Fashion firm delighted as Strictly head judge appears on TV sporting their design

Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing judge, wearing a dress from the 8th Sign'Pic: Shirley Ballas on Twitter
Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing judge, wearing a dress from the 8th Sign'Pic: Shirley Ballas on Twitter
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It’s always nice for designers to see their clothing being worn and appreciated. But even more so when their dresses are being worn on national TV by a celebrity on a prime time show.

And that was the case for South Shore based clothing firm, the 8th Sign, when Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas appeared on the screen – wearing their creations.

And Shirley tweeted a photograph of herself wearing one of the numbers.

Melissa Barton, who runs the 8th Sign between her home in South Shore and a second base in Leyland, said she was delighted.

She said: “I recognised the dresses straight away.

“Tess Daly wore two of our dresses in 2016. We got in touch with Shirley Ballas’ stylist to say we thought she would suit our style and we felt it would look good on her. We sent a couple of pieces and then there she was wearing them.

“We thought she was going to wear the green dress on Children In Need, but she actually wore it on the Sunday night on the Strictly results show, which was fantastic.

“She also wore another number of ours.

“We’ve had really positive feedback too. It’s really nice she wore our dresses, especially with her being from the north west as well.

“It does make you feel really proud someone like Tess Daly or Shirley Ballas has worn something you’ve created.

“And it’s great when they share the pictures on social media.

“It’s quite a compliment. We don’t have a big PR agency or anything, so it can much more difficult to get out there.”

Last year, the 8th Sign scooped the micro business of the year award in the BIBAs.

The company has been running since 2014.

The name The 8th Sign came as Melissa and her business partner, who has since stepped away from the business due to family commitments, are both Scorpios – the eighth sign of the zodiac.

Melissa said: “We use to sell via big retailers like Asos, Very and Next and we do still sell via Asos but mainly through boutiques and our website. The dresses are for special occasions, like weddings.

“We make around 100 pieces of each dress, so people are more likely to find something no one else will be wearing and something they will wear again, rather than the sort of throwaway-fashion we see a lot of today. Everything is designed by us inhouse and made in the far East.

“We get a lot of trade through word of mouth. Celebrity press is helpful, but we have really good customer loyalty.”