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Armed & Gorgeous: turning challenges into successes


A vibrant boutique shop, nestled in the heart of Nailsworth, Armed & Gorgeous prides itself on ethically sourced and high-quality products, bringing a taste of what the future of sustainable retail may look like, writes Megan Delaney.

Despite being a successful and well-established store, with more than 15 years of history in the community, it hasn’t been immune to the effects of Covid. Much like other independent retailers, lockdowns have caused a dramatic reduction in footfall, and have put hardworking individuals under a substantial amount of financial pressure.

Key staff Vicki Hayley Liz Zoey | Armed & Gorgeous: turning challenges into successes
Meet the team: Vicki, Hayley, Liz and Zoey at Armed & Gorgeous.

Despite this, Armed & Gorgeous have managed to turn this challenge into an opportunity. Owner Elizabeth Gazzard enlisted the help of her two sons to launch the shop’s website and to develop a downstairs room which has been dedicated to homeware.

The business has managed to expand from a single room shop, into rental of the entire two storey building. The shop started out stocking mainly jewellery. It still puts jewellery at the heart of its product base, but now stocks everything from womenswear to homeware.

Gifts Naisworth | Armed & Gorgeous: turning challenges into successes
Gifts galore.

Liz has been looking to the future and has been focusing on sourcing one-off and exciting new products to continue the expansion of the brand and concept. One of the team’s favourite products they now stock are willow baskets, made by women from communities in Africa. Each basket has the name of the maker woven into it.

Our new room | Armed & Gorgeous: turning challenges into successes
The new room at Armed & Gorgeous.

As a result of the hard work, the shop was named as ‘The best gift shop in all of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire’ by lifestyle website Muddy Stilettos. Liz praised the support of the community: “The Nailsworth community has really stuck together and given each other advice throughout the pandemic, without which, none of this would have been possible.

“The birth of the Nailsworth Business Hub Shop, which promotes local businesses and community events, has also been a great help, and shows how the community has pulled together to adapt to the pandemic.” For anyone wishing to buy online, visit: www.armedandgorgeous.com

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