THREE new shops have opened in Padiham after a team of friends decided they want to run their own businesses.

Enchanted Children’s Wear, Krafters Korner and Whimsical Wants are situated next to each other on the hill near the town hall, in Burnley Road.

They were opened last month by Kate Emerson, Kate Bleasdale, Alex Bythell and Maraleen Bythell after all four decided they wanted a new challenge.

Mrs Emerson, 36, who now lives in Barley, said: “I’ve wanted to do something like this for ages and after talking we decided we were going to go for it. After that it was a case of sitting down and coming up with ideas for what we wanted to.

“I worked in care for 15 years and I’ve got a six-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl.

“I was working long hours and the children weren’t seeing me and started resenting me, so something had to change.”

As well as the children’s clothes shop, Whimsical Wants sells soft furnishings and Krafters Korner is used as an outlet for different crafts businesses to sell their goods.

“We know it’s difficult to start your own business,” said Mrs Emerson. “So we decided to give people the chance to try it out with Krafters Korner. We all help out in the shops and it gives you the chance to have time off in the week and spend time with the family.

“That hill was considered death row by some people but it’s been going much better than we expected.

“People have said it gives them a reason to go up the hill. We’ve had a great response from the people of Padiham.

“There is so much going on in the shops that people call it a mini bazaar.

“We also had a lot of help from people, especially Peter Rostron who owns A1 Motor Store, who has given us a lot of advice.”