WITH just £100 in her pocket, Dawn Tozer has turned redundancy into success. She began working part-time in 2011 hosting jewellery and accessory parties, added clothing as year later then it became a full-time job in 2017 when Dawn Rose opened on the high street in Burnley Road in Crawshawbooth.
Dawn has sponsored the Enterprising Woman category at Rossendale Business Awards since 2017 as a way of giving back. This year the Enterprising Woman title has changed to Enterprising Person to open up the category to anyone. She said: “I think it is great that this award is now open to all and I am really looking forward to reading all the entries; I get a bit choked when I am reading them as there are some amazing stories out there.”
With three young children, Dawn found herself redundant and so started the business to work around home commitments by running parties and pop-up stalls at fairs and events. Dawn said: “In 2017 the opportunity of opening a shop came about and, although it might not have been the right time, it was certainly the right move.”
The pandemic and lockdown effected business and she closed for a month. Dawn said: “It meant I had time to reassess and adapt and went online. I introduced gifting. People could order from me and I would even sign and send a card and deliver. I also got used to doing Facebook lives. We couldn’t hold the usual fashion shows, which had become a big part of my business. However we went on to do an online Zoom fashion show for Macmillan Cancer Support and that raised £400, it also taught us a lot and the second fashion show we held online was for the NSPCC and that raised £1,200.”
As a psychology degree student at Nottingham Trent University, Dawn completed her dissertation on the effect of the media on body image. She said: “It was the time when super-skinny models were in the fashion magazines and their image was unhealthy. I always felt strongly about it and I knew from a young age that it was not right. Acceptance of self and being who you are, is so important. I enjoy busting the myth when someone says they are too short to wear something, too old or the wrong shape. You should wear what makes you feel good about yourself. It is also important that what you wear is durable.”
Although post lockdown she has reduced the opening hours of the shop and there are now two employees, the shop’s online profile has grown. She won the Part-time Business category in 2016, has been highly commended in both Independent Retailer and MicroBusiness and has been a finalist in five different categories since 2014. Dawn said: “It is good that the awards add value to your business in terms of perception and completing the entry form makes you assess how your business is doing.”
Story by Catherine Smyth Media