A PARTY shop run by a mum and son in Rhyl has been crowned gift shop of the year.

Personalize A Memory on Bedford Street was hailed as a champion in their industry at the The Welsh Independent Retail Awards 2019.

Blooming Gorgeous Floristry in Rhuddlan were also recognised for their efforts and named Florist of the Year.

Personalize A Memory is run by Ashley Jones, 21, and Lindsay Jones, 44.

The awards ceremony was held at The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff and was hosted by broadcaster Polly James.

Ashley said: "Being crowned the winner in our category meant the world to us. We never thought we would be doing something like this, it was on the off chance that we took part.

Rhyl Journal:

Ashley Jones (centre) with his mum Lindsay at the ceremony

"Having recognition for our hard work makes us feel proud at how far we have come. To come first out of the whole top 10, it made my heart burst with excitement."

Personalize A Memory was established three years ago. The shop went bust but Ashley and Lindsay were not ready to give up and instead, changed the way the business operated.

"We used to do personalised gifts but we weren’t getting the footfall. We started doing occasion balloons and became a balloon and party shop," Ashley added.

"In a year, we've managed to succeed, get an award, have regular lovely customers and expand."

The duo received an engraved trophy at the ceremony.

Ashley said: "We haven't got it on display yet because it's so precious to us.

"With the ceremony, we have never been to anything so posh and dressing up in suits was an experience we will never forget. When Polly said our name it felt like the room went silent and tears were rolling down our face. Things like this don't seem to happen to us. We've worked hard to get to where we are.

"We'd like to say a big thank you to every person who voted for us and to every single person who comes into our shop because you've helped a small business grow.

"We are going to treasure this award - it will remind us why we started."

A spokesperson for the Welsh Independent Retail Awards 2019 said: "These awards are the leading celebration of the independent retailers that work tirelessly to serve the Welsh communities.

"The event provided a platform to showcase the ongoing commitment of those who treat every customer as a friend, stand as an important part of local communities, where their great service and value, result in the return of loyal locals to their retails.

"We really appreciate the response from the public that was so keen to get involved in our nomination process and voted for some incredible independent retailers. The competition was fierce this year and therefore, we would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their amazing achievements.”

The awards supported Make-A-Wish UK, an organisation that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.