A PAIR of shopkeepers, known for adding a splash of vibrancy to Barrow Market, have won Trader of the Week.

Jayne Iqbal and Mushtag Ahmad, who own Sobia Fashion, were nominated for the coveted awarded by Barrow homeowner Maureen Wells, who applauded the store’s “colourful and fashionable” outfits.

The long-established women’s fashion emporium was first introduced to the streets of Barrow back in 1989, after Mr Ahmad gave the public its first taste of the store’s dynamic range of clothing.

He said: “Sobia’s started off in the outside market and eventually grew to have two stalls; one inside and another outside.

“This award is a fantastic surprise and coincides quite well with our 30th anniversary.

“Me and my business partner Jayne work as a team and she is definitely a big part of the shop and its success - her clothing knowledge is unchallengeable.”

The pair have been working together since Mrs Iqbal was 19 years old.

She said: “Winning this award is both brilliant and exciting.

"I'd like to thank our regular customer Maureen Wells for nominating us.

"We work hard to supply Barrow's women and children with a clothing range that is unique.

"Sobia provides standard dress clothing as well as items which are more bohemian and lagenlook.

"Regarding best sellers, we supply various UK-made and Italian-made brands, which you could say is our signature in the market."

Sobia Fashion's clothing ranges come from Manchester, which Mr Ahmad discovered during his early years in the 1960s after coming to the UK from Pakistan.

"When I was 14, I came to England and spent around 18 months in Manchester," said Mr Ahmad.

"Eventually, I would move up to Barrow and I've been welcomed here ever since."

Mr Iqbal added: "The market is a great place to trade as it provides a friendly atmosphere, which we hope passes on to our customers after they visit us.

"Working at Sobia Fashion gives me a lot of joy.

"Although some may think we've been in the market for long, we take enjoyment in looking back to our many years.

"Mr Ahmad and I have seen our customers grow up, have kids, and some have even had grandchildren - all the while returning to our store.

"It's heartwarming."

Mrs Wells said: "The store provides great value for money and excellent customer care."