next door. Luckily we were our own neighbour so it was a fairly easy transition. Whilst the hammering and banging commenced at HQ, Tilletts were killing it on an International level. Seeing off competition from all across Europe, we were truly honoured to secure the title of ‘Best Retailer’ at the Business Excellence Awards. Following a previous win in 2017 for 'Best Marketing Campaign', we came back this time to also achieve finalist positions in ‘Best Overall Company’ and ‘Biggest Growth’. A fantastic triumph which we are still incredibly proud of. Whilst still recovering from the celebrations of the BEA’s we then received news of another much coveted, local award win of ‘Business Growth’ by Northern Lincolnshire Business. Safe to say, 2018 was proving better than we ever could have imagined.
The sweltering months of June, July and August mostly consisted of mopping up puddles that vaguely resembled members of Team Tillett!! That, and arguing over the correct temperatures for the AC units of course. But seriously, who can forget the summer of record temperatures, the trip of a lifetime for twelve fabulous women whom travelled from far and wide to visit Tilletts, the warehouse sale that actually stopped traffic and of course the famous Hope Dress that took the country by storm! It was a scorcher!
Before we knew it, Summer was drawing to a close and we hoped and prayed that the gorgeous weather would stick around for just a little longer in time for the wedding of the year. A beautiful day for a beautiful bride, we couldn’t have asked for a better setting for Grace and Lewy. Positioned in the garden (ahem field) of Mr and Mrs T was a stunning marquee decorated to perfection by Grace’s attention to detail. As our very own Jess and Mia took on the role of Wedding Planners for the weekend, the rest of us sat back, relaxed and took in the amazing view and the very last of the summer air. It really was the perfect way to say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn.
And so we did, the New Season launch was a hit and while September began to see cooler temperatures, Mel was jetting off to the still, very much Summery Paris for another buying trip. Busy preparing for Winter, Mel left the girls at home packing for Grace’s Honeymoon in Florida. However, as soon as the wheels touched down in October and the girls arrived home once again, they had only a few days to turn themselves around and head straight back to the States, but this time to Vegas Baby! The tremendous trio were not only hand picked by Business Mogul, Bradley Sugars but they were invited to attend a prestigious, week long training course with the expert himself. Wow, what an honour!
But it didn’t end there, we received confirmation in November that Mel had reached the finals of ‘Influential Business Woman of the Year’, ‘Small Business Woman of the Year’ and Tilletts as ‘Service Excellence’ at the National Business Women’s Awards. The ceremony was due to take place at Wembley Stadium on the 7th December - the same day as our staff Christmas party! Nothing is ever easy at Tilletts, so the girls knew they would be rushing back from the Ceremony to make it in time for Dinner. Unfortunately, the ceremony immensely over ran and they were forced to leave before the winners had been announced. Thankfully our Business Coach, John McHale was there to accept the award on Mel’s behalf as she received the honour of ‘Influential Business Woman of the Year’. Therefore, we are very proud to now say that Cleethorpes is home to the UK’s most Influential Business Woman and that’s a fact!
That brings us to the end of the year....have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, a small, mischievous little character who goes by the name of Nutty Tillett. Earlier in the year, this curly little ball of fluff became a much loved member of Team Tilletts. It was his instant star quality that lead to the casting of Nutty as the leading man in Tilletts' very first Christmas Advert! The heartwarming tale of a small, ambitious hound and his mission to save Christmas - ‘Nutty Delivers’ was an instant hit and we are incredibly proud of this milestone for the company.
Tilletts have accomplished so much this year and not a single moment of it would have been achieved without the loyalty, custom and support that our ladies give us everyday. Once again, you have all been amazing ambassadors for Tilletts and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We wish you all the very best for 2019 and may your year be filled with health, happiness and overwhelming joy!
See you next year!
Team Tillett xxx
Author: Sheryl Gibson-Hill