MOTHER and son Jayne and Joseph Vaughan both have an eagle eye for business.
And the fact they each have their own shops just around the corner from one another, must surely be unique not only in the West Midlands but across the UK.
For while she runs her highly successful Belle DIVA fashion business in Brisker Court, Knowle, 17-year-old Joseph has his own artisan chocolate shop in the High Street.
Now the enterprising duo are our Solihull Observer and Marriott Forest of Arden Six of the Best business award winners for December.
This time of the year Joseph often works most of the night in his shop 1683 Chocolate Place preparing his creations to meet the Christmas rush but his passion for the craft really began after his mum booked him a place on a chocolate truffle making course for his 14th birthday.
“I’ve loved cooking since an early age and after that course I came back really inspired to be a chocolatier and to get started on my career rather than staying on to do my A Levels,” said Joseph, a former Solihull School pupil.
“Then events took a hand when an ideal shop for a new chocolatier venture suddenly became available in Knowle High Street. ”
Jayne added: “We knew we had to grasp the opportunity or lose it, so Joseph moved in last year and started to build the business from scratch.
It must have been a deja-vu moment for Jayne for some six years earlier, having made a life changing decision to give up a high-powered sales and marketing directorship in London, she spotted a shop for rent in Brisker Court and decided on the spot to open a fashion boutique.
“My mother ran a high end fashion outlet and having been involved with the industry for most of my life it just seemed the obvious next step and the rest as they say is history,” she added.
While she travels all over Europe to source unique and stylish collections which help her clients stand out from the crowd, she also arranges a series of fashion shows around the region.
A fashion show she staged for Rolls Royce raised around £17,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.