February 22, 2023 by Julieann Spence
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Super-exciting news for the co-founder of Dromore’s Belfast Bow Company, Karen Weir.

She has been shortlisted for the Women In Business Awards 2023, which takes place in Belfast on 2 March.

Karen co-founded the designer accessories company with her partner, David, and together they create bow ties, ties, pocket squares and cufflinks from the finest local and organic fabrics, using traditional production methods.

Karen is also a big champion of sustainability, making Belfast Bow’s coveted pieces from fabric that comes in short runs from small batches, so as not to contribute to fast fashion waste and landfill.

Each item is designed, cut and hand-sewn in Karen and David’s unique workshop in the Old Bank Building in Dromore, Co. Down.

 

‘Super Proud’

We spoke to Karen about being nominated in the ‘Small Business – Best Customer Service’ category of the forthcoming awards. And she told us, ‘We are super proud and have our fingers crossed that we win.’

For Karen, delivering customer service with a difference has always been as important as producing beautiful products.

‘We noticed our clients could be overwhelmed when it came to finding the perfect neckwear or pocket square, so we introduced our free worldwide ‘Colour Match & Swatch’ service,’ she says. ‘This allows customers to browse through our collection and request which swatches they would like. We also suggest fabrics that may work based on their theme or colour scheme for the event.’

‘If a customer can’t find exactly what they’re looking for they can request a bespoke item,’ adds Karen. ‘For example, a set of cufflinks made from a loved one’s old shirt.’

It’s a custom service she’s particularly proud of. ‘When clients request custom items, they begin an extra special journey with us. We work together to make a one-off accessory that hopefully becomes part of a treasured memory, or even a family heirloom. Our customers trust us to deliver this very special item.’

Karen started her business, alongside husband David, in 2014, from the kitchen table of their old flat in Belfast, before moving to Dromore in 2016.

‘We found our perfect business space in Dromore – the top floor of the Old Ulster Bank. We simply love the area – both as somewhere to live and raise our children, and as somewhere to establish our business. There is a very encouraging small business community who have welcomed us in and a big community of local people who love supporting the small businesses in their town.’

 Karen has big plans for the future. ‘We never stop planning!’ she says. ‘We absolutely love what we do and we are currently designing our very own fabric patterns to launch later this year.’

Discover more about this Dromore gem here.

The Women In Business Awards 2023 ceremony takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on 2 March, ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March.  

 

Images courtesy of BelfastBowCompany and WomenInBusinessNI

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