After over three decades at the heart of retail in Ballymena town centre, Instyle Fashions owner Marbeth Hughes has made a huge decision to retire to spend more time with her beloved grandchildren.
The local lady who described her retirement as "happy news for me," has over the years navigated many changes on the high street and despite the shift to online shopping, she dedicated her efforts and energy to build a successful fashion business as an independent retailer.
Marbeth said the decision is something that she has thought about "long enough", and she knows it is what she "wants to do," also described her timing as "mad", with her very popular business as "busy today as it ever was".
It was the businesswoman's initiative to start sharing videos on social media showing her latest fashions for sale, that she has credited with causing sales to snowball.
"The videos took us to a whole new level, and I must say, we couldn’t believe what was happening those videos," Marbeth commented. "We were pestering that Post Office everyday - bin liner after bin liner up that road. We were actually asking other people to take the big bin liner bags up for us because we were getting embarrassed and we were getting queues behind us!"
Announcing her retirement today, Monday 30th January, Marbeth shared about her love for her grandchildren and her new upcoming 'job' saying:
"Last Christmas was actually my 34th Christmas. I’m not doing 35, and I’m out of here.
"So basically what’s happening is, I’m retiring to take it easy. I’m going to look after a baby and a toddler - what easier life would a woman want?
"But sometimes you just have to let your heart rule your head, not your head rule your heart, but your heart rule your head. And I love being with them and that’s the road I’m going down now… just God give me energy for this!"
"My time has come now and I just want to be at home with the babies, and that’s just it."
But there is still hope for some more of Marbeth's videos and supply of the ever-in-demand 'magic trousers'. As Marbeth concluded she said:
"I have a place at the side of my house where I might actually do videos there later on. Once I get into a routine with the two wee ones, I might go down that road."
In the meantime, there are plenty of bargains to be enjoyed at Instyle Fashions, on Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.
Happy retirement Marbeth!