A woman who suffered personal tragedy when her mother and stepfather died in a helicopter crash has told how her mother’s outstanding business drive has inspired her.
Natalie Carr took over the After Dark dress shop, close to Cleckheaton town centre recently and to celebrate her ownership invited Kirklees Mayor and Mayoress, Clr Paul Kane and Susan Bedford, to a special opening ceremony.
The store specialises in prom, evening, bridesmaid and wedding dresses and has been established for nearly 20 years.
Mrs Carr previously worked alongside her mother Linda, a talented and hard-working businesswoman, at the successful Leeds-based wholesale company, Country Baskets, which was founded in the Piece Hall, Halifax, in 1990.
Sadly, Linda, 59, and her husband, wealthy businessman, Paul Spencer, 43, who lived in a converted barn above Brighouse, died in a helicopter crash in January 2008 at the luxury resort, Rudding Park, Harrogate, one of the country’s most exclusive hotels.
An inquest jury later concluded that he had been an “unqualified and inexperienced” pilot, who had only held his helicopter licence for just six weeks.
Mrs Carr said: “Luckily I have been busy since then, having my three sons, who are now in full-time education. My mother, who was the founder of Country Baskets, started her career with a small boutique in Bradford so I like to think that I am now following in her entrepreneurial footsteps.”
And she added: “I’m a local girl who has always had a passion for clothing, particularly evening gowns, and as I now live in a very masculine household After Dark is my haven.”