Cinders cannot carry on going to the ball

Helen Parker of Cinders N Buttonz, Garstang
Helen Parker of Cinders N Buttonz, Garstang

A Garstang trader has blamed the recession for the closure of her business.

Helen Parker says it is with great sadness that she is shutting her Bridge Street shop Cinders N Buttonz.

The store specialised in selling pre-loved wedding dresses, mother of the bride and prom outfits as well as an assortment of accessories and jewellery, including hand made flower hair decorations and bouquets.

She said: “It’s like a baby to me this business, but I’ve got to let it go now. I can’t do any more. I’ve done what I can. The recession is still getting a lot of people.”

She says she has loved trading on Garstang’s main street and is full of praise for the support and friendship between local businesses.

Helen joined Garstang Independent Traders/ the Chamber of Trade, but says unfortunately the footfall through her specialist occasion dress agency door has just not been high enough to sustain her business despite attracting customers from as far afield as Manchester. The shop opened its doors two and a half years ago in 2013.

“It’s just not doing enough to keep going. I’ve put every penny I can into this. It’s been wonderful - I’ve had some wonderful brides and brilliant young girls for the prom season.”

She has worked part-time in Cabus Spar store to help boost her income, but said she realised that she now wanted to give more time to her family.

“I will miss it. I absolutely love what I do. I’ll still make the flowers - headdresses for children and bride’s bouquets.”

Helen from Catterall revealed one aspect of the business had grown and grown - she started out offering an ironing service for gowns and got asked to do general ironing.

Now she plans to continue this service from home, trading under part of the shop name “Cinders”. But she says she will be selling off her specialist large scale steaming machines.

Now a notice has been posted on her shop door advising clients who have left gowns for sale to collect them before she closes by the end of June. She has promised to contact them as soon as possible.

The notice says: “It’s been a hard decision.. I would like to thank everyone for your support over the last two and a half years. ..I will still be ironing for my regular customers from home and keeping up with my flowers.”

Even though it has been a difficult time, she has been heartened by customer response, noting on her Facebook page: “Even though I am closing I still get asked to do some wonderful things. Lovely lady I have got to know via my shop has asked can I help on her wedding day with her gown. It’s months away but how nice to be asked and in such a lovely month December.”