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Kent bra-fitting boutique comes top of its category in Shed of the Year

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Original article from Kent Live

A homemade bra-fitting boutique in Kent came top of its category in this year's Shed of Year awards.

Joanna van Blommestein, from Faversham, specialises in helping women after surgery – such as those with breast cancer – and won Cuprinol's cabin/summerhouse category with her back garden creation, named The Bra Boss of Kent HQ.

The 33-year-old said: "Lots of people don't really enjoy bra fittings… it can be quite overwhelming or quite daunting.

READ MORE: Folkestone: The Kent district where houses have been selling like hot cakes this year

"I just wanted to make it a lovely relaxing, stress-free place."

Joanna Van Blommestein's shed The Bra Boss of Kent HQ

Winning the overall Shed of the Year 2021 crown following a public vote was a 1970s-inspired cocktail bar in Essex made by social media influencer Danielle Zarb-Cousin.

The 29-year-old from Southend-on-Sea transformed a rundown old brown shed into a mint green retro bar complete with seating and orange interior.

She made the renovation during lockdown after splitting with her fiance, former Love Island star Jonny Mitchell, last year.

She said: "I went through a bad time with the break-up… building the shed became a focus in a time of chaos.

"Moving back in with my parents for lockdown was not ideal and I needed my own space, so (once built) it was a place I could go and write and not be disturbed."

Ms Zarb-Cousin will be awarded £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products for her victory, which included taking top spot in the pub/entertainment category.

Aside from the top prize, this year the outbuilding contest included seven categories and more entries – 331 – than ever before.

Danielle Zarb-Cousin with her shed Creme De Menthe

Mark Campbell, from Wingerworth in Derbyshire, landed the lockdown category by building a fairytale-inspired castle for his granddaughter while the UK was shut down last year.

The 60-year-old said of the two-storey, 12ft work of pine: "It's amazing what you can do with a bit of enthusiasm."

Mark Campbell with his shed Winterwood

Topping the unexpected/unique category was John Williams' pop-up pub in his back garden in Plymouth.

The Royal Navy chief engineer, 46, said of his handiwork: "I wanted it to be unassuming when you walked past it, but would open like a pop-up book."

John William's shed 'Bungy's Backyard Bar'

A bird-watching sanctuary took the equivalent of Olympic gold in the nature's haven category, created by holistic therapist Rosie Hoult, from Shrewsbury.

"The shed has become our own little haven… I spend time there most days watching birds or reading and (husband) David and I will spend hours just chatting and relaxing," the 59-year-old said.

Rosemary Hoult with her shed The Hideaway

After losing her mother and her job in the last year, Ally Scott from Southampton produced the best workshop/studio – a space for her to pursue her dream of becoming an artist and signwriter.

"This shed has changed my life… I was a mess after my mother died, but this has given me back a buzz," said the 48-year-old.

Ally Scott with her shed 'The Peculiar Pear'

Artist Les Rowe, from New Brighton on the Wirral, took top spot in the budget category.

The 67-year-old produced a seven-sided refuge using predominantly second-hand materials – including stained glass windows recovered from a synagogue.

Les Rowe with his shed Tranquility Base

"I originally created Tranquillity Base because I needed a shed, but because it's so beautiful and unique I don't really want to put anything in it," the 67-year-old said.

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Original Article