Name: Di Cheal

Business name: Cat World

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm

Address: 3C Church Street, Oswestry, SY11 2SU

When did you open your business and why?

I OPENED the shop in May 2019, but I had been trading online for the five years prior to that. And the main reason I opened the shop was because I love cats. It was just an extension of the online side of the business.

I went into the market first to test the water for a few months, and that went well, so I opened the shop.

It was great to have my own shop because I got to be my own boss. When I was trading online, I had another full-time job so I had to fit everything around that.

Why in this location?

I LIVE near Shrewsbury and Oswestry, so I had a choice of the two. I looked at both, and a nice place being refurbished came up in Oswestry, and the location and price suited me so I took it on.

The first year being here was excellent, but this second year, because of Covid, has been different. We’ve had to shut and open a few times, but we have a lot of regular customers which is great.

When everywhere is open we get a lot of new customers and even tourists who come to the town.

Tell us about your business

BASICALLY it’s everything to do with cats.

Half of the shop is dedicated to gifts for humans who like cats, so that can be things like homeware, kitchenware, clothing and more. There is a wide variety and I change stock quite regularly so it’s never always the same stuff.

And the other half is dedicated to cats themselves, so things including toys and treats, blankets, combs and other accessories.

It’s not really like other pet shops – I think I have a wider variety of cats toys and other things because I focus solely on cats here.

People will often come in and ask for advice related to cats. I’m not a qualified medical expert so I will always direct any health-related questions to a vet, but I am able to help with other questions.

I get into lots of discussions about cats, which is fine by me – I have five of my own so I’m very happy to talk about them.

What is your proudest moment?

I’D SAY when I opened up the shop and running the business by being my own boss is something I am proud of.

It’s nice to have more freedom when working for myself. Obviously it was a proud moment, but also still being here nearly two years after opening is something I am proud about.

People in Oswestry really appreciate the small independent shops here which is great to see.

Any strange requests?

THERE are a few, but the one I get most often tends to be people coming in to ask whether we have any dog or horse-related items as well as cat ones.

But I don’t – it’s a cat shop so that’s all people will find when they come here.