The owner of Ickle Ishy’s Boutique, Ellena Ali, is concerned she will soon have to close as the odds seem to be stacked against her.Advertisement
After opening in early 2020, Ellena was forced to close due to the pandemic.
Unfortunately, in July 2021, Ickle Ishy’s suffered a break in, and Ellena says her shop hasn’t been able to ‘bounce back’ in the following months.
In an emotional social media post, she detailed how she has tried advertising, running competitions and events, and even offering discounts, but she has not been busy.
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She wrote: “I posted a couple of weeks ago that we would be closing down for good. I have been struggling to make ends meet and not yet making enough to employ a second member of staff, so it is me running the business and the social media and bringing my little boy along to work with me every day.
“Anyway, since announcing our closure I have had lots of messages from customers saying how much they loved shopping in my boutique, how they loved the personal service and how my clothing and accessories were unique and good value.
“I have had some brand new customers this week tell me how they wished they had known about me sooner. So this is my last push to ask can people please share and spread the word about my children and baby boutique.
“Social media can be a powerful tool and just maybe this post can make a difference. I do not want to say goodbye to Ickle Ishy’s Boutique but as things stand I feel I don’t have a choice.”
Prestonians took to the social media post to show their support of Ickle Ishy’s, suggesting ways Ellena could boost engagement, with some residents promising they would make a visit soon.
Jeanette Brown complimented a coat she’d purchased for her daughter, saying it’s highly recommended and good quality.
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Ellena also posted her Facebook group Ickle Ishys Offers to encourage people to join.
Ellena said: “I started my boutique after the birth of my son. I loved dressing him in traditional style clothes, but I couldn’t find any affordable places locally that sold them, so I was inspired to open my own boutique. My son is the inspiration behind the name ‘Ickle Ishy’s.’
“Unfortunately only a few weeks after opening I was forced to close because of Covid.
“Then not long after reopening I was vandalised and burgled. It has just felt like one battle after another and my boutique has never been as busy as when I initially opened.
“I think the majority of independent businesses are struggling after Covid but if mine doesn’t pick up soon I’ll be forced to close.”
Ickle Ishy’s is located at 12 Ribbleton Avenue PR1 5RY and is open Tuesday to Friday 11am-4pm and Saturday 11am- 3pm.
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