Furbank continues winning ways

FRESH from a personal best time in the Berlin Marathon, another Huntingdonshire posh-frock icon has collected a national award as female entrepreneur of the year at the inaugural Specsavers everywoman in Retail awards in London. Anne, who also owns the Ge

FRESH from a personal best time in the Berlin Marathon, another Huntingdonshire posh-frock icon has collected a national award as female entrepreneur of the year at the inaugural Specsavers everywoman in Retail awards in London.

Anne, who also owns the George Hotel in Buckden adjacent to her eponymous clothes emporium, opened her first retail store, Anne Furbank Fashions, in 1981.

On paper, the odds looked to be stacked against her, the competition organisers said. "Anne had no qualifications or formal retail training, and opened her shop in a small village with no passing trade.

"But the store flourished as a result of Anne's instinctive flair for buying, her perseverance in the face of adversity and, above all, her dedication to delivering first-class customer service," a spokesman added.

By 1997, annual sales had reached £2 million. Anne purchased the George in 2003. Last year, Anne Furbank Online was launched and this year, when Anne turned 60, she purchased another shop, Jane of Newmarket, expanding her business into Suffolk and Norfolk. Her business has grown from a one-woman operation to an 80-strong company.