Owning her own boutique was a dream for Sonya Angus ever since she was 16.
From working as an assistant buyer for Edinburgh department store Jenners to launching Molton Brown’s flagship store in the capital, Sonya gained a lot of experience which helped turn her childhood dream into a profitable business.
She launched Sonya Angus: Gifts, Furniture and Interiors in December 2016.
Her Cults shop stocks a selection of pre-loved, upcycled and new furniture, high-quality home accessories and special occasion gifts.
Sonya is certain becoming The Retail’s Rising Star of the Year in the Evening Express Retailer Awards last year hugely influenced her growing business.
She said: “Customers immediately came in with flowers and cards and were thrilled for me. It was a huge talking point having the Evening Express Retailer Award at my till point.
“Customers are so pleased to hear a new, local independent shop is thriving in these trickier times.
“It is difficult when you are new to a city to shout out about yourself and your business. As a Scottish woman you tend to keep your head down and work hard.
“This award gives you the chance to sing about what you have achieved.”
Sonya also suggested the award encouraged new customers to come to her shop and see the quality merchandise which helped her win.
She said: “There is definitely more footfall and sales are increasing month upon month and against last year.”
Earlier this year, Evening Express reported Sonya’s shop exceeded turnover expectations.
Sonya, who was delighted by her first year achievements, said: “I cannot believe how well the business has performed, especially as a one-man-band start-up coming to the market during a really tough economic climate.”
The successful retailer prides herself on the excellent customer service she offers.
She said: “Customer service means the world to me. You must be honest and true to your word. I have a list with more than 300 customer inquiries since I have opened the shop and I ensure I get back to all my customer’s needs no matter how big or small.”
Having big plans for the near future, Sonya hopes to expand her range further to include ladies’ fashion.
She is also looking forward to working with Top Drawer, a new supplier she discovered when she was in London. She thinks its “paint box bright colours” are simply wonderful. Sonya said she very much enjoyed the Retailer Awards.
She added: “It was a wonderful evening full of excitement, positivity and hope for independent businesses in the north-east.
“It was a great spring- board for my business.”