‘We’re shop sharing’

Shirt Dessert and Knitting Heaven owners Jeff Lester and Linda Sinnons shake hands on their businesses coming under one roof in Leyland

Shirt Dessert and Knitting Heaven owners Jeff Lester and Linda Sinnons shake hands on their businesses coming under one roof in Leyland

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Forget swap shop - this is a shop share!

A Leyland grandmother-to-be has come up with an inventive idea to open a knitting hub in an existing shop, to cut down on costs and give her venture more chance of success.

Linda Sinnons, 52, from Leyland Lane, has joined forces with her old friend Jeff Lester, who runs the Shirt Dessert T-shirt designs shop on Golden Hill Lane.

Splitting the space down the middle, the pair are now halving their rental costs and attracting more customers.

Linda said: “I was looking for premises in Leyland but everywhere was too expensive.

“Shirt Dessert has been successful for years now and it’s in a prominent spot, but the shop is a bit too big for what Jeff needs, so we decided to bring our businesses together.

“It’s a good way forward for people like me to get a foot on the ladder.”

Mum-of-three Linda, who worked at Runshaw College up until Christmas, decided to launch her own business after finding out she was about to become a grandma.

“I wanted to start knitting again,” she said. “I used to do it for my children, and now I want to do it for my daughter’s first baby, but I noticed a gap in the market while I was shopping around.

“There are some great places in Leyland to buy wool, but I could only get the more expensive, designer brands on the internet.”

Linda’s side of the shop, Knitting Heaven, stocks high-quality wool, some made with silk and cashmere, for Leyland’s knitting enthusiasts.

But she’s no intension of pushing out existing businesses.

“There’s room for everyone,” she said. “People can go elsewhere for the more affordable wools, but I’m here providing the high-end materials.

“I’ve no reason to stock ordinary wool because I don’t want to offer the same as other shops.”

Knitting Heaven is separated from Shirt Dessert by a wall of wool boxes on shelves, and there’s also room for customers to sit and practice their techniques with Linda.

She wants to expand the business in the future, to stock handbags and belts made by talented locals, and to hold knitting lessons in store.