When a north Cumbrian mum of three began making blankets and teddy bears for her children, she wasn’t expecting less than two years later to be running a bustling high street shop.

Dawn Richardson, who owns Gift and Stitch Aspatria, is newly settled into her bigger premises, having moved to the King Street unit three weeks ago.

The Plumbland mum to three boys - Jack, 11, Harry, nine, and Alfie, two - is delighted to say her new premises is attracting more customers.

“I’ve got a front window which I didn’t have before, it’s a lot busier. I’ve got a lot of new customers,” said Dawn.

Dawn explained that customers can expect to find a “bit of everything” in Gift and Stitch, and is certainly a one-stop shop for all manner of bespoke gifts for a range of occasions.

“I mainly sell personalised gifts. I do a lot of candles, newborn baby items, christening stuff, party supplies - I make a lot of bespoke balloon designs too,” Dawn said.

Before launching Gift and Stitch just over 15 months ago, Dawn found herself doing a lot of sewing and embroidery at home in her spare moments.

“I was working round the kids,” Dawn said. “I started off making blankets and teddies for them.

“I decided I’d start putting together helium balloons as well, and it was at that point that my husband said I needed a shop.

“The house was being overrun with everything I was making.”

Dawn decided to open a shop in Aspatria, in order to be as close as possible to her children’s school.

After quickly outgrowing her old premises, Dawn and her husband James bought Gift and Stitch’s new, bigger, unit, right on Aspatria’s high street.

“It’s nice to be able to talk to the customers, help them work out what they want in a personalised way,” Dawn said.

Her youngest son, two-year-old Alfie, acts as his mum’s “little doorman”, opening the shop’s front door to visitors and “meeting and greeting all the customers,” Dawn said.

She added that she felt it was important to help keep Aspatria’s high street thriving.

“There’s not too much on Aspatria’s high street, but I think it’s important to keep that local service going,” Dawn said.

“It’s good to be able to provide that service that’s closer to people, otherwise they might have to go to Workington or Carlisle.

“There’s quite a lot of old residents that have to get the bus out of town, in fact there’s quite a lot of people here who don’t drive.

“So it’s nice to keep things local.”