Mum and daughter fashion trailblazers who run the longest-standing shop in Lostock Hall celebrate 50 years in business
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Florence Williams, 79, is marking half a century as a business owner, having opened the doors of Amanda Jayne Boutique in Hope Terrace in 1972.
The fashionista and her daughter Amanda Hodson, whom the shop is named after, celebrated the milestone last week with a party for staff and customers, including those who have been shopping there since the very beginning.
Commenting on her mum’s business success, Amanda, said: “She’s achieved it by sheer hard work. It hasn’t been easy but we’re busy. We have [repeat] customers coming in each week, and people in their 80s who have been coming here for 50 years.”
The secret to the shop’s longevity is the personal touches in customer service, the 56-year-old adds, describing long-term shoppers as their “friends”.
“We are dedicated to our customers and it’s like a big family. It’s like a home from home. We offer a personal service and alterations. If someone is buying something to go out in that night, we alter it there and then. If customers want a dress in a different colour, we buy it in. We know what our costumers like and a lot of people travel to see us.”
Florence, who was born in Blackburn in 1942, grew up with a love for the latest trends and followed in her own mum’s footsteps by making her own clothes.
Deciding to open a boutique at 30-years-old, she discovered an available wool shop in Lostock Hall - a place she had never before heard of – and moved there with six-year-old Amanda. She also began selling baby items next door at Miss Amanda Jayne, which she sold after being hospitalised for a back injury.
In 1987, Amanda joined her in the fashion world, opening Lucy Jordan in Corporation Street, Preston. The pair then sold it when Amanda started a family in 2006.
They have also worked alongside Gail Dickinson, who provides alteration services, for around 20 years.
Talking about her mum’s passion for fashion, Amanda said: “She’s always been into clothes. She’s really modern, fashionable and lovely.
"She’s very fit and healthy and doesn’t want to retire. She’d be bored. We’re both loyal to the shop and we’d always not come in, unless we’re bed-bound."