Linda Smith has run House of Linda Ann in Whitehaven, which sells accessories and gifts, since 2013.
At the start of this year she bought Bron-ja of Wigton, an exclusive ladies’ outfitters and specialist in mother-of-the-bride outfits.
She said: “I did all the marketing for the Whitehaven shop but Bron-ja serves a different market targeting a different clientele.
“We had to rethink. My daughter, Danielle White, joined to do the marketing and at that point I heard about Cumbria Growth Catalyst.
“There’s very little funding available to retail businesses so when something like this comes along, I grab it.”
Growth Hub adviser Lynda McDairmant visited to meet Danielle and, shortly afterwards, produced a report on marketing for both shops.
Linda said: “Lynda was very good. She told us what our failings were and how to address them. She gave us lots of tips and advice, which we’ve acted upon.
“Often in business you say you’re going to do something but never get around to it. Catalyst gave us the impetus to act.”
In line with the advice, the shops make much more use of Facebook.
Linda said: “Both shops have their own websites but we find Facebook more effective at targeting local people – and they are our market.
“We now have a mini-studio at the back of Bron-ja with a background, a mannequin and lighting.
“Every time something new comes in Danielle will photograph it and put it on Facebook. Before long we get people coming into the shop to look at whatever it is that they’ve seen. It has worked well for us.”