Women business owners gathered on Shirley Road to celebrate the success of independent companies thriving on the high street.

Nine business owners - from the likes of Make It Magic, Brass Monkey, and 329 Café & Lounge - came together to discuss life owning a business, how it has been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, and how to tackle crime in the area.

There are 22 women-owned businesses on Shirley Road in all – some of which have only been established in the last year – with others being there as long as 40 years.

“We’re nothing without our customers,” said Chantelle Trevatt, landlady of the Brass Monkey pub.

“I think we’re in a really good location here not being too far away from the city centre and there’s also a lot of people who live in the area and we have repeat customers.

“Many people find us through word of mouth and continue to come back – which helps everyone really as you’re likely to visit more than one business.”

READ MORE: Police incident in Paynes Road, Freemantle

Bukola George owns three businesses on the high street – 329 Café & Lounge, Harmony Hair, and Eddoes.

She told the Echo: “Without these businesses, there would be no high street.

Daily Echo:

“A big chain like New Look closed just down the road at the end of last year and so people are probably more reliant on our businesses now more than ever, particularly if you want to shop locally.”

While the businesses are succeeding on the high street, the cost-of-living crisis has still had an effect, pushing prices up beyond the control of owners.

Aniko Lako, who owns the furniture shop Room to Room, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis, prices are going up, staff wages, are going up – this all has an effect on business outside of our control and people are perhaps spending less than they used to, but it affects everyone.”

The cohort of entrepreneurs are hoping to also combat crime in the area by forming a WhatsApp group chat, where they can notify each other of suspicious activity.

Chantelle added: “It’s great if we can all help each other and look out for the community.”