Ella Clarke, of Louis Potts Ltd in Lewes, has been named as the Cookshop and Housewares Association Young Retailer of the Year.
The judges described her career as “remarkable” and she received her trophy from Red Dwarf and Brittas Empire actor Chris Barrie at a gala awards dinner.
Since joining the family business in 2010, Ella has led the online marketing to the point where it now accounts for more than 50 per cent of annual turnover.
She has also played a significant role in establishing new systems to manage the increase in online sales, ensuring that customer satisfaction is at the forefront of all that she does.
The Cookshop and Housewares Association (CHA) is a division of BIRA, the British Independent Retailers Association.
Ella said: “I realised that the family business, Louis Potts [established in 1969] had traditionally been dependent on footfall on the high street. As pioneers of online shopping, with our first website in 1996, internet sales had been steadily increasing, whilst sales at our Lewes shop had remained steady since my arrival four years ago.
“I have targeted online marketing as a tool to increase sales, massively growing our online sales.
“Eighteen months ago, along with our web team, I developed a sister website to www.louispotts.com called www.mugsandcoasters.com. This gave us the opportunity to showcase the hundreds of mugs available both in our shop and on our existing website all in one area. The search function of this site is easy to use and allows customers to search from brand, colour and shape to what’s printed on the mug.
“I am very proud to say that the systems I put in place enable us to offer the web-based customer the ideal combination of old-fashioned china shop advice and product knowledge, with the addition of two state-of-the-art, competitive websites.”
Ella continued: “We cannot stand still, however, and along with our web team, I am in the process of developing a completely new Louis Potts website, to be launched in July. We are confident that this will prove to be the best in the tableware industry.”