Falkirk Catwalk queen Pauline celebrates fifteen fashionable years
As celebrations go it was fairly brief, but those balloons spell out the most important fact about Falkirk business Catwalk.
At a time when many still mourn the loss of M&S and others, owner Pauline Spiers has just notched up her 15th successful year in business.
She has a string of important awards to her credit, and sets great store on each and every one - but she reckons the single factor that has made her high end ladies’ fashion store a resource many local women continually rely upon for all sorts of occasions is simply word of mouth recommendation.
It says “sophistication and glamour” on the window - and it’s clearly no idle boast.
“When we moved here we knew it was a great site - the previous shop had traded for many years - but it was hard, hard work,” Pauline recalls.
“We had to find out as we went along, and despite the years that have passed since then we’re still working hard to stay on top of things.
“People expect you to deliver great results every time, and we really go the extra distance to make sure they get them”.
She has always felt that while younger women are lavishly catered in all sorts of clothes shops it’s often been more difficult to find anything for the 35-plus market which offers anything much in the way of real style or panache.
“There was a gap in the market”, she says, “and we’ve been determined to fill it in the most interesting way possible from the very start.
“We’re delighted to have first time customers come back again and again - and of course to tell their friends they got a good result here”.
Getting it “right” for the customer is hugely important, because Pauline and her colleagues know that the wow factor that comes when they dress a lady in exactly the “right” outfit for her speaks volumes about the acumen and good taste of the experts at Catwalk.
Pauline’s staff, meanwhile, are people who share her vision and who are equally committed to getting it right every time.
“We cater for women from 35 to 95 - women who want to look good, and who enjoy wearing great clothes on any occasion”, said Pauline.
The shop’s 15th anniversary wasn’t the cue for a big party, and Pauline says she and her staff socialise on a regular basis anyway - but she’s clearly pleased that decade and a half of often hectic effort has helped build a distinctive retail niche in a town centre in the midst of such major change.