AS the first anniversary of Rainford clothing boutique Ellamora approaches, owner Ali Tyrer is reflecting on how her gamble has paid off.

Ali describes the day that Tyrers, the iconic Bridge Street store that had carried her family name for more than 125 years, closed for the last time in 2016, as "an intense personal loss".

But, she adds, she had long cherished a big dream of her own.

“It was the hardest decision of my life” Ali said. “But deep down I knew that sadly, we just could not sustain a business of this kind in the economic climate.”

Never one to let the grass grow, Ali immediately embarked on fulfilling her new dream - opening a clothing boutique and gift store - which she chose to locate on Church Road, Rainford village.

She transformed the former general store and post office into Ellamora, which she admits it was a gamble - but 12 months on, she says the big gamble has paid off.

She told the Star that Ellamora has built up an ever-expanding clientele, who love the atmosphere at the new shop.

Ali added: "I could not have hoped for a more special first year at Ellamora and I want to say a big thanks to all my customers old and new who have helped me make this very special dream come true".

Ali is celebrating a year of Ellamora by offering customers a glass of bubbly and a cupcake on Saturday, August 12.

When she opened the store last year, Ali - who lives in Prescot with husband Clint, daughters Hannah and Ella and son Edward - said she wanted to bring her experience as the managing director of a traditional department store to a small, modern shop in the heart of a community.