Our History

1979

Rosemarie, with the help of her mother Irene, opens the first Elizabeth Rose shop in Tenterden selling quality ladies clothing.

In 1979, Rosemarie Busby decided to start her own business and opened a beautiful ladies' fashion shop in the market town of Tenterden. The first shop was located at 4 & 6, Ashford Road, and was stocked with a wide variety of fashionable and beautifully styled clothes sourced from all over Europe. Her husband, Chris, started his own chartered accountants business located close by in Tenterden high street, and was a tremendous help to Rosemarie. Her mother Irene relocated from her home town of Henley to help
Rosemarie run the new shop, 'Elizabeth Rose'.

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1981

Rosemarie opens a second Elizabeth Rose shop at 13 East Cross, Tenterden, selling lingerie and accessories.

Only two years after starting the business, Rosemarie opened a second Elizabeth Rose shop at 13 East Cross, Tenterden, selling quality ladies' lingerie and beachwear. The shop was cleverly designed to give an intimate feeling of being 'in your own bedroom'.  Selling La Perla lingerie, Simone Perele and Lejaby as well as Gottex swimwear, it became lovingly
known as 'The Little Shop’.

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1985

Elizabeth Rose combines its clothing, lingerie and accessories departments under one roof and moves to its new home at Tollgate House, Tenterden.

In 1985 Tollgate House came on the market. Rosemarie decided to seize the opportunity of relocating both the clothing shop at 4 & 6 Ashford Road and the lingerie shop at 13 East Cross to create her own emporium selling beautiful clothing, lingerie, swimwear and accessories all under one roof – a true paradise for her discerning clientele!  Her name was spreading far and wide and new customers were now travelling some distance to visit her shop.

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1994

Elizabeth Rose receives Drapers Independent Retailer of the Year award.

In 1994 Elizabeth Rose won the Drapers Record Magazine's Independent Retailer in the womenswear category, presented by fashion designer Jeff Banks. It was an extremely prestigious and highly competitive award, with ER going up against some very strong entries from independent fashion shops across the UK.

Rosemarie’s daughter Helen joins the partnership.

In 1994, after a career in PR at Visa International, Rosemarie's daughter Helen joined the partnership at Elizabeth Rose and began working in the shop alongside her mother.

The Therapy Room is added to Elizabeth Rose to provide luxury ESPA treatments to the retail experience.

One of Helen’s first ideas was to open a luxury therapy centre so that customers could really experience the ‘top to toe’ service all under one roof! 1994 saw the beginnings of her vision, and the ‘Therapy Room’ at Elizabeth Rose was opened on the second floor of the shop. With the charming and very talented beauty therapist, Julia, offering luxury treatments, customers could be pampered from head to toe, including massages and facials from Espa, manicures from Jessica Nails, and make-up from New York brand Vincent Longo.

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1997

Rosemarie’s son Michael joins the partnership.

After completing his studies at Manchester University and working for a period of time in France and California for the electronic’s giant, Schlumberger, Rosemarie's son Michael joined the ever-growing Elizabeth Rose business.

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1998

Rosemarie is nominated, and becomes a finalist, for the Draper’s Record Top Buyer award.

This was a highly prestigious award, and after nearly 20 years, Rosemarie's enviable buying talent was being recognised. Considering Rosemarie had not been trained in this field it was an enormous achievement.  The award ceremony took place at the Natural History Museum.

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2003

The partners of Elizabeth Rose are delighted to open another branch at 7 High Street, Tunbridge Wells.

In 2003, after a big building project with the help of Helen's husband Dan, Elizabeth Rose further expanded with a new three story retail unit in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

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2006

Elizabeth Rose is recognised for the third time by Drapers and wins Best Independent Womenswear Retailer of the Year Award

 It was the second time the business had won ‘Best Independent Womenswear Retailer’ in the UK. This award was a fantastic achievement and was especially felt by Michael and Helen, who were now running the business on a day to day basis. 

Helen sadly was unable to attend the award ceremony, having just given birth to Charlotte 4 days earlier! However, Michael was supported by some of the Elizabeth Rose staff, and had a fantastic time at the awards which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.  The award was presented by comedian Jimmy Carr.

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2008

Elizabeth Rose opens its online store at
www.elizabeth-rose.com

With the internet becoming a huge part of the modern retail experience, in 2008 Elizabeth Rose decided to launch a brand new online store, embracing multi-channel retailing.

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2009

Rosemarie retires from the business after 30 years and Elizabeth Rose becomes a limited company with Helen and Michael as directors.

After 30 years, Rosemarie decided that it was time to retire and pass the business on to Helen and Michael, giving her more time with her six grandchildren: Harry, Rory, Alice, Isabelle, Tess and Charlotte, and also her husband, Chris, to pursue their love of travel.

Elizabeth Rose celebrates 30 years of business.

In 2009 ER celebrated its 30 years in business with a party at the shop, supported by all our customers and suppliers.  It has been an extraordinary journey and the innovation of the business continues daily with new opportunities in the world of fashion and technology!  During the 30 years we have dedicated our time and ability to host events and fashion shows to raise money for the following charities:

 Friends of East Sussex Hospices
The Kent Air Ambulance
The Tenterden Day Centre
Hospice in the Weald
The Silas Pullen Brain Tumour Charity
Save the Children

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2017

Elizabeth Rose launches its new website using the latest technology to improve ease of use across mobile, desktop and tablet, bringing the business into the digital age.

As smartphones and iPads are becoming more and more a household item, we felt it important to improve the look and feel of our website across mobile and handheld devices for the huge proportion of our customer base who are now choosing to shop this way. Afterworking tirelessly for several months with our talented web developer Robert, we launched the current, 'new-look' elizabeth-rose.com!