Joy for wedding supplier after bouncing back from lockdown to claim award
- Credit: Jo Harmer
A local businesswoman has expressed her joy and surprise at winning an award after some long and difficult times.
Jo Harmer, 48, runs a wedding supplier business in Lowestoft called Bespoke Sweets and Treats.
She has been named Suffolk's best wedding and event hire business by luxury lifestyle magazine LUXLife, while also picking up a customer service excellence award.
Meanwhile, fellow Lowestoft businessman Nathan Butcher won the category for best wedding and events bar company, also winning a customer service excellence award.
The awards were determined based on the views of a panel judge, rather than popular opinion or a public vote.
Mrs Harmer played a pivotal role in the Lowestoft community during the various lockdowns, setting up Ladies in Lockdown, a women's support group which amassed 20,000 followers worldwide.
Reacting to the news of winning the award, she said: "It was a complete surprise that myself and Nathan got the awards.
"As a wedding supplier, the past 17 months or so have been a complete rollercoaster and my business was completely closed from February 2020 right through until July 2021.
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"Since big weddings have been allowed to go ahead again though business has been great and manic at the same time.
"It is just so nice to get that sense of normality return again.
"People are definitely feeling more positive than they were this time last year and I'm pretty confident my business will keep growing from strength to strength next year because the demand is there."
Despite the positivity of opening up the economy again for wedding suppliers like Mrs Harmer, she said it was still very important people support local businesses.
She said: "Businesses have struggled throughout the pandemic, so now more than ever is the time to get back out there and support them.
"I also look to help support any other local businesses I can and myself and Nathan have a very close working relationship as well.
"Winning these awards are also a great opportunity to showcase both of our businesses to the local community as well.
"Winning this award can only be a positive."