A LOCAL business duo have until the end of the month to keep alive their dream of owning their own shop.

Anne Hudson, 36, and Jodie Gaul, 39, are appealing to the community to help them raise £3,000 in order to open their store again this year.

The duo from The Shop in Witney have launched a crowdfunding project so that their pop up store can reopen in Marriotts Walk Shopping Centre.

They are also hoping to hire a full time weekend manager for the store.

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The Shop was initially a three month pop up venue since opening in June of last year, but this was extended until Christmas.

The owners now hope that the store will take on a full time residence in the town they were born and brought up in.

The store itself sells a range of lifestyle gifts and homewares, mostly locally made and sourced, with up to 50 small businesses selling stock under The Shop’s roof.

Mrs Gaul said: “We’ve had an exceptional six months since opening at the end of June.

“It’s been an amazing journey and we would love to stay and hopefully the crowdfunding will help us to do that.

Witney Gazette:

“We saw an opportunity to be a platform for local businesses on the high street.

“Local businesses used to sell their products and handmade goods on Etsy but now they are able to sell them through us.

“The Witney community want more places like this and people want us to come back.

“The high street in Witney is booming so now is a great time to have the store.”

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Mrs Hudson added: “It’s gone really well so far, it’s been a snowball effect how things have progressed.

“Me and Jodie have the same vision and ideas of how we want to run the shop.

“If we can continue then that would be great, as this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little.

“We’d like to offer workshops in the shop in the new year so people can learn a skill or craft as I think it would be nice to bring something like that to Witney.”

Witney Gazette:

Away from The Shop, Mrs Hudson runs textile business AH Boutique, whilst Mrs Gaul set up personalised gift website illustratemyname.com

The duo went to different schools in the area - Mrs Hudson attended Bartholomew School, whilst Mrs Gaul went to Wood Green School.

However, it is through their children attending the same school that the pair got to know each other, as well as craft website Etsy.

Mrs Gaul initially used to joke with Mrs Hudson whilst waiting for their children to finish school about the prospect of owning their own shop in Witney.

She said: “I used to say to Anne ‘could you imagine having a shop in the town we grew up in?’ and then that dream became a reality.”

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On the Crowdfunder page, the pair are offering rewards in return for donations.

Rewards include tote bags and badges.

Upon publication, the pair had raised £805.

The Crowdfunder will remain online until Sunday, January 26 as the pair target the £3,000 required.

The venture can be found at: crowdfunder.co.uk/the-shop-witney/backers#start