A NEW personalised gift store has opened on Cradley Heath market - and is being run by father-of-two James Baker.

James has opened AJP Gifts, on Central Market Hall, High Street, after looking for a new business opportunity during lockdown.

The 29-year-old runs AJ Publishing with his wife Amy, aged 34, from their home in Cemetery Road, Lye.

When business started to drop off after lockdown hit they decided to diversify and set up a personalised gifts business.

The stall, which opened on April 13, sells personalised mugs, T-shirts, rock slates, clocks, memory cushions and other items.

The personalised gifts

The personalised gifts

James said: "When lockdown hit we stopped getting advertisers. Things went really quiet.

"We took a bit of a plunge and thought let's give it a go.

"The gifts business has become our main source of everything now.

"It takes us around 30 minutes to an hour to get the gifts done - after people send us the pictures and the text.

"Our memory cushions for grandparents have proved really popular.

"We have found something we are enjoying - ok we're not going to make millions - but we are doing this for our kids to have a decent life and we don't need anything more than that."

The couple, who have two children aged eight and three, spent three weeks decorating the stall, which is open Tuesdays to Saturdays.

It is open from 8am till 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8am till 4pm on the other days.

It also has a Facebook page.

Love Local Business logo

Love Local Business logo

We are launching our Love Local Business campaign to encourage people to spend their money locally as they emerge from months of restrictions and closure.

Love Local Business follows on from the successful campaign, of the same name, which we ran in the News group last summer and over Christmas.

The aim is to promote all the fantastic traders we have in our towns and urge our readers to give them their custom at this key time as the struggle to overcome the financial implications of the pandemic.

As part of the Newsquest publishing group, the Halesowen & Dudley News reaches a huge percentage of the local population across our well-established regional brands including print publications, record online audiences and social media.

Any business which wants to be featured in the campaign call 01905 742372 or email dale.godliman@localiq.co.uk.