A small business which has been in Oxford for nearly 40 years has won a national business award for its hard work during the pandemic.

Rainbow and Spoon Boutique, located on Park End Street near Oxford Train Station, won Best Independent Ladies Fashion Retailer - South East England at the SME News UK Enterprise Awards.

The awards aims to ‘recognise SMEs of all sizes who are endeavouring to bettering business in their industries’. This could be through ‘nourishing rich internal cultures to promote employee satisfaction, by offering next-level customer service, or through an enduring dedication to innovative products’.


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Shop owner Amanda Bell told the Oxford Mail that the email notifying her that the shop was nominated originally went into her spam folder.

Oxford Mail: Rainbow and Spoon Boutique Rainbow and Spoon Boutique

She explained that once she was nominated she went through the process of telling the judges why her shop deserved to win.

She said: “I had to give them all my social media information so they could check up on my reviews. They looked at my Instagram, Facebook and the customer reviews and then came to the conclusion that I was worthy because of the work I had done in lockdown.

“We had been doing home deliveries, curb side pick-ups and free soap with every order, so they thought I had made a difference. My reviews were as such that they thought I was deserving.”

Oxford Mail: The shop sells colourful, ethically sourced clothing and products The shop sells colourful, ethically sourced clothing and products

Ms Bell said it was a “lovely surprise” but she had to wait “ages” for the award to be announced. Waiting, however, made it more “worthwhile”.

Rainbow and Spoon Boutique was established in 1982 by Ms Bell’s parents and sells range of colourful and quirky clothing, accessories and jewellery.

The shops tries to be as sustainable as possible and works with companies and brands which ‘respect the environment and offer clean and safe working conditions, a living wage and do not employ minors’.

As well as this award, Rainbow and Spoon Boutique is also nominated for another which Ms Bell is waiting to hear back about.

She said: “Getting industry recognition is always good. It does give people a trust in you because others have recognised that you are worth something.”

Oxford Mail: The shop won the award for its work during lockdownThe shop won the award for its work during lockdown

Award Coordinator Jessie Wilson said: “It is always a pleasure and a privilege to reach out to those that have been awarded in the SME UK Enterprise programme.

“One of the joys of these awards is realising the sheer talent and skill that permeates every inch of the British business sphere, across all industries and fields.

“I hope you all have a wonderful – and productive – rest of the year ahead and a fantastic 2022.”


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