A COCKERMOUTH shop owner is celebrating the third anniversary of her business.

Sonja Tilleard's ladies' lifestyle shop on Station Street was previously called No 11 but is now No 15.

The 62-year-old moved premises during lockdown to accompany a bigger range of stock.

She also owns White and Green, which sells home and garden accessories, across the road, which will be turning 11 years old in October.

Sonja could hardly believe it had been three years since she opened No 15, she said: "It was a one-day decision, an impulse, which made me open the shop. It wasn't a part of a long term plan or anything. It just seemed the most logical thing to do and it's paid off tremendously."

The aim of Sonja's shop when she first opened was to offer comfortable, affordable clothes, casual wear or for going out, to the women in the town, "There was a slight gap in the market I had noticed," she said, "It took off very well and thankfully it was up to the town and shoppers that support it which makes it a success."

Since then Sonja has been able to welcome more and more suppliers to fill her shop, one of these being One Hundred Stars that have recently provided No 15 with colourful and luxurious gowns.

During the first lockdown Sonja moved two doors down into what was The Silver Beaded Needle. This allowed Sonja to expand her range into fashion accessories and other paraphernalia.

"We offered a service throughout lockdown," she said, "We were delivering to customers in the town or taking photos of our stock and dropping items off for them to try out.

"That was a success - people appreciate a local service. I have a good local following now."

Sonja added: "I'm very pleased that people have helped me through and I have such a good customer base.

"Cockermouth is a great town to be in. It's not just the shoppers who support you, it's other vendors as well."

Sonja said that when Firns was open across the road from No 15, they allowed her to keep parcels there for people to collect. Sonja didn't have her shop open during the periods of lockdown.

"As well as having the delivery service available," she said, "I could also leave parcels there for customers.

"We are a very supportive town in terms of businesses. It's also about personal service and why smaller towns and smaller businesses are surviving.

"It's a safer environment for people and we can provide a more personal and bespoke service to people."