Award for boutique boss

June 27 2014

A BISHOPSTON woman, who runs an independent business on Cotham Hill, has been awarded the Venus Entrepreneur of the Year for Bristol and Somerset.

A BISHOPSTON woman, who runs an independent business on Cotham Hill, has been awarded the Venus Entrepreneur of the Year for Bristol and Somerset.

Hemali Modha, owner of Amulet Boutique, started her business venture in 2007 when she set up her own website selling jewellery.

As a single mother of two, she felt it was a good way to balance looking after the children whilst working.

An opportunity then came up at Clifton Shopping Centre where she set up a stall selling her products.

Hemali said: "I found I really enjoyed selling direct to the public, and meeting new people. From having a stall at the shopping centre, I built up a really good customer base. Although it was brilliant there, it was really hard work, and the winters were really cold.

"I thought, 'do I go back to my web design or open up my own shop?'. I noticed that there wasn't many clothes shops in the Cotham Hill area, and I knew if I didn't go ahead and set up my own place, I'd regret it."

In 2011, Hemali took over the lease of a small shop on Cotham Hill, and set up Amulet Boutique, selling bags, scarves, jewellery and clothes.

She then moved her business to a larger premises which became available on the same street a year later.

The Venus Awards, held at the end of March, celebrates women in business, and recognises those who have strived and grasped opportunities.

Hemali said: "I didn't know anything about the awards until someone came into the shop, and said I should apply.

"I just filled out the one category, Entrepreneur of the Year, and I was shortlisted for the final eight. I was then interviewed by the sponsor of the award, St Johns Chambers.

"It was fantastic to win the award, it's such an accolade, and it was great to have someone recognise the work put into Amulet."

The boutique prides itself of selling British brands with an ethical ethos.

The store,which has two other members of staff, also offers a personal shopper service.

Hemali said: "We like to help women re-discover themselves, and help them find clothes to suit their body shapes.

"As we have quite a lot of repeat custom, we know our customers' preferences - it's such a great feeling finding the right thing for someone."

Hemali outside Amulet Boutique