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The Longship scoops Trouva’s Boutique of the Year Award 2023

Tom Bottomley
17 February 2023

Independent fashion and lifestyle retailer The Longship, based in Orkney in Scotland, won Trouva’s Boutique of the Year 2023 Award at its annual Independent Awards at a ceremony in North London on Wednesday night.

It was the first time in three years that Trouva, the online marketplace for independent bricks and mortar fashion, homeware and lifestyle boutiques that was acquired by Re:store from NEXT in January 2023 - following the collapse of Trouva’s former parent company (which NEXT snapped up) - has brought its annual awards ceremony to life since pre-COVID.

The Trouva Independent Awards ceremony took place at last year’s Boutique of the Year winner, Wild Swans in Islington, and was attended by The Longship’s Online Marketing Manager, Cara McLean (pictured above right), and owners and staff from other best boutique nominees – including menswear retailer The Modern Draper in Beverley, Yorkshire, homeware retailer The Lillian Daph Store in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and designer men’s and womenswear store L’Exception in Paris.

There were seven award winners in total, chosen from Trouva’s community of 800 independent stores across Europe, with other categories including ‘New Boutique’ – won by Laduemila Concept Store in Arzignano, Italy, which specialises in furniture, stationery and gifts, and ‘Best Content’, won by AIDA Shoreditch in East London, which combines Scandinavian inspired men's and women's clothing, homeware and barista coffee.

The winners are chosen for outstanding performance in their respective categories, but the decisions are informed by real data collected by Trouva, customer feedback and votes from their fellow boutiques, “elevating not only the win, but the community spirit around the whole event”.

Co-owned by Ingrid Tait, and set in a remote location with not much passing trade in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, The Longship joined Trouva just as the pandemic hit, and described it like “strapping a rocket” to its sales figures.

Orla Knight, VP of Supply at Trouva, said: “The Longship's owners, Ingrid and Duncan, have a long history on Orkney's high street with over 160 years of family owning bricks and mortar businesses - from grocers to gift shops. Their store today is something extra special, celebrating the very best of Orcadian creativity alongside international independent design that our customers have fallen for.

“Before Trouva, they were heavily reliant on tourism trade which obviously took a hit during the pandemic, but we've been able to open up the world to them. Their products have now travelled to 32 countries including Mexico, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which their team supports with excellent customer service. It’s an absolute joy to be able to offer them this award, and I hope it gives people another reason to visit their store in Orkney.”

Speaking about the awards in general, Knight added: “The awards give us a chance to pause and celebrate the success, creativity and perseverance of the brilliant businesses in our community and I want to congratulate every single one of them. The last year has been challenging for so many independent businesses, and being able to host the awards in real life this year makes it extra special for Trouva and our community.” 

Other Trouva Independent Awards 2023 winners were:

Shop Small Think Big: AARVEN, Margate

Top Curator:  Five and Dime, Hertfordshire

Customer Delight Award: Chandal, Barcelona

In-Store Superstar: James Heathorn, Warehouse Assistant, The Modern Draper, Beverley, Yorkshire

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