A business owner who spotted a gap in the market after moving from London to Suffolk has celebrated 25 years of trading.
The Simply Splendid dress hire shop has been a popular part of Needham Market for more than two decades.
Owner Jean Beecroft has overseen its growth from 17 designer evening dresses when it first opened to more than 770 of them being available today.
She said: “I was working in London where all the girls were hiring these beautiful dresses. But when I moved to Needham Market, I noticed no-one was doing it. I started with just a handful of dresses before steadily growing it over the years.
“I have always been based in Needham Market and I have never had any desire to leave.
“I think Simply Splendid is a destination shop where customers can spend hours trying to find the right dress to hire or buy, so it is great the town can offer free parking and I am also close to the train station.”
On the secret to her success, Jean added: “It is a nice experience to see someone try on an elegant dress for the first time – it can often reduce them to tears of joy.
“Whether it is for a prom, a charity ball or even a dinner on a cruise liner, it is an honour to play a part in such a moment.
“I offer a really personal, honest and friendly service and I think that is appreciated by my customers who have all been incredibly loyal.”
Jean celebrated her shop’s milestone by donating dresses to volunteers helping at the GeeWizz charity ball last year. She also organised a fashion show at Creeting House, in Creeting St Mary, which raised more than £1,000 for Women V Cancer.